Earlier in the week we highlighted the chance of Prejudice (2.10) in the opening 12f Handicap at Haydock Park this afternoon suggesting the 6/1 available with BetVictor was too big a price. Only six go to post for today’s prize and the brother to Group 1 winner Postponed is now just 7/4 even though he finished behind two of today’s opponents – Alhaazm and Gantier – at Newbury on his reappearance.
The selection has a pull in the weights with that pair and he is entitled to come on for his seasonal debut. He represents the inform yard of David Simcock, is from a family that improve with age and is bred to appreciate the forecast soft ground. I will be disappointed if he doesn’t run a very big race. I feel Andrew Balding’s Paradise Boy – 8/1 with BetVictor – might be the biggest danger.
We also highlighted the 2/1 available midweek with BetVictor about True Self (2.45) and that price has also contracted with the Irish raider now 5/4 with BetVictor to add today’s Group 3 to a hat-trick of listed successes. The mare looks highly adaptable regarding underfoot conditions and the prospect of plenty of cut in the ground is not a concern. Jockey Colin Keane has ridden the mare to win her last four starts and he comes across the Irish Sea for just the one ride this afternoon.
John Quinn’s Safe Voyage (3.35) has won three of his last four starts including both runs over C&D this term on soft and good to soft ground including when upped to listed class last time. The ground has again come in his favour today and this progressive 6-year-old – 7/2 with BetVictor – can maintain his upward curve in the Gp 3 John Of Gaunt Stakes.
In the opener at Newmarket I am prepared to give Awe (2.10) another chance, having looked ill at ease in the opening couple of furlongs over a mile at Haydock last time. I am slightly surprised that he drops back in distance this afternoon to 7f, but this stiff track will suit and, if more amenable to restraint, he can run a big race with Tom Marquand taking over in the saddle. The selection is 9/2 with BetVictor.
I am convinced there is more to come from Spirit Ridge (2.45) this season although I would have, ideally, wanted to see a bit more rain at Newmarket for Amanda Perrett’s son of Nathaniel who steps up in trip to 1m 6f for the first time this afternoon. The each way selection is 6/1 at BetVictor. One note of caution is the form of the stable who have gone over 7 weeks and 50 runners without a winner.
Great Bear (5.05) was entered in the Haydock opener but connections have decided to race at HQ and I feel he might be fairly treated from an opening mark of 81 having won two of his three career starts.
I remember Roger Charlton training Baron Ferdinand in these famous Rothschild silks to win the Magnet Cup at York all those years ago and I will always have a soft spot for the colours. I believe his opening mark is very fair. Gravistas will appreciate this stiffer track and the booking of Ryan Moore suggests connections expect a big run.