At the time of writing the ground is given out as firm, good to firm in places at Haydock ahead of today’s excellent card but there is significant rain forecast for the area and it might be that there is ease underfoot before they go to post for the opener.
Entihaa (1.35) has run well in defeat of late and did best of those who tried to come from off the pace at York last week. He is slowly edging back up in the weights but handles cut in the ground and showed he gets this 2m trip on the Knavesmire. He is likely to be ridden more prominently today.
The Group 2 Temple Stakes is today’s feature race and on good or slower ground I give one last chance to Pearl Secret (2.40) who has a bit to find with Sole Power on his latest Newmarket effort but he was all at sea on the fast ground and if the rain arrives he is taken to turn the tables.
I don’t know what to make of Joyeuse (3.10) a half-sister to the great Frankel but a filly who connections don’t seem to have a clue as to what trip she needs. She is back sprinting today, Ryan Moore takes over in the saddle and the hope is that she is allowed to bowl along back at 6f instead on being held up at the back of the field which has happened on her last two starts. This listed company represents a drop in class but she carries a penalty for scoring in this grade last summer. I would be disappointed if she wasn’t very competitive in this company.
The Silver Bowl is the big betting race of the meeting and Born In Bombay (3.45) represents the in-form Andrew Balding yard, is well drawn, has leading apprentice Oisin Murphy taking off a valuable 3lbs and is open to considerable improvement having only had three career starts. The field is full of progressive 3-year-olds and there are any number of dangers including 5/1 favourite Bilimbi but at 10/1 with BetVictor Born In Bombay gets the each way vote.
In the finale Takreym (4.55) can build on his facile win in a Windsor maiden last time for Roger Varian. The handicapper had a difficult job assessing his 7l success and he doesn’t exactly appear thrown in for his handicap debut but he is open to further improvement and might be a type for the Britannia at Royal Ascot next month.
At Goodwood French Navy (1.50) will appreciate the good to soft ground and is taken to land the opener for Godolphin who have four of the eight declared runners. Adam Kirby takes the mount on the gelding who won over C&D on his only previous visit to the Sussex track. John Gosden’s Nabucco looks the danger and any further rain would suit the 5-y-old who makes a belated seasonal reappearance.
Pether’s Moon (2.20) is 3lbs better off with Gatewood for the half a length he was beaten at Ascot last time but is taken to reverse the form at the revised terms. The selection wouldn’t want a bog but he handles good to soft ground well and is a horse that has a big pot in him this season.
I know the late Sir Henry Cecil thought a lot of Continuum (4.05) and I liked the way the horse stayed on behind Gatewood over 12f last time suggesting a step back up in trip would suit. He is best served by good ground and has been raised 4lbs for his last start, but connections paid 240,000 Guineas for the gelding who might make up into a very smart hurdler in time.
At the Curragh Kingman is too short at 4/6 for a colt just touched off at Newmarket and I think Obliterator (3.55) might reward each way support at 20/1. The colt made an impressive debut here back in September before disappointing on his reappearance when runner up to True story in the Fielden at Newmarket. He was backed as if he was a good colt and Jamie Spencer goes to Ireland for the mount.
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