Last week’s Sussex Stakes winner Too Darn Hot was retired on Monday after sustaining a hairline fracture of his hind cannon bone – an injury which he is likely to have picked up at Goodwood. A three-time Group 1 winner he was poorly campaigned in the first half of the season and he had a very hard race in the Dante Stakes at York on his seasonal debut. He did well to bounce back at Deauville and Goodwood.
There is the possibility of thundery showers at Haydock Park this week and the ground could turn soft ahead of Saturday’s card. If that is the case Addeybb would look to hold outstanding claims in the Rose Of Lancaster Stakes, despite being no match for the progressive Elarqam at York last time. The William Haggas-trained five-year-old is 15/8 at BetVictor and, if the forecast is to be believed, he will be hard to beat on his favoured soft ground.
There is a decent 6f Novice event at Pontefract today and I hope to see Tom Dascombe’s Three Fans (2.50) build on the promise of his Haydock debut. The runner up went one better at Goodwood last week and this stiff 6f should suit the colt although he will stay further in time. Karl Burke’s Ainsdale went off joint favourite on debut and he and Kevin Ryan’s Streaker look big threats.
I hope Volcanic Sky (4.20) does not get embroiled in a battle for the lead with My Reward in the mile-and-a-half handicap which is the feature race on the card. The selection made all to win at Leicester last time on fast ground, but he is adaptable as to underfoot conditions and ran a cracker from a poor draw at Carlisle on his penultimate start.
At Kempton this evening Illumined is likely to be all the rage in the Fillies’ Novice event over 12f for John Gosden, but she is penalised 6lbs for her recent fluent C&D success. Marginal preference is for Alemagna (7.00) who looked ready for a step up to 12f when staying on at Nottingham on her belated seasonal reappearance.
Do note a market move for the Varian newcomer Baaqiah and I also feel the soft ground was against Godolphin’s Expressionism on debut. This is a much better race than the one Illumined won last time and she may be sent off a false price.
The Pinto Kid (7.30) has a course record of 111 having scored over a slightly shorter trip from a 4lbs lower mark last time. James Fanshawe’s four-year-old has a cracking draw in stall two. Alan King’s Running Cloud will appreciate this evening’s drop back in trip for Alan King and is closely matched with the selection on previous course form.
Sir Mark Prescott’s three-year-old Land Of Oz (8.00) receives weight from his six opponents as he chases a quick hat-trick and he could still be some way ahead of the handicapper having scored at Yarmouth and Ayr in recent weeks.
Dubrava (8.30) remains a maiden after six starts but she has run very well in her last three starts on an all-weather surface and is taken to go one better than when second at Chelmsford to a subsequent winner. She does not have the best of draws in stall eight and will get a mile going forward, but she looks well handicapped at present and I hope Andrea Atzeni rides the filly prominently.
At Brighton I feel Airbrush (2.00) can make a winning handicap debut for Richard Hannon. The filly has run with promise in all three starts and is certainly bred to win her fair share of races given she is a half-sister to five previous winners.