Too Darn Hot rediscovered his best form with an emphatic win in the 7f Gp1 Prix Jean Prat at Deauville on Sunday and the three-year-old is 4/1 from 5s at BetVictor for the Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood at the end of the month.
One word of caution for potential backers. Trainer John Gosden advised that a return trip to Deauville for the Jacques Le Marois was also under consideration. Given there is only 11 days between the two Gp 1 Mile contests it is likely to be a question of either/or for Lord Lloyd Webber’s colt.
The listed Pipalong Stakes for fillies and mares over a mile at Pontefract is today’s highlight and there is a classic winner in the field with last year’s 1000 Guineas winner Billesdon Brook having to give 3lbs to her 11 rivals.
That penalty was picked up when winning a 7f listed contest at Chelmsford and she could easily follow up from her good draw in stall eight. The vote, however, goes to last year’s winner Clon Coulis (3.15) who finished second in the Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot last month on soft ground but is equally adept on a faster surface. She has a bit to find with Billesdon Brook on official figures, but she is taken to again keep the prize in Yorkshire for trainer David Barron.
Tommy Taylor (3.45) hinted at a return to form when runner up off this mark at Doncaster last time and Kevin Ryan’s 5-y-old gets the vote despite the fact that he has no form running around a bend. The selection was rated 100 in his pomp and can race from an 11lb lower mark this afternoon. Note the 5-y-old holds an entry in the Bunbury Cup at Newmarket on Saturday and he would need to pick up a penalty to stand any chance of making the cut.
There is a good 10f Maiden which looks a match between Harrovian and Alhaazm (4.15) with preference for the latter who will appreciate a return to a sound surface having got bogged down in the Haydock mud last time. The form of his previous second to Kiefer in a Newbury handicap is the best piece of form on offer.
Talking of Harrovian’s I would like to take this belated opportunity to pay my own tribute to John McCririck who passed away following a brave battle with lung cancer last week. I always found John to be kind, polite and friendly in the press room away from the glare of the camera and was also fortunate enough to spend a couple of days – John wore his Harrovian blazer of course – in his company at a Lords Test about a decade ago. Yes, he didn’t suffer fools, but he was great company, excellent value and was THE face of racing for the best part of 30 years. RIP.
In the Novices Handicap Chase at Uttoxeter this evening Kilmoganny (6.50) is taken to go one better than when runner up at Market Rasen for Katy Price. The 7-year-old remains a maiden but goes well for Sean Houlihan and connections will not get many better opportunities to break his maiden tag.
I felt Fago (7.20) went well for a long way when third at Aintree last time in a better race than this evenings. The selection has been dropped 1lb for that run and, at his best, he would pick up and carry this lot. If he gets an uncontested lead he might take some pegging back.
Takingitallin (8.50) drops back in trip for her handicap debut but she could well be ahead of her opening mark having made all over slightly further at Newton Abbot last time. The runner up on that occasion has since landed the odds back at Newton Abbot and this previous Bumper and point-to-point winner is taken to follow up for Donald McCain.
Poet’s Pride is unbeaten at Dunstall Park Wolverhampton, but he may find the concession of 6lbs to the 3-y-old Corrida De Toros (4.00) beyond him. The selection looked a non-stayer over a mile at Newbury last time when backed into favouritism for Ed de Giles and he has the plum draw in stall one. I hope compensation awaits.