Horse Racing: Jumpers To Follow author Paul Ferguson has two more selections for us at York On Thursday. He’s banking on Maqaasid and Sariska on Ladies Day.
York’s Ebor Meeting – Day Three, Thursday
Today is Ladies’ Day at York and I’m banking on a couple of top-class fillies to deliver the goods, the first being the unbeaten Maqaasid (2:15) (5/4 Coral and Sportingbet) in the Group 2 Lowther Stakes.
John Gosden’s filly has to concede a 3lb penalty to her seven rivals and the daughter of Green Desert looks up to the task. A winner on good ground at Sandown on debut, despite virtually falling out of the gate, she followed up under quicker conditions in the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot.
A smooth traveller, she steps up to 6f for the first time and, being closely related to 1,000 Guineas winner Ghanaati, I expect her to improve for the extra furlong.
At Ascot she beat Meow with more in hand than the official margin would suggest and David Wachman’s runner-up had earlier beaten one of today’s rivals, Queen Of Spain, by 7 lengths in a Tipperary maiden.
Queen Of Spain went on to finish 5 lengths off Memory in the Albany Stakes and 5 lengths off Soraaya in the Princess Margaret and Margot Did finished runner-up in both contests.
Michael Bell’s daughter of Exceed And Excel, therefore, brings the best 6f form to the table and she looks the only conceivable danger to the selection. Prior to her brace of Ascot seconds, she easily won a Newbury maiden and a novice contest at Yarmouth.
Margot Did has done nothing wrong to date and will be suited by York’s easier track, having been collared late on the last twice, but Maqaasid is one of the most exciting juveniles seen so far this term and I expect her to complete the hat-trick under Richard Hills.
Last year’s Epsom and Irish Oaks heroine has been in rude health this term, beating Midday here in the Middleton Stakes at the Dante meeting in May, before chasing home Fame And Glory in the Coronation Cup.
At her best with a bit of give underfoot, any overnight rain would aid her cause and she can land what looks a potentially thrilling contest.
Old advisory Midday has been beaten by Sariska on each of the three times they have clashed to date and it is hard to see why the Breeders’ Cup winner will turn the tables this time around.
This season’s dual Oaks winner Snow Fairy meets her elders for the first time and will find life a lot tougher against two high-class four-year-olds.
Oaks third Remember When found life tough when meeting her elders in the Pretty Polly Stakes in June and, as Chinese White (winner of the Pretty Polly) isn’t in the same league as Sariska or Midday, I’m siding with the older fillies on this occasion.
The best single piece of form on offer from this season is Sariska’s Coronation Cup second and a reproduction of that effort ought to see her home in front here.
One final filly worthy of a mention is Oaks runner-up Meeznah who looked massively over-priced when a 25/1 shot earlier in the week. She was just a ¼ length off Snow Fairy at Epsom and reportedly failed to handle the ground at the Curragh in the Irish Oaks.
I also think she was ridden too close to a very strong pace last time and, given a more patient ride by Kieren Fallon, I can see her bouncing back to her best on a track that promises to suit her long, galloping stride, though the value seems to have drained out of her over the past couple of days.
Elsewhere on day three, keep an eye on Wootton Bassett in the opening sales race. Richard Fahey’s unbeaten juvenile has looked good winning both starts to date, but I didn’t expect him to be such a short price against 19 rivals here so would rather watch than play at the odds.
Mark Johnston’s Capponi (2:50) is another to keep tabs on in the Goddard Stakes. An impressive winner over course-and-distance on his penultimate start, he failed to stay 1m2f in a hot Goodwood handicap last time, and could still be on a reasonable mark of 100.
The Medicean colt is completely unexposed compared to most of today’s rivals and two of the past three runnings of this race have gone the way of a three-year-old. But, he has been drawn in stall 20 of 20 and it will take a very good ride from Frankie Dettori to win for there.
Paul Ferguson’s Jumpers To Follow 2010-11 is available hot off the press from the 1st October for just £9.99
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Last year’s selections included:
Hurricane Fly: 3/1 winner of the G1 Rabobank Champion Hurdle
Copper Bleu: 12/1 winner of the Jewson at Cheltenham
Great Endeavour: 12/1 winner of the Festival Plate
Tranguil Sea: 11/2 winner of the Paddy Power Gold Cup
Sizing Europe: 6/1 winner of the Arkle
Weapon’s Amnesty: 10/1 winner of the RSA Chase