The unbeaten Craven Stakes winner Skardu was cut to 7/1 from 20s for the 2000 Guineas with BetVictor back at Newmarket next month as antepost favourite Too Darn Hot continues to drift – now 5/2 from 7/4.
Trainer John Gosden said on Wednesday that a decision would be made early next week on Too Darn Hot’s participation in the colts’ classic as it becomes increasingly unlikely that he will be risked especially with the likelihood of fast ground on the Rowley Mile.
All-Weather Finals day from Lingfield Park is today’s feature with the ITV 4 cameras showing the last six races as well as two from Gosforth Park Newcastle.
Gallic raider Amade is 11/10 with BetVictor to take the Marathon Championship back to France for the second year running but I wonder if his style of running – invariably held up – will be suited by the short home straight this afternoon.
He is reluctantly overlooked in favour of an each way alternative. Spark Plug (2.00) finished runner up at Kempton on his first start over 2m last time and at 9/1 with BetVictor he is taken to reward each way support for Brian Meehan.
Island Of Life (2.30) had a prep run at Wolverhampton last month and that effort should have put her spot on for today’s Fillies’ & Mares’ Championship over 7f. The selection does not have the best of draws in stall 7 but she is clearly improving, having won three of her last four starts and at 7/2 with BetVictor she gets a narrow vote. Andrew Balding’s Crossing The Line looks the main danger.
Cambridgeshire winner Wissahickon (4.15) cannot be opposed in the Easter Classic having won all three starts over C&D this winter in a common canter. Connections were considering a tilt at the Dubai World Cup last month, but this looks a gilt-edged opportunity even though he has the worst of the draw in stall eight – of eight. I hope Rab Havlin makes plenty of use of Court House – stablemate of the favourite – from stall one although he may have to play second fiddle to Wissahickon who is 4/11 with BetVictor.
The French have a strong hand in a number of contests and Indyco (4.45) has improved on polytrack of late, is well drawn in stall six and looks sure to run a big race in the finale over a Mile. The each way selection is 15/2 at BetVictor and you can pick holes in the home challenge with favourite Keyser Soze – 9/2 at BetVictor – poorly drawn in 11 and Straight Right (13/2) likely to need luck in running given he is often held up out the back.
At Newcastle Lady Kermit (1.40) is taken to defy a 3lbs penalty for winning at Kempton on debut by no less than 6L. It will take a good debutante to lower her colours with that experience behind her.
Lufricia (2.10) showed clear promise when third at Kempton on debut over 6f at the beginning of October when she showed plenty of pace but did not see her race out. This drop to the minimum trip should suit Roger Varian’s filly.
Magic J (3.20) created a favourable impression when winning at Yarmouth 6f on debut and he is taken to maintain his unbeaten record in a fascinating listed contest over a mile. Ed Vaughan’s stable star has a bit to find on official figures, but he remains a colt of some potential and at 5/1 with BetVictor I would be disappointed if he didn’t run a big race.
Bo Samraan (4.25) looks ready for the step up to 12f and he is 3lbs “well in” this afternoon having been raised 3lbs for finishing third at Nottingham last week. His new mark doesn’t kick in until Saturday and he looks a typical Mark Johnston inmate who improves as he steps up in trip. The selection is a maiden after five career starts but I hope today’s step up in trip is the key.