14:15 Market Rasen
Gwafa showed a good attitude when winning the Swinton Hurdle at Haydock on his handicap debut in May and looks to have a favourites chance of following up. Penalised 7lbs for that victory and forced to concede weight all round this is no easy task but he is totally unexposed and so as such, he is taken to give them all plenty to do. Mobait represents Paul Nicholls and heads here in search of a five timer, quite what he has beaten is open to debate but Nicholls is as potent as any in this sphere and his chance shouldn’t be underestimated. Red Tornado is another searching for a five timer and is another from a yard who know how to land these races, he too could play a part but his form clearly requires a fair bit of improvement. Hassle, Cornborough and Rejaah (Also chasing five timer) are others with chances but a chance will be taken on known form proving the way forward.
Gwafa (E/W if 9/2+)
Golden Stunner has progressed with each run in her career to date and is bound to be popular for her in form yard, a gutsy winner at Newmarket the last day she looks likely to progress again and is worthy of the upmost respect here in pursuit of the hat-trick. Similar comments apply to Singyoursong and the weight she receives all round shouldn’t be forgotten, a win for either of the aforementioned would be no shock and both hold solid claims. Gratzie has her share of weight and is 8lbs higher than her last win, despite this she too has solid claims but a chance will be taken on the least exposed runner in the field. Alyday has only had the three starts and her victory over a furlong further at Goodwood last time could hardly be called an ideal pre for this. Her trainer has struck with his last two runners in this though and given the likelihood of a decent pace she is handed a tentative vote to turn over this lot before going on to better things.
14:45 Market Rasen
Another highly competitive race to solve and another race in which a chance will be taken on one lower down the weights. Cut The Corner dotted up over course and distance earlier in the month and though he’s 3lbs out of the weights his rider takes a handy 10lbs off. From a yard who took the 2013 renewal it is likely this has always been the plan and given he’s only had the six chase starts to date, he is handed a speculative vote. Ballynagour has top weight and is difficult to predict nowadays, this is much easier than he’s used to however and any money for him would be seriously encouraging. Germany Calling and Long House Hall are closely matched and have serious chances if on song, both make plenty of appeal but perhaps the dark horse is the JP McManus owned Cernunnos. Disappointing when last seen at Aintree he had previously looked at home over this sort of trip and connections decision to head straight here has to be seen as a positive. Thienval and Henryville are others who need considering though the latter has burnt a few fingers before and is probably only worth going in on if the market screams in his favour.
Cut The Corner (E/W)
Berkshire hasn’t beaten a horse home in two starts this season and is very difficult to give with any degree of confidence today. Paul Cole’s lightly raced 5 year old is a dual group winner however and if he did run to his full potential he would give these a hiding, all that being said however a decent showing would be encouraging with a view to possibly following later in the season. Scottish has the recent form to take this and is from a yard firing at present, an uncomplicated sort he could get an easy time up front and ought to take some beating. Trip To Paris is the undoubted class horse of the race though this trip could find him out and he will surely need this. Going forwards its probable a trip down under is on the agenda but market confidence should be noted. GM Hopkins and Spark Plug are difficult to separate though this trip could prove too far for the latter and the former is probably just below this sort of level. Master Carpenter is another who is pretty exposed but he generally runs his race and this is a much easier task than the G1 he contested the last day. At home on most going conditions it would be foolish to go all in on him but with three places on offer, he is handed the value vote.
Master Carpenter (E/W)
Miracle Of Medinah is becoming frustrating and hasn’t won for almost three years now, unlucky when last seen at Chester he is afforded one final chance to cash in on his career low mark on a track that should suit over a trip in his favour. Hors Du Combat has been very heavily supported for this in recent days and is interesting if judged on his Group form. The worry for him and his supporters is the form of his yard as quite a few of his stablemates have been heavily supported only to flop, he does have the form to play a part however. Franklin D has been in decent form and a reproduction of his 3rd at Sandown in June would give him every chance, the 3lbs penalty he picked up for that hardly makes this easier but he has solid claims nevertheless. Grand Inquisitor and Firmament are in good form and capable and though Riflescope and Bathos are seemingly out of form, both represent a stable firing.
Miracle Of Medinah (E/W)
Despite the decent numerical turnout this doesn’t look a great renewal and the market leaders look extremely likely to have their way. The Tin Man has improved at a rate of knots and went off well fancied in a hot G1 the last day. In the event he rather disappointed but the race was muddling and he is probably worth forgiving, if on song today he ought to take some beating and is a very worthy favourite. Charming Thought was a very good 2 year old and his win in the Middle Park promised at better to come. Unfortunately for him and connections, disaster struck and he missed he entire 2015 season. Connections sent him to Salisbury for his comeback and though he ultimately finished only a moderate 4th he did show he retained a fair amount of ability and is taken to improve on that and reward his connections faith in this. Aeolus, Mr Lupton and Buratino all have ability but all three have questions to answer against the market leaders and all three will find easier tasks than this. Ibn Malik looks the only other viable alternative but it would be disappointing if he proved to have the raw pace to burn these off.
Charming Thought (WIN)
If Miss Marjurie rediscovered the best of her from last year she would take some beating and appeals as the most likely of the more exposed types, she will do well to beat such an unexposed field however and is passed over wearily. Taqaareed is a sister to Oaks and King George heroine Taghrooda, only a fair 5th on her debut she fairly bolted up at Kempton last time and falls heavily into the ”could be anything” category. John Gosden rarely over-faces such precocious types so coming here is probably a tip in itself and she is too hard to pass over. Shall We would perhaps only need to reproduce her latest 5th in the Group2 Ribblesdale to play a part in this and she too looks a serious player. Of the outsiders, Stockhill Diva is as tough as old boots and ought to run her race, a comment that also applies to Oakley Girl.
A brutal day of televised selections ends with a truly horrific betting race and an outright guess is going to be taken on Spiritual Lady whom was heavily backed when readily wining on debut at Newmarket. With a future entry in the Lowther it would appear likely that connections expect further improvement and on that premise she is handed a tentative vote. The Fahey yard are mob handed with seven in this, all seven have to be respected but separating them looks a thankless task. Clem Fandango has the form from Royal Ascot and a reproduction of her effort behind Lady Aurelia may well prove enough. Seemingly well in off these weights she certainly has every chance but it should be remembered that she finished a street behind that US supserstar and she could be overrated on the back of it. Stormy Clouds, Hope Solo, Mrs Danvers and Super Julius are others to consider in what looks an impossible finale.
Spiritual Lady (E/W)