There is rain forecast throughout Britain and Ireland and do watch out for significant changes to the goings at all today’s turf meetings. Two unbeaten fillies 4-year-old Miss O’Connor and 3-y-old Feliciana De Vega head the market at 5/2 with BetVictor for the listed Dick Hern Stakes at Haydock tomorrow. The latter is making her belated seasonal reappearance, and both are proven on soft ground.
At Newmarket this evening Hugo Palmer’s East Of Eden must have every chance in the opener if she is more amenable to restraint than was the case over today’s C&D on debut. The vote, however, goes to Nina Bailarina (5.25) who belied her odds of 20/1 when just touched off on rain-softened ground at Newbury on debut.
The winner of that event – James Tate’s Nasaiym – is highly regarded by connections and I just feel that Ed Walker’s filly might be better equipped to cope with conditions this evening if the rain gets into the ground.
Some good animals have won the Newcomers’ Maiden in the past decade and the market should provide valuable clues. Baptism makes plenty of appeal on breeding for John Gosden, but marginal preference goes to Charlie Appleby’s Volkan Star (6.35) who cost Godolphin 1,000,000gns as a yearling and holds an entry in the Gp 2 Champagne Stakes next month.
Outbox (7.10) is fitted with cheek-pieces for the first time by Simon Crisford and ran a cracker when second at Goodwood last week to the winning machine that is King’s Advice. The 4-year-old is 4lbs “well-in” and has form on rain-softened ground. I do not see the drop back in trip by a quarter of a mile as an inconvenience.
Blakeney Point hasn’t run since May but if the ground turns soft he would certainly enter equations for Roger Charlton.
If the rain has got into the ground by the finale then I feel Alaadel (8.15) will be tough to beat having made such a promising seasonal reappearance when runner up at Nottingham in June. Stuart Williams’ six-year-old is 2lbs higher today and runs off a career high mark but is a good sprinter on soft ground.
At Haydock Fantom Force (7.20) can follow up his recent Newbury win from a 4lbs lower mark. That success was gained on fast ground, but the selection ran well on soft ground on his racecourse debut and Richard Kingscote – who rides Haydock so well – takes over in the saddle this evening.
The ground is likely to go against Charlie D, but it should be ideal for Nuits St Georges and Agrapart (7.50) with preference for the latter who scored at Ascot from a 4lbs lower mark under Megan Nicholls when last seen back in May.
Firewater (8.25) has improved in recent starts for the step up to 10f on soft ground for Richard Fahey and he is taken to go pone better than when runner up at Pontefract last time from a 2lbs lower mark.
There is a Group 1 contest at the Curragh and with heavy rain forecast it will be interesting to see if the unbeaten Siskin is as good on soft ground as he has looked on a fast surface in three starts to date. This American bred colt is 12/1 at BetVictor for the 2020 2000 Guineas but his ability to handle soft ground must be taken on trust.