WHEEL’S ON FIRE FOR WINNER-A-DAY DAQMAN: Winner-a-day Daqman’s staking plan again steered him away from Cary Street yesterday with Four Wheel Drive (WON 15-8) and Skill Set (3RD 33-1), giving him eight returns in four days.
EXPECT TO SEE AN IRISH CHAMPION TONIGHT: There’s a big pay-day likely at Deauville for English raiders and Kevin Prendergast’s Epsom Derby runner-up, Madhmoon, is at Leopardstown for his Irish Champion Stakes prep. Daqman also takes in Beverley and Salisbury on a day of eight racing venues.
ANOTHER GOSDEN MOVER AND SHAKER
2.50 Deauville John Gosden sends over the Kingman filly, Twist ‘N Shake, to step up to Group 3 over the same course and distance (1m) of her Listed success in July, with the same good-to-soft ground forecast, and surely capable of again finishing in front of the runner-up, Fount.
She has a form chance of beating French Oaks second, Commes, who was pipped a nose by Castle Lady in the French 1,000 Guineas before Castle Lady was threeparts of a length behind Twist N’ Shake in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot. Commes has to give 5lb today.
3.30 Deauville This Group 2 over 1m 2f could be a massive £205,000 pay-day for Roger Charlton and Jason Watson with Headman.
The London Gold Cup winner already reached this level on the ladder by taking the Prix Eugene Adam at Saint-Cloud in June and has nothing to fear from the six-lengths third that day, Flop Shot.
Headman finished three lengths in front of Jalmoud at Saint-Cloud before that one pipped the Greffulhe winner, Roman Candle, for third in the Grand Prix de Paris last month.
4.40 Deauville (Prix Gontaut-Biron) Handicapper Mountain Angel, seventh under a big weight in the John Smith’s Cup, is being saddled by Roger Varian (Olivier Peslier rides) for this Group-3 over 1m 2f.
Soleil Marin has a couple of pounds with which to turn around defeat of less than two lengths by Diamond Vendome in the Grand Prix de Vichy (Royal Julius third, Subway Dancer fifth) but the winner kept on strongly that day.
Last year’s French Guineas winner, Olmedo, has been struggling for form this campaign, and Tresorerie’s Angers win leaves her with a lot to do here, despite receiving up to 9lb today.
KING OTTOKAR LOVES THE GROUND
3.50 Salisbury (Sovereign Stakes) Mojito has been hard to get right and, despite being gelded, is a handful in a race. He was given his head at Sandown and Frankie Dettori judged it well to make all the running.
He was favourite again but real buzzy in the Golden Mile at Goodwood and wasted his energy, unable to challenge and finishing sixth. There’s no Frankie around until York next week.
We need to see Tabarrak today before we can decide to back him again, after seemingly losing his way, with nothing to show since last October.
Andrew Balding takes a gamble with Flashcard in this tilt at a Group 3. I thought he was sure to go for a handicap at York, but is raised 10lb for winning an unexciting class 2 at Ascot last month.
Is he a ‘nearly horse’ now, stuck between handicaps and the Pattern. He likes soft ground and this is a big day, after all the work they put into him.
His winning rider at Ascot, Oisin Murphy, feels that Flashcard has ‘turned the corner’ but partners Kick On today, trying to redeem some poor form since he opened his season with success in the Feilden Stakes.
The form of Great Scot’s Group-2 third in the German Guineas has not sparkled since, and he has his first run gelded today.
We could get a strong pace here from Marie’s Diamond, which will suit King Ottokar, who loves the ground and was a fine third to Sangarius at Royal Ascot (1m 2f soft), following defeat of Queens Vase winner, Dashing Willoughby, earlier on.
After the Lockinge, the Queen Anne (refused to race) and the Sussex Stakes, this is a drop from a banquet to a picnic for Accidental Agent, top rated today but quirky and likely to be feeling these hard races at the very top.
I’ll go with the three-year-olds and take King Ottokar (BETDAQ 4.5) over Flashcard (4.8) and Marie’s Diamond.
GRAVY TRAIN ON PLATFORM NINETEEN
4.00 Beverley They thought Beverley might to be too stiff a track for Platform Nineteen but he won eight lengths there on firm and followed up at Nottingham on the soft. Clearly on the upgrade, as a rise of almost a stone suggests.
His rating means that he can try today’s transition from top of a class 6 to bottom of a class 4. It’s not easy, witness the form of Echo.
Echo performed a hat-trick in class 6 but has failed in higher grades and needs to shed a few pounds.
Despite a win each along the way, Swordbill and Zihaam have been stuck on the same or similar ratings since the Spring. Charlie D also seems pegged a grade lower than today.
Jukebox Jive hasn’t won on Flat turf for more than two years when he had a rating similar to today’s. He certainly has a chance now but his overall 2-19 is off-putting. He gives 24lb to something that’s on the up, Platform Nineteen.
DESMOND IS A MUST FOR MADHMOON
7.00 Leopardstown (Desmond Stakes) Second and fourth in the English and Irish Derbys respectively, and fourth in the Newmarket Guineas, Madhmoon is back to a mile here, prepping for the 1m 2f Irish championship.
A Leopardstown CD winner as a juvenile, Madhmoon must deliver the goods in this Group 3 today or be marked down a nearly horse without a trip.
At this time of night, all good morning-paper editors have two opposing headlines ready for the page. In this case, ‘Prendergast over the moon’ or ‘Moon misses out again.’ The first one, surely; but will you bet long odds-on?
I expect him to be short because, on the face of it, the opposition is weak. The 83 handicapper Pincheck improved to 111 in winning this race last year, but that seems to be where his progress came to a halt, and Ancient Spirit finished in front of him on the last day.
Aidan O’Brien’s Turnberry Isle could bounce back. Badly drawn in the Mile at Galway but improvement shown in a big field at the end of the meeting, and is my place bet of the day at 17.5 offers
2.50 Deauville (win 20)
BET 10pts win (nap) TWIST ‘N’ SHAKE
3.30 Deauville (win 10)
BET 12pts win HEADMAN
3.50 Salisbury (win 20 each)
BET 5.5pts win KING OTTOKAR
BET 5.5pts win FLASHCARD
4.40 Deauville (win 10)
BET 8pts win DIAMOND VENDOME
7.00 Leopardstown (win 20, win 10 place)
BET 1.25pts win/3.75pts place TURNBERRY ISLE
2 x 3pt win trebles
KING OTTOKAR/FLASHCARD (3.50 Salisbury)
PLATFORM NINETEEN (4.00 Beverley)
MADHMOON (7.00 Leopardstown)
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