Aidan O’Brien’s Ten Sovereigns is the new 5/2 favourite for the 2000 Guineas with BetVictor following the news over the weekend that antepost market leader Too Darn Hot would miss the race through injury and be aimed at the Irish equivalent.
Unbeaten Ten Sovereigns is the fastest horse in the race but is unproven beyond 6f and I have always considered him a Commonwealth Cup horse (6f) for which he is priced at 4/1 at BetVictor.
There is a good card at Yarmouth this afternoon and I am looking forward to the lightly-raced reappearance of Hamlul (3.05) who didn’t appear to stay 12f when a beaten favourite here when last seen in September. Sir Michael Stoute has made a decent start to the season and this son of Frankel is taken to land what should be a most informative contest. Martyn Meade’s Monoxide is another lightly-raced 4-y-old who should have more to offer this term.
King Of Comedy (3.35) must give 7lbs to some well-bred newcomers in the Novice stakes over a Mile for John Gosden and Frankie Dettori. This Kingman colt created a favourable impression when scoring at Sandown on debut before he failed to act on soft ground when a beaten odds-on favourite at Redcar last time. Of the newcomers, Dr Jekyll – from the last crop of Scat Daddy – would be worth noting if the market spoke in his favour.
There is a terrific Grade 3 Mares Chase at Fairyhouse this afternoon and Gordon Elliot’s Barra (3.10) is taken to maintain her unbeaten record over fences having scored at Kilbeggan back in July. The selection has run well fresh in the past and receives weight – 8lbs from Camelia De Cotte and 3lbs from Pravalaguna – from the Willie Mullins contenders who look the main dangers.
In the valuable 3m Handicap Hurdle I hope to see a big run from Joseph O’Brien’s Thermistocles (4.10) who was beaten less than 10L in the Pertemps Final at the Cheltenham Festival last month. The selection is fitted with cheek-pieces this afternoon for the first time. Note O’Brien has a strong hand with The Gunner Murphy – another in first-time cheek-pieces – another major contender for the yard.
Paul Webber has his string in top form and at Wolverhampton this evening I hope to see a big run from Kerrera (6.10) in the 1m 6f Handicap. The selection is well handicapped on the best of her form and David Probert is a positive booking.
Young Wolf (2.55) found the drop to the minimum trip against him at Catterick last time and he steps up to 3m for the first time on his handicap debut at Ludlow for Jonjo O’Neill. The selection is a half-brother of useful staying chaser Lake View Lad and the hope is that today’s sharp three miles will see him in a better light.
Hey Bill (3.25) won the valuable 3m handicap Chase on the card 12 months ago from a 9lbs higher mark and he is taken to follow up for Graeme McPherson whose string having been running well without hitting the target in recent days.
Alnasherat (6.25) was sent off favourite for a Newmarket Novice Stakes won by subsequent Group 1 winner Quorto back in June and he returns to 6f having failed to get home over Newcastle’s stiff 7f on his reappearance. He makes his handicap debut from a feasible mark this evening and has a good draw in stall two. Richard Kingscote takes the ride for Sir Michael Stoute.