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Schedule – November 2015

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Ante-Post Value – The Nunthorpe

Going to take a look at the Group 1 Nunthorpe now, run over 5f at York. We will have to wait a couple of weeks for this column to play out but there aren’t many suitable ante-post races at for the moment so it’ll have to do! The admirable and top-class Sole Power dominates most of the market and it’s borderline impossible to see him out of the frame in the race he made his name in when sent off as the 100/1 outsider four years ago.


Now a 7-year-old, Eddie Lynam’s gelding would appear to be right at the top of his game and comes here on the back of a second win in the King’s Stand at Royal Ascot. That’s obviously solid form compared to a lot of these, but isn’t mind-blowing when you consider that Stepper Point, a 50/1 shot, filled second position and the market is overrating his superiority versus this lot. There is little doubt that he’s the one to beat on all known form and I don’t ignore him lightly, but taking 3/1 about him in a field like this doesn’t appeal and I’ll hunt for some each-way value elsewhere.


Anthem Alexander is the current second-favourite and another representing the Lynam operation. I’m sure that connections could be tempted as she’s a juvenile and would only have to carry 7st 12lbs, but she’d have plenty to prove if lining up and is more likely to run on Sunday in the Phoenix around the Curragh. Shea Shea would be respected if turning up but was well behind Sole Power at Royal Ascot and that’s a worry. Hot Streak might want a stiff test over this trip than York provides (rain would help), whilst Take Cover has another few lbs of improvement to find (will not get things his own way up top either, as is ideal). All are respected as talented sprinters but aren’t my idea of a bet at the moment.


I’m going to keep two on side, the first of which is Undrafted for Wesley Ward. The 4-year-old American raider isn’t easy to get to grips with and my knowledge of form from that far overseas wouldn’t be the best, but he ran a cracking race on his first British start when taking in the July Cup at Newmarket four weeks ago. He finished in fourth place there, just two-lengths behind the brilliant Slade Power and it’s an effort that warrants a lot of respect. The question now is how he’ll handle the drop in trip to 5f at a track like this, but they’re sure to go a proper gallop up top and if there’s an interesting one at a price who could be flashing home from off the speed, it’s him. Quicker ground would do no harm either.


Rangali, a French trained 3-year-old colt, is the other that I’ll keep on side at the prices and in terms of a minimum trip sprinter, he’s completely unexposed and could be anything. He won over 7f as a juvenile for owner/trainer Henri-Alex Pantall and looked a useful sort when winning a 6f Listed race on his penultimate start in May (very soft ground), but was a lot better next and last time out when dropped to this trip on good ground at Chantilly. There, he readily defeated last year’s short-neck Abbaye runner-up Catcall by 2-lengths and had Stepper Point further behind in fourth place than Sole Power did in the King’s Stand. Of course, you can’t take that literally in sprints and the weights won’t be as favourable on this occasion, but 20/1 looks overpriced to me and he’s a definite “could be anything” sort. If he turns up, a big run could be on the cards and an each-way punt is worthwhile.


Selections for the Nunthorpe Stakes (3:40 York; 22nd August):


  • Undrafted – each-way at 20/1 with Coral.


  • Rangali – each-way at 20/1 generally.


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