Aktabantay primed to give Palmer first Group-race success
I highly doubt that there’s another Kingman waiting in the wings to land this year’s running of the Solario but it’s an interesting affair nonetheless and worthy of a look! Only six juveniles are set to line up in the 7f Group 3 and the most interesting horse is Future Empire for Saeed Bin Suroor.
The reason for that is because he only has one start to his name and literally could be anything on the back of what was an encouraging debut success at Newmarket last month. That form looks solid as well with the second, third and fourth placed animals winning maidens next time out.
Future Empire had them well beaten off despite lacking in any previous on-course efforts and the overriding feeling after the run is that there’s definitely a lot of untapped potential in the colt, whilst he’s also bound to learn from the experience of getting onto the racecourse for the first time.
My worry, and the most off-putting aspect, is that he handled the quick ground with aplomb on that occasion and it looks as if he’ll be facing good-to-soft at best this time around. He could handle it for all I know but it’s far from a definite and, at 2/1, I wouldn’t be too keen to have him on my side.
Aktabantay, bidding to give the in-form Hugo Palmer a first Group-race success on these shores, is the one that I do like and although not half as mysterious as his main market rival, he would appear to be the sounder bet of the two for those of us who trust the form book and figures. With an official rating of 104, he certainly sets a good standard in a race of this nature and there was plenty to like about his Group 2 Superlative Stakes second at Newmarket last time out. There, he found Estidhkaar far too strong but that’s no surprise as the Richard Hannon colt would appear to be a top-level performer in the making. Aktabantay faces nothing of the sort this time around and will go close if the ground isn’t brutal.
Selection for the Solario Stakes (2:40 Sandown, 30th August):
Aktabantay – 2/1, available generally.
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