• Sun 22 Oct, 2017
  • 20:33 BST
  • 16:33 EST (BST-4)
  • 22:33 CEST (BST+2)

Charlie’s Weekend Whispers

Former Talksport man Charlie McCann has a good look at Saturday’s Haydock card and a couple at Kempton. View selections below

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The Gp 1 Betfred Sprint Cup is Saturday’s highlight in Britain and Dream Ahead (3.35) is on something of a retrieval mission after a modest effort in the Prix Maurice Geest at Deauville last month.

He had been most impressive on ground considered faster than ideal in the July Cup on his previous start and there is the distinct possibility he may have been flattered by the run, given there is every chance he was racing on a faster strip of ground near the stand rail. He would prefer softer ground to what he is likely to meet at Haydock given there is little rain forecast in the build up to the race, but he travelled like a Dream at Newmarket and it is possible that he just didn’t have a going day in France.

Deacon Blues has done us a couple of favours so far this summer but he, too, would prefer softer ground as he bids to make a successful transition from handicapper (Wokingham at Royal Ascot) to Group 1 winning sprinter in just over two months.

Society Rock is, arguably, the form choice having won the Golden Jubilee before just getting touched off in France with Dream Ahead behind. Another who is ideally suited by cut in the ground he has nothing in hand of Bated Breath on C&D running in May and the latter is a fascinating contender.

Roger Charlton has always considered Bated Breath a Group 1 sprinter and he found the combination of 5f and soft ground against him at York last time. He only has half a length to find with Dream Ahead on July Cup form and the faster the ground the better.

Lee Westwood begins his quest for Ryder Cup selection in Crans-sur-Sierre and, unless he misses the cut, won’t be on track to witness his Hoof It bid for Gp 1 glory. Another looking to make the transition from handicapper to top class sprinter he put up one of the performances of the season when taking the Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood and lost little in defeat at York.

Rainfall (2.00) was a bitter disappointment on her sole start for Goldolphin this year but she is better class than today’s rivals on her best form and although one could have said the same about Poet’s Voice last term the fact that she has been kept in training would suggest she has worked well enough. As her name suggests any significant rain would be a big advantage.

Deauville Flyer (2.30) is one of the most frustrating horses in training but with blinkers applied for the first time and a good draw he is given one last chance to land the big one that his consistent efforts deserve. Backed as if defeat was out the question last time he is 1lb higher but drops back a couple of furlongs and trainer Tim Easterby believes this 1m 6f of the Old Borough Cup is his optimum distance. At 10/1 with victorchandler.com he can reward each way support.

Old Borough Cup ¼ odds 1,2,3,4: prices from :
Tominator 8/1
Activate 8/1
Shernando 8/1
Zuider Zee 8/1
Blissful Moment 9/1
Deauville Flyer 10/1
11s Bar

Watered Silk has done us a couple of favours and the application of blinkers has improved him but they were both moderate races and trainer Marcus Tregoning has suggested he is a fast ground horse. Four Nations (5.10) has been raised 3lbs for his recent effort at Doncaster when he really ought to have won; that showed he stays this 1m 6f trip and he is one I have been waiting for since that run. He is out of a Selkirk mare but his ability to handle soft ground would have to be taken on trust if the rains arrive.

Modun (2.15 Kempton) didn’t land the Ebor for us last time but he remains a most progressive sort and will have a true run race courtesy of Harris Tweed as he step up to Group company for the first time. This is an above average renewal of this Gp 3 contest and the selection has it all to do on official figures but he remains open to improvement and the likely favourite Harris Tweed is beginning to look a shade disappointing.

You can often get wide margin victories at Southwell but there was much to like about the victory of All My Heart (3.50) earlier in the week when stepped up to 2m for the first time and whilst he didn’t look anything out of the ordinary on previous attempts on polytrack the 2miles looks like being the making of him.

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