Today’s Preview with Rory Delargy – 23rd September 2014
Rory Delargy previews no less than seven races for Racing FM today – you can hear his thoughts and all of the action live through the Listen Live button above or on the App…
Most eyes will be on Kingsgate Native, who is having his first ever run outside pattern company here. That’s quite a career, which saw him make his racecourse debut in the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot, and he won the G1 Nunthorpe on just his third outing. He’s not the force of old having failed to fire in an abortive stud career, but many will expect this drop in class to enable him to end a frustrating run. I hate to spoil a good party, but I’m not sure he represents a solid bet given how poorly he fared in listed company at Doncaster recently, and I’m prepared to take him on with Noble Storm, who is admittedly hard to catch right these days, but has ideal conditions, namely a rails draw and fast ground underfoot. He’s at his best when dominating, and will probably throw in the towel if he doesn’t lead here, but I reckon he should get to the elbow in front, and is capable of holding the finishers if allowed to dictate. He’s an all-or-nothing character, and price is important given the possibility of an off-day, but the 8/1 on offer is more than acceptable.
A few old friends here, and Rocket Ronnie remains on the radar, but has again been handed a moderate draw, so is passed over. City Ground runs off the same mark as when winning last time, but that came in an uncompetitive affair in the Channel Islands, and he’s a tad vulnerable back in a proper 0-70, albeit with his recent course form making him look one of the safer options. He shouldn’t be far away, but one who appeals as becoming well handicapped now is Dolphin Rock, who has shaped quite well in much better company on his last two starts, and has quickly been eased in the weights by the assessor. His latest run saw him not beaten far in a 0-80 at York where he faded only in the last 100 yards, and he will appreciate this sharper test almost as much as the drop in grade. Jim Crowley is an eye-catching booking for the in-form Brian Ellison yard.
Division 1 of this amateur event is a pretty dire affair, and only a handful can be considered. Amazing Blue Sky will be favourite, and has the most appealing overall profile; Ruth Carr’s stable is showing signs of a revival after a generally quiet few weeks, with Dream Sika and Tanawar both scoring for her at the weekend. He rates a strong mention despite a wide draw, but at the odds I marginally prefer Yorksters Prince, who will get ample assistance from the promising Kaine Wood. Runner-up from a mark of 57 at Redcar in the summer, he bounced back to form at Wolverhampton last time, and has slipped a couple of pounds further in the weights. His best efforts have come at Redcar, but he wasn’t discredited over a trip too far here on his penultimate start, and should be placed at worst.
Definitely the stronger of the two divisions, and Wunderkind will dominate the market given that Sir Mark Prescott has booked Simon Walker for the ride. He was well held on handicap debut, but that pattern is not unusual for the trainer these days as he builds a profile of improvement with his 3-y-o handicappers. It’s possible he can rout today’s rivals off a lowly rating, but his presence means that several with much better recent form are available to back at bigger odds, and the one who interests me is Botanist, who has a nasty draw out wide, but is of interest on other fronts, notably the return to a switchback track on fast ground. His best efforts for Shaun Harris have come at Leicester, and he should be right at home at the Westwood on that evidence. He’s also got more natural speed than most of his rivals, so it’s to be hoped he can offset his wide pitch by getting into a prominent pitch in the early stages. Aiden Blakemore has plenty of experience as an apprentice for Tony Carroll, and it’s interesting to see him switching to the amateur ranks now that he’s joined the Shaun Harris operation. The extended 9f trip is definitely a concern, as most of his racing is done at up to 1m, but if he stays the longer trip, he is entitled to go very close.
The result of the Legends’ race at Doncaster earlier in the month has been largely ignored by the handicapper, with winner Bob up just 1 lb and non-staying fourth Tiger Jim remaining on a mark of 70. It’s my view, however, that the race represents a strong formline, and I’m inclined to back my judgement. I expect that pair to run well again, although this 7f trip will suit Jim Goldie’s charge much better than Bob, whose wins have all come over 1m. Tiger Jim remains open to further progress after just a handful of turf runs, so looks a solid each-way selection.
Another race which sees a lightly raced Prescott runner dominate the market, but as I mentioned earlier, those returning from a break to make their handicap debuts from the yard may well be leniently treated, but often need the outing given the yard’s modus operandi. On that basis, it would be no surprise to see High Secret a little ring-rusty, and he helps make the market for Wor Lass, who ran the race of her life behind a subsequent winner here last time, and simply cannot be kicked out of the frame in a race with little depth.
A couple of old favourites clash here in the shape of Djinni and Dutch Lady, but the former has run out of chances with me, and I much prefer the claims of John Holt’s game filly, who is no world beater, but always tries her heart out, and remains on the same mark as when runner-up at Thirsk last time. I’d like to see her press on early, as her main weakness is a lack of tactical pace, and in a race where most will be deployed for a turn of foot, her best chance lies in Paddy Mathers taking her rivals out of their comfort zones by being aggressive. She doesn’t quicken, but can sustain her effort longer than most of her ability, and this will be a test of her rider’s tactical nous.
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