Henry Candy will be delighted to see a dry couple of days forecast for Newmarket ahead of Friday’s Challenge Stakes, which will see his stable star Limato hope to return to winning ways. The five-year-old disappointed at Goodwood last time on ground slower than ideal, but his second in the July Cup behind Harry Angel is top class form and he is currently a 2/1 shot with BetVictor.
I am also interested in the chance of Gavota (10/3 with BetVictor) on Friday in the Gp 3 Oh So Sharp Stakes earlier in the card. The Roger Charlton-trained filly looked unlucky in the Rockfel Stakes last time when she failed to handle the dip – connections obviously want to give her more experience of the Rowley Mile undulations with one eye on next spring’s 1000 Guineas for which she is currently priced at 25/1 with BetVictor.
With rain due to sweep across Britain from the west – although dying out before it reaches Newmarket – it might be prudent to start our preview with this evening’s all-weather card at Kempton.
The market will tell us how far forward the American bred Kawasir and Godolphin’s Laieth are but Glendevon (5.55) showed a fair level of form on debut when runner up over C&D last month and is taken to go one better. The selection was no match for Charlie Appleby’s Symbolisation on that occasion, but he is a well-bred son of Scat Daddy who can make his experience count for Richard Hughes and Jamie Spencer who keeps the ride.
The filly Rainbow Rising (6.55) can break her duck at the sixth time of asking in the 11f maiden with Kieran Shoemark a positive booking for David Menuisier. This could not be considered the strongest race the track have ever staged and even if she just runs to her handicap mark of 71 she must go close in this evening’s company.
Irish import Blue De Vega (7.55) has his first start for Robert Cowell and just his second start at six furlongs this evening. This lightly-raced colt was considered a potential Guineas colt as a juvenile and he did run well at Dundalk on debut – his only other all-weather start. The hope is that the colt may have improved for the switch to Cowell – who does so well with sprinters – and he is well-drawn in stall two if jockey Oisin Murphy wants to attack.
Alwasmiya (1.45) was well backed on debut at Newcastle but faded into fourth. She can leave that form behind for Simon Crisford and Silvestre De Sousa who takes over in the plate this afternoon at Nottingham. Richard Hannon’s Wafeer has the best form in the book but the hope is that the Crisford filly can improve past the colt.
Sam Gold (2.50) shaped as though he was crying out for another furlong when runner up at Newbury last time and he can go one better for Roger Varian although his ability to handle soft ground would have to be taken on trust.
On Demand (2.25) is hardly one of the stable stars at the yard of Colin Tizzard but she is an admirable and gutsy front-runner and I hope she is primed for her seasonal reappearance at Ludlow. The mare has run some good races on soft ground although her winning form is on good ground.
The highlight is the £20,000 handicap chase and it is an absolute belter. It is hard to put a line through any of the thirteen runners but the each way vote goes to Braqueur D’Or (3.00) although the six-year-old would be inconvenienced if the rain got into the ground. At the time of writing, conditions are described as good to firm and I would want underfoot conditions to be no worse than just on the easy side of good at post time.
Harry Whittingham has his string in good form and Bigmartre (4.00) is taken to make a winning debut over fences in the two-mile novices’ limited handicap. The selection has a cracking record fresh and he can get the better of Mick Thonic and Mad Jack Mytton in a very hot little race.