There were 22 entries at yesterday’s forfeit stage for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe although connections of Sea Of Class (7/2 with BetVictor) and Crystal Ocean (12/1 at BetVictor) have until Wednesday morning to fork out the E120,000 required to add their horses to Sunday’s line-up.
The ground is drying out at Ayr although conditions were described as good to soft yesterday ahead of today’s eight-race card. I was very impressed with Dubai Frame’s (2.40) win at Lingfield (polytrack) last month from a 6lbs lower mark but can he transfer that improved form back to the turf? That was just his third start over two miles and I feel he is open to more improvement.
Buonarroti would have been the selection on soft ground but a bigger danger may come from fellow three-year-old The Knot Is Tied who may have found his York run last time coming too soon after his facile Thirsk success.
Se You showed improved form from the front back at an extended mile at Beverley last time and he is dropped another furlong this afternoon for Tim Easterby and David Allan. Irish raider Mostawfee (3.45) is well drawn in stall two and talented apprentice Ray Dawson takes off a valuable 5lbs. The selection finished runner up at Ffos Las from a 2lbs lower mark last time and has never won on turf, but he won a better race than this at Dundalk back in February.
The lightly-raced three-year-old Jo Binney looked an unlucky loser at Hamilton last time and has been left off the same mark – she is a big danger although her draw in stall 11 is a negative.
Saint Equiano was drawn in stall one when a fluent winner over C&D last month from an 8lbs lower mark on soft ground. She will do well to follow up from stall 11 on what is likely to be good ground. The vote goes to Amplification (4.20) who ran his best race yet when scoring at Ffos Las last time in his first-time blinkers and has a good draw in stall four.
The selection is 6lbs higher in the weights today and there is no guarantee the headgear will work a second time, but he has only had eight career starts and might be open to a bit more improvement.
I’m Improving (4.55) was slowly away and pulled too hard for his own good when last of four in a first-time hood on fast ground at Carlisle back in June. His subsequent absence would suggest a bit of give in the ground is needed for Keith Dalgleish’s 3-year-old although he did run well on good ground on debut.
At Southwell Definitly Grey (2.55) has failed to complete in his last four starts but first time out might be the time to catch Charlie Longsdon’s seven-year-old who won at Chepstow last October from this mark by no less than eighteen lengths. Three of his six opponents won last time out including Little Windmill who is likely to make a bold bid from the front having won three of his last four starts.
Dame Nellie (7.45 Kempton) has done us a couple of favours so far this year and if she gets out on terms she will be very hard to beat in the first division of the 12f handicap. She looked as if she could easily pull herself up over today’s C&D in the first furlong last time, but the fact that she not only got back into the race but was good enough to get up in the shadows of the post suggests a 2lbs rise is more than fair.
The filly remains potentially well handicapped off a mark of 60 and Oisin Murphy is in the plate this evening. Note BetVictor give money back as part of their RunForYourMoney concession if your selection refuses to race.
Murphy also rides Vj Day (9.15) who has his first start on a synthetic surface but is bred to appreciate the all-weather and he might have gone very close to winning at Bath last time over the minimum trip with a clear run. The return to 6f will suit and Murphy is unbeaten (1:1) on Martyn Meade’s gelding.
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