A few eyebrows were raised when the Queen of Longchamp was edged out by Dream Ahead in Paris but the winner is a very useful tool, too. Now back on her favoured flat, left-handed circuit across The Pond, Goldikova can see off Richard Hannon’s young pretender Strong Suit. The Americans have taken Goldikova to their hearts, so it may be prudent to snap up your UK bookmaker’s price rather than the Pari-mutual.
SO YOU THINK has become a bit expensive to follow but, returned to his best trip of 1m 2f, can further enhance his global reputation, and sky-high value, by scooping the Classic – even though this will be his first public run on dirt. Aidan O’Brien has retained his utmost respect and belief in the former Aussie superstar and So You Think can take a leaf out of the book of his sire, the 2002 Epsom Derby hero High Chaparral, who went on to take two Breeders’ Cup scalps for Ballydoyle, albeit on grass.
Back home, the Betfred November Handicap at Doncaster is the last big betting heat of the turf season and PEKAN STAR (3.10) could give rookie trainer Roger Varian another notch on his belt. My selection let down favourite backers when finishing only sixth behind Classic Punch is a competitive Class 2 handicap at Newmarket over 1m 2f, staying on without quickening from an unpromising position. The son of Montjeu should appreciate this step up in trip and, after only five career starts, is open to some improvement.
Godolphin saddle favourite Willing Foe and it is hard to pick holes in his excellent fourth to Kirthill at Newbury. However, that was his first run back from a long absence and the dreaded ‘bounce factor’ could play its part. John Gosden’s love affair with Doncaster is etched in stone and Zuider Zee has definite each-way claims after finding 1m 6f beyond him at Yarmouth.
Betfred also sponsor the fillies’ Listed event and Sir Henry Cecil’s PRINCIPAL ROLE (2.35) looks a very worthy favourite. She is on a hat-trick after posting wins at Newmarket and Yarmouth, which followed probably her best effort in defeat behind Midday and Snow Fairy in the Group 1 Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.
Over the sticks at Sandown, Charlie Longsdon’s SONGE (2.25) looks capable of repeating last year’s success in the 2m 4f handicap chase, racing off the same rating.