Zanetto 9/2 1 point win
Secretinthepark 13/2 1/2 point win
These are the two for me in this race, at the prices. They are both fit, in some kind of form and have a touch of class about them. Zanetto ran really well on his seasonal reappearance in a decent Newmarket handicap and there is every reason to think he can build on that. While he has yet to win a handicap he has won at C1 level and ran decent races at a higher level. This is the type of race where he could get his head in front again. He will race prominently, is well drawn, and there will be no excuses if he is good enough on the day. Secretinthepark finished behind Zanetto last time on his first run for Cowell. He will find the key to this horse at some point and get him winning again, and it could be today. I dont know if he needed the run last time but if we assume he did then there should be more to come. If they can both build on their runs from last time they must surely go close in this.
Major Jack’s profile means he was always going to be short here. 3/1 is probably fair but he is going up against horses with more proven form at this level and that meant I was happy to take him on. He is improving and if building on his run last time will go very close, but it is hard to make money long term from backing 3/1 shots in handicap sprints from my experience. He has also been held up in most of his runs and in a race where I cant see the pace collapsing that could prove his downfall, if left with too much to do.
Ashpan Sam should lead and he was on the shortlist. However he has yet to place on a seasonal reappearance and ideally likes it a bit softer. However, Moore has been booked again and he was second in this race last year, by a head. He’d had a few prep runs before that race though and there were enough niggles to put me off. I am just guessing as to whether he is fit (i dont like guessing too much), and he looks to be taking a walk in the market. If there was a line of blue on Oddschecker and his price had come in a bit he may have been higher up the shortlist. Hopefully he fades in the final furlong and gets swamped by Zanetto.
Humidor is 0/8, 1 place above C3 and also looks better over shorter now. I was happy to leave him on that basis although he is in form. Slip Sliding Away loves Goodwood but he is 0/10 above C4 and should find a few too good here. NinJago is interesting but i wonder whether 6f is too sharp for him here, especially as he likes to be held up and I dont think there will be a scorching pace to aim at. He isnt in great form and I wonder if he is being prepped for something else. Not sure, but enough for me to leave him today, although the form is in the book to win a race like this.
What is left of the remainder have far too many questions to answer.
All in all we should get a good run for our money and both selections will be up with/tracking the pace. Whether the Charlton horse is too good, or Ashpan Sam is fit enough we shall see.
Margrets Gift 7/1 – 1.5 points win
This looks a cracker of a race for the level and I suspect it will be one to keep an eye on moving forward. There are no future Royal Ascot winners lining up but I suspect a few of these will rack up further wins throughout the season at c3/4 level.
Margrets Gift comes here at the top of her game having won gamely on her seasonal reappearance last time out where she beat both Bunce and Alaskan Wing. I see no reason why that form will be overturned given MG is open to any amount of improvement. The race she ran in last time is working out well with the 2nd (Bunce) winning since, the 3rd, 5th and 6th all placing and the 7th winning yesterday. A solid race. Bunce ran only 2 days ago and they could both be fighting it out again near the end but with MG is open to more progress. Alaskan Wing was well backed last time suggesting that he did not need the run, so that should be put down as a disappointing run I think. The pace set up also doesnt help…
PACE… There is a lot of it in this race (on paper, based on horses last 4 runs – some jockeys could change tactics) and as such i was wary of going for one that could be up there from the off. If a horse gets out and stays out here they will be one to follow as they will not have time to breathe in front if recent runs are anything to go by. Economic Crisis, Alaskan Wing, Big M, Rusty Rocket, Pavers Star all like to get on with it. Others also like to push the pace, or sit handy, which could force the leaders to go quicker. Now, one or two horses may win the speed duel and dictate but I suspect they may have to use up too much energy to do so. Hopefully I have read the race right, we shall see. I want a scrap up front from when the stalls open, which will allow MG to track the pace and then swoop in the final furlong and pick up the pieces – in theory.
What about the others…
Rusty Rocket has never really ran well on good, good to firm, outside of his nursery days and I think this surface will be too lively for him. Hopefully he helps set a frantic pace. Economic Crisis is a Hamilton specialist as Flat Profiles subscribers know well, having bolted up at 5/1 on her last run. She is also 0/26 in good, good to firm. Not for me today. Pavers Star is more exposed and has yet to win above C6, although hasnt had many goes. He usually wins by dictating from the front which he wont be able to do here. Add him to your trackers, Class 6, ideally drawn against a rail and when he is the only front runner in the race – even more so when that man Joe Fanning is booked to ride. I think he will find a few too good today. Big M is not good enough on all known form to date. Even though he is unexposed he hasn’t shown much.
I would be surprised if any of those won. Fredricka is interesting but makes her debut for a new trainer – i think she is his first runner. There have been 15 subsequent runners from the two races she last competed in and none have won. She ties in closely with Bunce and on that basis is entitled to go close. I think MG has better form though and will beat her. Rothsay Chancer usually comes alive in June however has ran well during May. He will be held right up and while there could be a pace burn up I generally dont like backing horses that are held up right out the back – there are exceptions,- if you ever back anything with Spencer on board you know what ride you are getting in a big field sprint. He is exposed and I think there are just a few too many with younger legs in here that have progressive profiles. A place wouldn’t surprise me. The trainer is also a bit in and out 1/34 last 14 days, 3/67 last 30 days.
I believe that leaves the Fav. Bowson Fred is 3/1 and probably rightly so on what he has done. But, in this race, it isnt a price I want to take. He has run well in some decent 3yo only handicaps. Clearly a repeat of those runs would see him go well. So, why take him on. Well the price is one, he is a 3yo stepping into a race with hardier sorts now, and a race where there are many others open to improvement. He has a 7lb claimer on board – a decent one mind, but that is still a niggle when taking a price like that. Big Mick E is only 1/28 last 14 days and 3/60 last 30 days, suggesting his horses are not yet firing on all cylinders. He is entitled to win well but if he does I think the selection will run him close.