We did not have an ideal beginning to the week at York, with Stone of Destiny never able to lay up with the early pace, Vitalogy a mixture of too green and not good enough, and Regal Reality and Hard Nut both finishing fifth having posted good efforts without being quite good enough.
The day’s big prize went to Japan, who was the winner of a tremendous battle with Crystal Ocean in a Juddmonte International that raised as many questions as it answered. It was a huge victory for Aidan O’Brien and particularly Ryan Moore, who had been under the spotlight for several rides that didn’t work out this summer. This was Moore at his very best, finding everything to nose out Crystal Ocean on the line, although who knows what would have been had Elarqam managed to get a clear run, or if King of Comedy had managed to settle early.
Logician, an impressive winner of the Great Voltigeur earlier in the afternoon, is surely going to take the beating on Town Moor in the St Leger, and now we head into day two for more competitive contests.
If you watch one race today, make it the Darley Yorkshire Oaks (3.35). Now we have no bet in the race, but this could be the second last time we see the mighty Enable on the track – and if you’re a British racegoer it’s possibly the last time she’ll be on these shores. She faces her old rival Magical, a top class horse in her own right here, and she should have enough to beat her once again based on their Eclipse meeting, when Enable came out on top.
Whether it is another close battle or a right royal romp, the sight of her on a British racecourse is to be enjoyed. Lah Ti Dar and South Sea Pearl make up the numbers but this should be a match.
In the Lowther Stakes (1.55), Liberty Beach has earned favouritism after a pair of impressive wins in the Dragon and Molecomb Stakes, but we’re yet to see her over this six-furlong trip and she faces a good test in the shape of Princess Margaret Stakes winner Under The Stars, who was strong at the finish there. Throw the taking Newbury winner Wejdan into the mix, along with Irish raiders Celtic Beauty and Precious Moments, and this becomes a race in which it might be better to just watch.
The Goffs UK Premier Yearling Stakes (2.25) has 22 runners, all going for a bigger winning prize than the Lowther – nice work if you can get it. Show Me Show Me will be a popular favourite having been beaten just a head in the Super Sprint before finishing third in the Molecomb Stakes. That’s a good standard of form but it’s a slight worry that those two runs came over five furlongs and her one effort over six saw her beaten pretty comprehensively in a four runner conditions race. Maybe a big field is what she wants, but she still might be worth taking on.
A large amount of this field haven’t achieved a great deal and Rayong might find this drop in class to his liking. He was bashed out of contention in the Windsor Castle and then ran a decent race when third in the Dragon Stakes which was won impressively by Liberty Beach. He was a bit tapped for toe early there but came home nicely and the form’s been franked by not only Liberty Beach but the second Dream Shot, and the fourth Al Raya, a winner since who was runner up in Listed company afterwards.
The Prix Robert Papin proved to be too much for Rayong but this should be more his level and a reproduction of his Sandown run over a course and distance that should suit more would give him a chance against all of this field.
The biggest threat could be Mums Tipple, who gamely made all on her Ascot debut, which has been boosted by wins for the fourth and fifth. Fleeting Prince drops down from the Richmond Stakes here and was impressive in winning at Windsor whilst Love Destiny’s stamina could play a part.
The Clipper Logistics Handicap (3.00) looks to be the betting race of the day. Kynren will be hard to keep out of the places, but two horses that jump out came from Goodwood’s Golden Mile. Baltic Baron (fifth) took the same route that Beat Le Bon (winner of Golden Mile) took that day but was blocked in his run at a crucial moment before finishing with a rattle. With a clear passage today, even from a wider draw than ideal, he can go close. The other is Vale of Kent, the Bunbury Cup winner who was second at Goodwood from stall 17. That was no mean feat, but going from the front from stall 20 here might be even harder.
The market looks to have the Galtres Stakes (4.15) about right with Irish Oaks’ fourth Search For A Song taking on Ballydoyle raider Frosty, Frankellina and John Gosden’s Hameem in a trappy contest on paper. You could make a case for any one of 10 winning the British Stallion Studs EBF Fillies’ Handicap (4.50), and all at each/way prices, but it might be better to just watch.
PROFIT/LOSS SINCE JAN 1 2017: PROFIT 219.97 points
(excluding Ryan Sidebottom Ashes bet (c/f double and Ashes preview outright), Political Bets posted 8 August, Premier League ante-post, Ryan Third Test, Blue Horseshoe TOUR)