Kian’s Delight 8/1 1.5pt win
Cloudy Too 8/1 1.5pt win
This is a race as much about pace as about the ability of the horses. There is a lot of pace in this race, including Our Mic and Bold Chief as well as a couple of others. Depending on what the jockey’s do, these leaders could pay come the end of the race. As such I have selected a couple of horses who will race just off the pace, and could pounce late on.
However, this is still a very tricky race to analyse. First thing to say is that I am tearing my hair out with going descriptions. Good ground that may be on the firm side, good ground that has been watered and is riding dead etc etc is playing havoc with some of my analysis. I have never excluded a horse just based on the going and i think that is more important at this time of year. Clearly there are confirmed mudlarks about who do not like Good-Firm ground, however there are many horses in the middle hear which makes it difficult. This thinking has led me to Cloudy Too. It isnt too insightful for me to say that on form shown to date, this is the best horse in the race. Yes he may prefer more juice but this is a horse who travelled so well for so long in the Hennessy and who at that point went into many people’s note book. He landed many a bet next time out and has since been pitched into G1s running very well behind Captain Chris at Ascot. This is a step down in class and his raw ability, and the fact he is still be improving, means that he should go very close. If the ground was soft no doubt he would be half the price, but 8/1 allows me to take the risk. He is proven at the course, distance and clearly has the class. His TS and RPR figures are very impressive in recent runs which is also a positive.
Kian’s Delight comes here a relatively fresh horse which is a positive at this stage in the main season, having been saved for better ground and a summer campaign. He ran very well at aintree last time out after a few months off and being young and unexposed there is every reason to think he could improve to win this race. He looks to be getting outpaced at times over 3m, and the guaranteed strong pace in this race from the off should play into his hands later on. Whatever he does here, he is a horse to follow over the summer and is sure to win a race or two. This race is a bit less competitive that last time and I am hopeful for a good run.
Bold Chief has to go on any shortlist and if not over exerting himself at the front, should go close. My fear is that he may have to do too much too early and that could cost him later on. However, the trainer is operating at a staggering 39% SR over fences, and he has to be feared.
I also like Firebird Flyer but have missed the price having been 10/1 now into 6s. His win LTO has been franked by the second who ran a stormer at Cheltenham and the 3rd coming and wining a big race. He is a good stayer and the strong pace will help. He is another whose best form is on a softer surface but he deserves his place. It woudl not be a surprise if he can improve to win this given his last run. He can clout a fence every now and then as well which is a negative.
I cant thing Hey Big Spender, at 11yrs old, will win this with so many progressive horses in the field. It would be some performance if he did, but not for me.
Shotavodka needs to prove his stamina and I have no idea if he will stay having never tried the trip before. His trainer could be in better form as well. Not for me. There are the same stamina doubts/questions over No Planning.
Mart Lane and Niceonefrankie dont look good enough to me at this class, and dont have progressive profiles like a few of the others. I think there will be one or two too good in this line up. Mart Lane’s recent form doesnt inspire me either.
Our Mic is frustrating and I cant trust him at the moment. He will not get an easy lead here either. His rating has fallen and he clearly has the ability to win a race like this, if he puts his best foot forward. if he were 14/1+ I could maybe take a chance but not at 6/1. At his best he would go very close, maybe he will show it today.
Beforeall is interesting and he clearly needs to step up again as well. He is unexposed and could well do so. The trainer has only sent 12 runners to the course, but has yet to have a winner. This horse looks like he prefers mud, but I wouldnt discount him just on that basis. I just think there are a couple of better horses in this race. He is another who could use up too much energy trying to lead, or force the pace.
Overall, I think the two selections should be competitive. It is a tricky race, and not one to go mad in, and if the progressive horses come to the fore, it could be a race to follow in the future.