3-1 KNIGHT IN A PROFITABLE DAY: Daqman finished in profit yesterday from Knight Errant (WON 3-1) at Sandown last night after and a win and place bet on Whinging Willie (2ND 16-1) in the afternoon.
HEAD’S UP FOR ALPHA CENTAURI: Today’s column starts with an update on last year’s top filly, Enable, and on potentially this year’s star, Alpha Centauri, facing a gamble against her at Deauville on a Freddy Head filly.
ENABLE IS BACK ON THE ARC TRAIL
NEWMARKET GALLOPS: A filly was last year’s champion. Now these islands may have another, with the prospect of Jessica Harrington’s Alpha Centauri beating the colts in the Ascot and Longchamp championships in October.
But don’t write off Enable. She is now firmly on the road to an Arc double bid. Frankie Dettori has been back on board on the home gallops this week.
And a Kempton AW test in early September will be the unorthodox path to the Arc, which she won last year after the King George and four consecutive Oaks.
Enable was my pick for this column’s Fortune Cookies before that sequence began.
It would be an amazing feat of training if John Gosden could get her to the post at Longchamp, never mind past it first for a second year running.
RAIN A THREAT TO ALPHA CENTAURI
DEAUVILLE LATEST: My Alpha Centauri ‘cookie’ this year was nominated a little later than Enable’s but she’s taken the Coronation Stakes and the Falmouth for us, helping us get close to 1,000 points profit.
Now she is all set to clash in Sunday’s Prix Jacques Le Marois with Accidental Agent, the Queen Anne surprise at Royal Ascot, and Prix Jean Prat scorer, Intellogent.
But the news from Deauville is of heavy rain in the town, though not so much at the track yesterday, and connections of both firm-ground winners Alpha Centauri and Accidental Agent will today be checking out the damage and the weekend forecast.
Reaction from my man at the track, as Alpha Centauri eased to 5-4 with Ladbrokes, was to put up With You as the ante-post bet, reduced in the Ladbrokes’ book to 5-1.
With You was impressive over the Deauville CD on good to soft (which is ‘soft’ in the French language of ground assessment).
That came after she was narrowly beaten by Laurens in both the Saint Alary and the French Oaks. The Deauville win took her to 3-3 at a mile.
ARMAGEDDON TO BREAK A HOODOO
2.40 Musselburgh The favourite hasn’t won this in its entire six-year history, one of the reasons being that fillies have taken the last three with an 8lb pull on the colts.
This year that’s down to 5lb but only one colt, Swinging Eddie, out of a half sister to smart sprinter Watching, remains to stop them.
The favourite, Armageddon, drops back to 5f but the way she motored, making all at Haydock, she’d be hard to catch in any sprint.
Diamonique, won over today’s CD only a week ago, but I’ll bet that Armageddon breaks the hoodoo on the favourite.
JACK TAYLOR 2-3 FORM AT BRIGHTON
4.00 Brighton (Bullet) Big Lachie’s bridesmaid run of four seconds on the trot has lost her a couple of lengths (by raising her 5lb), so star apprentice Jason Watson takes over, with his valuable 3lb claim.
Jason, who landed the Stewards Cup for this column on Gifted Master (20-1), has already had three winners at Brighton this week.
It will be quite a coup if Jason can land Big Lachie winner of this having been on the one who pipped the horse here at Brighton only yesterday.
The winner yesterday was trained by Tony Carroll, who now has Pour La Victoire trying to do a 24-hour double for the stable over-Big Lachie.
But Victoire’s victories have come over a mile, and Tigerwolf also needs another furlong. So I shall go along with Jack Taylor (4.5 offers), whose sprint form at Brighton is 121.
CHRISTMAS PRESENT FOR SPONSORS
6.40 Tipperary (Caravaggio Stakes) Christmas came early this year when winning at Roscommon in June, and now bids for the Coolmore syndicate’s own race, named after its Commonwealth Cup hero, Caravaggio Connections should know where they are with Highland Fortune, having shunted him back into fourth place in the Railway Stakes, won by their own Van Beethoven.
Chicago May scored ‘a shade cosily’ at Naas last month but was entitled to do so against modest opposition. I took 3.8 Christmas.
STARLIGHT EXPRESS FOR MOORE
7.40 Newmarket It’s three-year-olds 7, four-year-olds 3 in the decade, and they have a two-to-five chance of winning again.
The older pair, Flying North and Marilyn, look exposed and neither has won with ‘soft’ in the going return.
Fountain of Time and Morning Has Broken (absent six months) have both raced only on AW and their sires get mainly top-of-the-ground performers.
Red Starlight reverts to the July Course CD which brought her victory in June, and Ryan Moore takes the mount (3.85 on BETDAQ)
4.00 Brighton (win 20)
BET 5.75pts win JACK TAYLOR
6.40 Tipperary (win 20)
BET 7pts win CHRISTMAS
7.40 Newmarket (win 20)
BET 7pts win (nap) RED STARLIGHT
DAQ MULTIPLES: 4 x 1pt win trebles and 1pt win acca the above three with ARMAGEDDON (2.40 Musselburgh)
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