HORSE RACING: With leading pundit Charlie McCann. This week the former Talksport tipster picks out potential winners at Ascot, Chester and York, including the John Smiths’ Cup.
Ascot’s opener looks an absolute cracker with two of my personal horses to follow in opposition. Bohemian Melody chased too strong a pace at Sandown last time and did well in the circumstances to finish runner up on his first start on turf. He has been raised 4lbs for that run and preference is given to Man Of Action (1.45) who is chasing a hat-trick having won both starts so far this year for Newmarket trainer John Gosden.
The selection was balloted out of the 32Red Trophy at Newmarket yesterday
where he would have been taking on battle-hardened handicappers for the first time. Back against his own age group he looks sure to take the beating with fast ground no concern.
Mabuya refused to settle and failed to get home over 12f at Salisbury last time. Dropped back in trip a couple of furlongs he remains one to consider but Dubai Bounty (3.30) is lightly-raced and open to considerable improvement having only raced once on turf where she ran very well in defeat behind last week’s Haydock disappointment Berling.
Sarasota Sunshine (4.05) was no match for Man Of Action on her penultimate start but went one better last time and with the Noseda horses running out of their skin at present she can follow up in the fillies’ handicap. Frankie Dettori was on board when the filly landed a Kempton handicap back in August and the Italian takes over for the first time since later today.
The big betting race of the day is the John Smith’s Cup from York. Rebel Soldier would have been a confident selection, even in a 20-runner handicap, but connections have decided to wait for Glorious Goodwood later in the month. Forte Dei Marmi (3.05) disappointed on his previous visit to the Knavesmire but he bolted up in the Zetland Gold Cup at Redcar last time and can reverse C&D form with Imposing who looked a shade unlucky not to win at Royal Ascot last time. I know there are many in the Stoute camp who feel it was the short straight at Ascot that was the reason for Imposing’s defeat last time and returning to York will see him in a much better light but I marginally favour Forte Dei Marmi with Fallon in the saddle.
Capponi is clearly going the right way and will be tough to beat in the mile handicap but Mac’s Power (2.30) is recommended for James Fanshawe and Ryan Moore. The four-year-old was backed as if defeat was out of the question at Doncaster over 7f last time; the step back up in trip is no concern although he wouldn’t want the ground lightning fast.
There will be a massive crowd at Chester and Borderlescott (3.20) can follow up his 2009 victory in the City Wall Stakes. Tom Queally has been booked for this dual Group 1 winner and this looks a perfect opportunity for the Robin Bastiman’s eight-year-old to get his head in front ahead of his bid for a third successive win in the Nunthorpe Stakes at York next month.
Rose Street has four entries over the weekend including three at Perth on Sunday and I am convinced there is much more to come from this lightly-raced mare. She tended to jump out to the right at Uttoxeter last time and both her wins on the flat were gained going right-handed. Perth should suit down to the ground but and the 2m 4f novices’ hurdle looks ideal even with Gordon Elliot sending over his usual raiding party from Ireland.