It’s about the sprinters at Haydock where Ten Sovereigns looks to put a disappointing run in the Nunthorpe behind him. Also at Haydock Miss O Connor bids to maintain her unbeaten record in the Superior Mile. The Caufield Cup winner Best Solution is the star attraction at Kempton where the Melbourne Cup will be his long-term target.
Better Odds Handicap
This three-year-old only handicap is packed with potentially nice types, none more so than First In Line who came up just short at his first crack at the distance in the Melrose. There is more to come and he’s a nice type.
Moon King has turned inside out since being gelded and has won all five starts, resulting in a 30-pound rise in the handicap. Life will be tougher in this grade but who knows where his limit lies?
The regally bred Calculation has predictably improved with time and distance. The Queen’s gelding has won his last three starts and given how his dam Estimate improved he could be a black-type horse in time.
I could pick a host of other contenders but I like the profile of Alan King’s Trueshan who’s won both starts this season and is open to any amount of improvement.
Quite a hot little handicap with numerous in-form horses going to war. The late-blooming Miss O Connor has won all three career starts to date and was an easy winner of the Dick Hern Stakes on her last start. She has leading claims on her first start in Group company.
Raising Sand has contested heritage handicaps on all three starts this season and duly got his head in front at Ascot in July. The big field handicap experience will stand to him and can’t be ruled out.
Sharja Bridge won the Doncaster Mile on season debut this season and after two fair efforts in the Lockinge and Queen Anne, he’s been gelded and drops in class. Both those factors should bring him into the thick of this race.
Selection: Miss O Connor
Old Borough Cup
Top-weight Corelli got two-pounds for a close-up run at York and although he should be in the mix, I think there are others that are better treated in here.
Alright Sunshine has the assistance of the title-chasing Danny Tudhope and has looked good in winning his last two starts. He needs to improve again to maintain the winning thread but I couldn’t write him off.
I have a particular soft spot for Melting Dew who once again has Ryan Moore in the saddle. He was second at off six-pounds higher at his only try at this trip and is my idea of the winner.
Selection: Melting Dew
There has been a big shakeup in the market with leading fancies Advertise and Ten Sovereigns both being late withdrawals.
Khaadem had plenty ground to find with Advertise on their Commonwealth Cup meeting but he was a runaway winner of the Steward’s Cup when last seen. He seems to be a sprinter on the improve and should be involved.
One of the more interesting runners in the field is the German-raider Waldpfad who looked good in the Hackwood but came up just short in the Golden Peitsche back on home soil. He’s not one to be underestimated and could sneak a place.
The recent rain and non-runners bring the three-year-old Hello Youmzain into the reckoning. He was a good winner of a Group 2 in France last season on soft going and ran well in the Commonwealth Cup when last seen.
Aidan O’Brien now relies on Fairyland and So Perfect with the slight preference being So Perfect. She’s been running well all season in top-level races and could reach the frame.
Selection: Waldfad – E/W
The well-travelled Best Solution is having his first start since finishing midfield in last season’s Melbourne Cup. Prior to that run, he’d won the Caufield Cup and there is no doubt the Melbourne Cup is the main target this year. He’s got a decent record when fresh and should run well.
Hugo Palmer’s Mootasadir was chasing a five-timer going into the Yorkshire Cup but was firmly put in his place by the imperious Stradivarius. Since that defeat he’s looked slightly regressive and I’m willing to take him on.
The very lightly raced Royal Line has only had one run since landing last season;’s November handicap and although he needs to prove himself at this level there is more improvement to come from John Gosden’s inmate.
Selection: Best Solution
Motawaj has to give weight away to all his rivals but looked very good in two starts prior to losing his action at HQ last month. A line can be put through that run and he should go close.
Mick Appleby and The Horsewatchers do a fantastic job when picking up horses from other yards and Kasbaan seems to be another one given how he won on debut for the yard at Kempton. He gets in off the same mark here and the extra distance looks like it’ll suit.
Kuwait Currency got his head in front for the first time since his two-year-old days last time out and with that confidence-boosting run under his belt, he may be able to string back to back victories together.
Another three-year-old with claims is Archie Watson’s Felix The Poet. The Lope De Vega gelding hasn’t really progressed this season but has shown ability and may improve.
Ripp Orf has been very consistent without getting his head in front this season and with the yard in better form coupled with his reduced mark he holds leading claims.
Roger Varian’s Spanish City won a small runner contest last time out and with that confidence-boosting run behind him, he should run well. He’s only got a two-pound rise for that victory so back to back victories could be on the cards.
The three-year-old Pogo landed a valuable handicap at York late last month but got a six-pound rise for that victory which may be enough to anchor him now.
At the foot of the weights lies Breanski who was a course and distance winner off 80 a few starts back and won again at Donny last month. He’s a horse in good form and could go close.
Selection: Ripp Orf
This is a classy heritage handicap for three-year-olds with the thrice-raced Cirque Royal one of the more intriguing runners. He was only just pipped on debut and has won very well on both starts since being stepped up in distance. An opening mark of 96 looks fair and he looks like a proper group horse in a handicap.
Another towards the top of the betting is Faylaq who’s out of the Arc winning Danedream. He’s shown improvement over this trip but was a beaten favourite last time and needs to find some further improvement to feature.
Apparate has yet to win over this far but I think he does get the trip. He seems to be progressing with racing but may be outclassed here.
Cap Francais could be the overlooked horse in here. Ed Walker’s charge was a smart two-year-old and although he hasn’t won this season he’s run in some top-class races. He’s been gelded since his last run which may bring about improvement and could be the each-way interest in the race.
Selection: Cap Francais – E/W