His season started on a bright note, mopping up two valuable events on Lingfield’s all-weather, and Dubawi Gold surpassed himself in the Qipco 200 Guineas, splitting Frankel and Native Khan. However, things started to unravel in the Irish 2000 Guineas, with Richard Hughes heavily criticised for allowing Roderic O’Connor far too much rope. After only a fair effort behind Frankel in the St James’s Palace Stakes, hopes were high of a return to winning ways in the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury. Again, the cards never fell right for Richard Hannon’s colt as he took a right old buffeting through the final two furlongs, ultimately proving absolutely no match for impressive Excelebration. Dubawi Gold has been on the go for quite a while now, but this assignment looks within his compass if those earlier exertions haven’t taken their toll.
The Hannon/Hughes axis could be back in the winner’s circle courtesy of MISS ASTRAGAL (4.25) in a weak mile maiden. The Oratario filly has shown promise in four runs in tougher company and looks ready for this stiffer stamina test.
At Newmarket, Alan Swinbank is striking while the iron is hot with I’M SUPER TOO (4.35). A comfortable winner at Hamilton on Monday, I’m Super Too again has the services of apprentice Garry Whillans, whose 5lb claim almost negates the fixed penalty. He probably got to the front too soon at Hamilton, with I’m Super Too idling in front, but will get a longer tow into the race against stronger rivals.
My best bet at Beverley is LA BACOUETTEUSE (5.15), who is chasing a hat-trick for rookie trainer Iain Jardine. The former northern jumps jockey, who is based near Hawick in the Borders, struck quickly with La Bacouetteuse at Newcastle at the beginning of the month, beating subsequent winner Piper’s Song over 10 furlongs. His gelding followed up at Carlisle on Thursday, quickening up well in the closing stages over a longer trip, and the uphill finish will suit this stout stayer.