The unbeaten Aidan O’Brien-trained colt Ten Sovereigns was a workmanlike winner of the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday. The juvenile is 4/1 at BetVictor for the Dewhurst Stakes over an additional furlong back at HQ later in the month and 6/1 for the Guineas next spring.
His sire No Nay Never is a speed influence, however, and I’m not convinced he will be a miler next term – he is 5/1 at BetVictor for the Commonwealth Cup over 6f at Royal Ascot and I wonder if that will be his optimum trip despite his mother being placed in a listed event over 10f.
Fillydelphia (4.10) often loses her race at the start but would have every chance if breaking on terms in the first division of the 12f handicap at Catterick this afternoon. Both her career wins have come over today’s C&D for today’s jockey Rachel Richardson although in both those wins the word soft appeared in the going description.
There isn’t much pace in the race which is a slight concern although Last Chance Paddy raced prominently over an additional quarter mile here last time on his first start for Tim Easterby. Note Flying Focus has so far run nine times in Britain – all at Hamilton Park. He would have every chance if able to transfer his best form from the Scottish track.
In the second division Flower Power finished last of 10 on her only previous start at Catterick although that was over two miles. She must go close despite the steadier of 9st 10lbs, however, but preference is for Clenymistra (4.40) who may not have got home over an additional couple of furlongs at Redcar last time. She had previously finished third here from a 1lb higher mark.
At Newton Abbot Ontopoftheworld (4.00) is in the form of his life at present and can land his hat-trick having scored at Stratford and Perth last month. I always feel that I’dliketheoption has a significant mistake in his locker and I feel he is handicapped to the hilt at present. The Jonjo O’Neill-trained seven-year-old is 7lbs higher than when scoring over C&D last month and that looked a modest contest although the time was under standard.
Bradford Bridge (4.30) has yet to win a race in 12 career starts but he is beginning to look potentially well treated. I am convinced Philip Hobbs will have a number of well handicapped horses this term after a poor campaign, by his own high standards, last season.
At Kempton this evening those with experience in the juvenile fillies’ maiden don’t look anything special and Laquezza (6.15) looks an interesting debutante for Jeremy Noseda with Jamie Spencer in the saddle. The filly is half-sister to six winners and cost connections $410,000 earlier in the year. The market should provide plenty of valuable clues with several of the top Newmarket yards saddling newcomers especially Roger Varian’s Lufricia.
Blue Mountain (6.45) was beaten a nose by a rival rated in the mid 80’s on debut at Chester and he can go one better in a hot Novice event over a mile. Kevin Stott keeps the ride this evening on this grey who is the half-brother to several all-weather winners. Red October also shaped with promise at Salisbury on debut and he strikes me as a decent middle-distance prospect for next term.
Knowing will have his supporters in the second division of the Novice but I just favour James Park Woods (7.15) who is fitted with a tongue-tie having disappointed on debut, well backed, at Doncaster last month.
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