At Kempton on Saturday Enable made the return we had all hoped. Success was the objective, such was achieved to the delight of all in a manner pleasing to connections and onlookers. Paris-Longchamp here we come, as she crossed the line her odds for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, slashed as she soon became the hot favourite. Realisation hit, just who is willing to take her on, will stable companions Cracksman and Lah Ti Dar join her? On that performance alone she reasserts herself as the best horse in the race. Now her odds shortening I fully understand, however why should Crystal Ocean’s prince lengthen as it did? He was giving the superstar filly 8 pounds at Kempton yet come the Arc the differential will only be three! The distance between them was only three and a half lengths. I know many will say Enable will come on lengths for the run, but Crystal Ocean wasn’t put under undue pressure and David Probert conceded defeat at the appropriate time. Roll on October 7th.
As for Haydock, Sprint Cup day, not for the first time was blighted by horrendous weather conditions as a relentless downpour meant the conditions deteriorated to heavy. A day of who could cope best and those who showed previous versatility to plough through the mud were rewarded. The Tin Man had a deserved success in the big one itself as Harry Angel ran to fresh and free from the start. Does this mean The Tin Man is the rightful favourite to wrestle back his Qipco British Champions’ Sprint crown from Librisa Breeze? Will Harry Angel return to Ascot to rest the nightmare of June and prove to everyone he can win at the course? All will be revealed on a fabulous days racing on October 20th.
On to Monday’s action a week which will culminate with the final Classic of the season, the St Leger. We will look into that tomorrow once the entries are out but for now we can concentrate on Brighton, Perth, Newton Abbot and Chelmsford. No rain had reached the seaside at the time of writing and Brighton’s ground remains on the quick side. Apprentice Poppy Bridgwater has a ridiculously good strike rate at the course, 42%. She has one mount in the 5.25 Imbucato for trainer Tony Carroll. When the pair team up this season it’s a 25% strike rate and its even better when you hone it down to their last eight where she has been successful four times. On the horse’s last visit to Brighton he was conceding four pounds to Solveig’s Song, this time around the swing in the weights is huge and it’s a five pounds turnaround, which might be sufficient.
Another horse of note at Brighton is Sauchiehall Street (NAP), he runs in the 3.35. The manner of his victory at Newcastle on Friday was very impressive, he bounded away to win by nearly four lengths in what should have been a competitive handicap. The one drawback with him is that all his four wins have been on the All-weather, however he has only raced three times on the turf so it’s unfair to say he doesn’t act on the surface. Although his turf mark is 6 pounds higher because of his recent win, he is in fact only 2 pounds higher on his all-weather mark. Even under top weight he has a massive chance of a follow up.
There is evening action from Chelmsford where there is an attractive mile handicap at 7.15. Those with really attractive strike rates and faring really well are Hugo Palmer 34%, Ryan Moore 42% at the course, James Doyle 36% currently and Jim Crowley 31%. However, saying that I sense that Secret Art has claims. William Knight’s runner has a solid record at the course with two wins and a second from just five runs. The second came last time out when chasing home a Sir Michael Stoute improver under top weight over two furlongs further. The step back down in distance may well help as to a stronger pace.
Gordon Elliott has a 58% strike rate with his runners at Perth, 11 winners from just the 19 and assisted by champion jockey Richard Johnson in the saddle, the team are formidable. The pair teamed up for a treble at Sedgefield last Thursday and who is to say they won’t enjoy more success with the three they join forces with, Global Jackpot 2.10, Forrardon Xmoor 2.40 and Miro 3.15. However, Forrardon Xmoor is vulnerable at 2.40 with Gavin Cromwell sending over Running In Heels. Brian Hughes is aboard again, be mindful the pair were successful just ten days ago at Sedgefield.
All eyes will be on Charbel in the 3.45, the horse has cruelly fallen twice at the Cheltenham Festival each time behind Altior, he was surely booked for a place in the Arkle in 2017 having led for most of the way. He has undoubted ability, let’s hope he fulfils it this season.
Page Fuller has struck up a great rapport with Lord Topper, two wins and two seconds from six rides, the pair do battle once more in Newton Abbot’s 3.25. Page Fuller can continue to showcase her talents as Lord Topper bids to defy a 7lb hike in the ratings.
For all your racing odds go to BetVictor.com