The flat season takes a temporary pause for breath this weekend. Four of the five British classics have been run and the focus of many is moving towards Royal Ascot. The £100,000 Saturday 7 still looks as fiendish as ever, with the best seven races of the day featuring in the pool. As ever we’ll be attempting to take it down with our Syndicate ticket, though we’ll be reducing the stake per line to take a wider perm given the turbulent forecast over Friday night into Saturday. If you agree with our selections, you can join our Syndicate.
We selected Flashcard a couple of weeks ago for a similar contest at Goodwood, where he ran with credit on his first start of the campaign. With that under his belt, and the small benefit of being dropped 1lb rather generously by the handicapper, he can make amends here.
Top weight Blown By Wind wouldn’t want the forecast gales to push much rain towards headquarters and, if that is the case, the step up to 7f here can see him reproduce his group level 2yo form.
At the other end of the scale, bottom weight Regular looked like he may benefit from headgear when winning at Leicester last month. He gets the visor here and it should help him be in the mix.
Selections: Flashcard, Regular, Blown By Wind
A large field that could easily have yielded six or seven selections but we’ve gone with four to hopefully see us through.
Melting Dew & Proschema both showed strong form last season but have yet to reproduce in 2019. They have returned to winnable marks and a chance is taken on one of the two to come back to form. Speedo Boy has been mixing hurdles with firm ground at Meydan over the winter.
If you ignore those form figures, then he remains very well handicapped on his last flat run in England in the Cesarewitch. The consistent Theglasgowwarrior is added, having finished one place ahead of Speedo Boy at Newmarket last October.
Selections: Melting Dew, Speedo Boy, Proschema, Theglasgowwarrior
It often pays to stick with sprinters when on a role and it looks like Danzeno could be about to go on one. Out of form last season, he returned to his old ways last weekend when bolting up in a class 3 handicap and returns to listed level here, with a repeat performance looking good enough.
Stake Acclaim should give him the most to do, especially on the forecast slow ground that he relishes. It is hard to see much else getting into this contest, which looks weak for the grade.
Selections: Stake Acclaim, Danzeno
Often a pointer to Royal Ascot, the Brian Yeardley this year revolves around Oh Purple Reign. A fast finisher over 6f at Epsom last week, to many he looked to need a step up to 7f rather than this drop to 5f. I’d be in agreement and have taken Dream Shot to see him off en route to Royal Ascot.
Nothing can be discounted in this trappy contest but, with an inside draw, James Tate’s debut winner can see all-comers off from the front.
Selections: Dream Shot
A competitive renewal with a mixture of up and coming types as well as old favourites who may have seen better days. Safe Voyage definitely fits into the former category, albeit a 6yo himself.
His course and distance listed win over Mankib last time should be franked on this softer ground, a surface on which he has thrived in the past. Sir Dancealot has the potential to outclass this field if he takes to the ground, with mixed results in the past on soft or heavy. A reproduction of his Lockinge run will see him in the frame for certain.
Selections: Safe Voyage, Sir Dancealot
Spanish City is already being talked up as a Wokingham horse for Royal Ascot and he may well need a penalty to be sure of making the cut for that race. His run at Epsom, a track that wouldn’t have suited down in trip, was promising. He can see us through to the last leg.
Louie De Palma has a similar profile, being relatively lightly-raced for his age. His tough nature will make him very suitable for these types of races and he can enhance Clive Cox’s record in these top sprint handicaps.
We’ll take Staxton as a third selection here given the forecast rain. He has won over course and distance before from a higher mark in the past and I believe the handicapper has overreacted to his defeat at York, a course he has always underperformed at, last time in dropping Staxton 2lb.
Selections: Spanish City, Louie De Palma, Staxton
Not exactly an easy finish to the pool, we can however discount a fair few and focus on those who will handle the soft conditions.
The Middleham Park Racing owned pair of Admiralty and Cold Stare fit that bill, though come into this race with differing profiles. Admiralty won on his debut for Roger Fell at Thirsk recently, whereas Cold Stare will be looking for the ground and first time tongue tie to revitalise him.
Aeolus is another who is dropping to a winnable handicap mark and hinted that his turn won’t be far away when running just in behind Admiralty in the aforementioned Thirsk contest. The softer the better for this mudlark.
Selections: Admiralty, Aeolus, Cold Stare