HORSE RACING: Leading pundit Charlie McCann gives his latest weekend racing preview. This week the former Talksport tipster picks out potential winners at Haydock, Newmarket, Stratford and Uttoxeter.
High Standing was a most progressive sprinter last year and Ryan Moore, who takes the ride again this afternoon, has won three of the four previous times he has got his leg across the William Haggas trained five-year-old. He might just need the run, however, in Haydock’s opener and a chance is taken with the Richard Fahey filly Red Blossom (2.00 Hay) who looked one to follow on fast ground when making all at York on her reappearance.
The Dandy-Nicholls trained Inxile will have his supporters and will make sure the selection does not get her own way up front. Indeed if the forecast light rain for the track becomes more persistent during the day he would be the recommendation given the filly needs fast ground to be seen at her best.
If Barshiba (3.00) ever learnt to settle she would be some animal but she stayed on too strongly for Duncan on her reappearance at Ascot and it is no surprise to see Hayley Turner keep the ride in the Pinnacle Stakes. She doesn’t have the best of draws in eight and the hope is that she doesn’t get embroiled in a battle for the lead with Les Fazzani but she is the class act in the field. Sir Michael Stoute’s Rosika is open to more improvement this term and can follow the selection home.
Lord Shanakill (3.30) finished third on his first start for Henry Cecil in a sub-standard Group 1 Lockinge Stakes last time and the drop back in trip to 7f will suit in the John Of Gaunt Stakes. Last year’s winner Main Aim ran a cracker on his reappearance and significant rain would boost the chances of the five-year-old who really ought to have been awarded the July Cup in the Stewards’ Room last year. His draw is a negative unless the rains arrive and he may have to give best to the Cecil runner on this occasion.
At Newmarket the progressive Alrasm (2.15) receives 3lbs from Godolphin’s Ameer and can maintain his upward curve although he wouldn’t want the ground too fast. He has the beating of the filly Miss Starlight who was his conqueror at Leicester previously on today’s revised terms and the hope is that jockey Richard Hills can dictate things from the front.
Pastoral Player (3.20) has been raised 3lbs for his second here at the Craven meeting and he looks to have been laid out for today’s valuable 6f sprint 20-runner handicap. William Buick takes over from the suspended Steve Drowne and Pastoral Player is not an easy ride having been free to post and difficult to settle during the early part of the race last time. If Buick can get the gelding to be more amenable to restraint he would have a leading chance with Richard Hannon’s Gene Autry one of a number of dangers.
There is a cracking jumps card at Stratford this evening with Roulez Cool (7.55) looking to get his career back on track after a desperate run in the Cheltenham Foxhunters back in March. A winner of a point-to-point since the Festival he is flattered by his current handicap mark of 148 but if Sam Waley-Cohen can get him jumping he will take the world of beating.
They also race at Newmarket tomorrow and Swiss Dream created a very favourable impression on debut and is taken to overcome likely favourite Bunce in the 2.55. Plume is the nap of the weekend having looked like a non-stayer over 7f at Newbury last time. She has been raised a couple of pounds for that effort but the hope is that run will have taken the freshness out of her and Champion jockey Ryan Moore takes over. The smell of burnt fingers was wafting all over Berkshire after her Newbury defeat but she is given another chance to build on the promise of her Haydock juvenile success.
Rose Street (2.10) was just outsprinted at Musselburgh on her hurdles debut and I will be disappointed if she can’t go one better in the Uttoxeter opener tomorrow. Rated 90+ on the flat she has the make and shape of a jumper and it is possible that she could make up into a very decent mare possible over fences in the longer term.