The brilliant filly Enable is the 11/10 favourite with BetVictor for the Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly on the first Sunday in October after the comprehensive defeats of leading French challengers Almanzor and Brametot at Deauville on Tuesday.
A deadly virus ravaged Jean-Claude Rouget’s stable back in the spring, and the handler didn’t sound optimistic post-race that we would see Almanzor, his brilliant Irish and Ascot Champions Stakes winner, back on the track.
Today’s feature is the Gp 3 Sovereign Stakes at Salisbury and Carry On Deryck (4.20) can make a belated winning reappearance for Saeed Bin Suroor. The selection has an excellent record fresh and finished last turf season with an excellent second in a similar contest at Newmarket back in October. Today’s stiff mile should suit and he looks sure to go close with William Carson taking over in the saddle.
Ryan Moore takes the ride on Autumn Leaves (1.50) in the opener with the filly looking to make it third time lucky having finished second on both starts to date. The form of her latest run at Newbury took a knock when the third was subsequently beaten at odds on but she has the form to take a modest race and Moore’s booking is a positive.
Connections must be desperate to get a win out of Spinnaka who has finished runner up in her last four starts – Luca Cumani fits the filly with cheek-pieces for the first time and Moore is booked but she has had more chances than the other principles and is overlooked.
Killay will appreciate the return to seven furlongs and must go close but Jim Crowley keeps faith with Subhaan (3.20) making his turf debut for Roger Varian. The selection might not have got home over a mile at Chelmsford last time and this drop back in trip should suit.
There is a valuable Fillies’ Handicap over a mile-and-a-half and the classic generation have won this corresponding race nine times out of the last ten years. Cribbs Causeway (3.50) looked a non-stayer when fading inside the last two furlongs at Haydock last time over an extra quarter of a mile. That was a hot contest and Josie Gordon takes over on this progressive filly who has only 8st 3lbs to carry.
Of the older horses Pacharana will be popular chasing her hat-trick but a 10lbs rise looks harsh given I’m not sure many of her rivals coped with conditions at Bath last time.
Fergus Gregory is not a conditional jockey I am overly familiar with but he has three career wins over timber to his name and he can claim 10lbs from Sky Of Stars (1.30) who is taken to land a hat-trick for Olly Murphy. The selection was badly interfered with but got up close home to score at Market Rasen last time and the one concern is this evening’s 2m 2f trip might be a couple of furlongs short of his optimum.
Gary Moore’s Hermosa Vaquera won on the flat last month and is a big danger with the yard banging in the winners of late.
Firmount Gent (2.00) was well backed on his first start for Dan Skelton but pulled too hard in his first time headgear and faded tamely. The selection drops back in trip and the headgear is dispensed with this afternoon and the horse has bits of form, which suggest he could be well treated off his current mark.
British raider Morando was given a peach of a ride at Windsor last time but I hope the progressive True Valour (7.10) can land Leopardstown’s feature and keep the prize at home. The selection has little in favour of Sea Wolf on recent Curragh form but he is clearly going the right way and Pat Smullen takes over in the saddle.