Horse Racing: With leading pundit Charlie McCann. This week the former Talksport tipster picks out potential winners at Goodwood, Newmarket and Royal Windsor.
Goodwood’s Thursday evening card was abandoned due to waterlogging but today’s meeting goes ahead and there may be a potential star on show.
The Gp 3 Prestige Stakes has been won by some decent fillies’ in recent years and all eyes will be on the second start of Richard Hannon’s Date With Destiny who is the sole progeny of ill-fated 2006 2000 Guineas winner George Washington whose career at stud was short-lived because of fertility problems.
Date With Destiny showed she had inherited much of her father’s natural brilliance when landing a good Newbury maiden on debut. That run was on fast ground, however, and ground conditions are likely to be at least soft at the Sussex track and there must be a concern about Date With Destiny being as effective under such conditions.
Runner up in a listed race at Sandown last time Cochambaba has the best form in the book, but few juveniles have created a more favourable impression with me than Theyskens’ Theory this season (3.40) and she is a confident selection.
In need of the experience at Newmarket on debut she was a different proposition back on the July course last time when she routed the opposition up to 7f in a time that compared favourably with older horses earlier in the afternoon. The runner up Blue Bunting has subsequently landed a mile maiden (watch out for 2nd Midnight Caller at Leicester next week) at Doncaster and if Theyskens’ Theory is to line up in the Fillies’ Mile at Ascot next month she must go close although she, too, is unproven on soft or heavy ground.
The feature race of the day is the Gp 2 Celebration Mile which has attracted just the four runners. Main Aim has never won beyond 7f but is proven on soft ground and looked ready for a step back up in trip when finishing strongly in a better contest at the Sussex track last time. He is likely to start favourite given his ability to handle the ground but I am keen on Poet’s Voice (3.05) who was a leading juvenile last term but like so many Godolphin three-year-olds lost his way in the first half of the season.
Ridden with more restraint at Salisbury last time Poet’s Voice was only beaten a nose and that form has already been franked by stablemate Secrecy’s win at Kempton during the week. The father of Poet’s Voice Dubawi was well-served by soft ground and Frankie Dettori takes over this afternoon.
I have often pondered what shall we do with a Drunken Sailor (2.30) and the answer on this occasion is to try and win the listed March Stakes. The selection looked all over the winner when taking it up two furlongs from home last time but was run out of it close home. Jockey Kieren Fallon is likely to leave his challenge much later this time although Wajir looks a big danger given he has been running on unsuitably fast ground so far this year.
Bated Breath (3.20) would be something to bet on if the ground dried out appreciably at Newmarket given he looked an unlucky loser over C&D last time and is taken to return to winning ways in the appropriately named Hopeful Stakes.
Richard Hughes takes over from Jimmy Fortune on the recommendation and many believed at the time it was pilot error that was the key to Bated Breath losing his unbeaten record at Newmarket given Fortune went left to challenge at the furlong pole when the action was unfolding to his right.
Royal Windsor stage their final evening fixture of the season and also their feature race of the whole season the Gp 3 Winter Hill Stakes. Only five go to post but all have realistic chances including the impressive Haydock winner Hot Prospect (6.40) who looked a totally different proposition encountering soft ground for the first time earlier in the month. In receipt of weight from his elders Hot Prospect represents the in-form Michael Jarvis and as there is plenty of juice in the ground he ought to take the beating.
As a son of Sadler’s Wells Bullet Train (6.10) is bred to improve racing on a slow surface for the first time, and it is interesting that the great Henry Cecil has given him a ten-week break since Royal Ascot. Lightly-raced this represents a drop in class and if as effective on soft ground he should take the beating.
Morache Music (5.40) is held in some regard by trainer Peter Makin and October’s valuable two-year-old Trophy at Redcar is reportedly his end of season target. Connections must want to get some more experience into the colt and under normal circumstances his draw in stall 11 would be considered ideal but on soft ground don’t be surprised if the horses meander over to the far rail.