Matthew Sutcliffe looks back on the previous weekend for smart performances, as well as picking the best value plays ahead of Saturday’s action.
He highlights the horses who caught his eye at Glorious Goodwood, as well as some who impressed him at Doncaster and Newmarket. His selections this week include a strong fancy in Sweet Solera Stakes at Newmarket.
Published: 4.39pm 9th August (Odds correct at time of publication)
Goodwood 15:00 – Al Mubhir – Frankel x Muffri’Ha (Iffraaj) – Trainer: William Haggas.
It paid to be on the front end in the Golden Mile Handicap at Goodwood on Friday, with the 1st-4th all racing prominently throughout and the majority of those in midfield or held up failed to make up much ground. Haggas’ Al Mubhir found all kinds of trouble when attempting to come from the rear under Richard Kingscote, but the fact he was able to make considerable gains to finish on 4th tails of those racing in behind the leaders suggests he shaped plenty better than his finishing position states. I think he’s one of those horses who’s marks too high to exploit a competitive high-end handicap, but is often likely to come up short in listed/G3 company, though his several Group 2 entries and G1 Champion Mile entry would suggest connections certainly hold him in much higher regard. That said, we may not have seen the best of him yet and he is unexposed in stakes company, and his effort in the Golden Mile in unfavourable circumstances off top-weight suggests he could be more useful yet.
Goodwood – 13:50 – Live In The Moment – Zebedee x Approaching Autumn (New Approach) – Trainer: Alice Haynes.
Shariq Mohd took the initiative upon himself to bring Live In The Moment to the nearside in an attempt to find better ground in the opener at Goodwood on Saturday, and whether or not he found an easier strip of turf, he undoubtedly lost crucial lengths at the beginning in doing so, therefore we can upgrade his mounts staying on 4th to be beaten under two lengths. Live In The Moment handled the conditions well and showed plenty of speed, though has kindly been dropped a further pound by the handicapper and it’s becoming increasingly likely he’ll expose his lowering mark. Although winless since September 2020, that was his 5th win in his last six starts, two of those coming in the back end of August under two apprentices, including at York at the Ebor meeting off his current mark, thus it is worth looking out for an entry back there with the Ebor meeting on the horizon.
Goodwood 14:25 – Euchen Glen – Authorised x Jabbara (Kingmambo) – Trainer: Jim Goldie.
There’s still life in the gallant old boy yet as Euchen Glen was a pleasing staying on 3rd behind the subsequent Ebor-favourite Sweet William. The gap between the pair last time out was 9 1/2L, but with a 9L weight swing, Euchen Glen was able to diminish that to five lengths, while Sweet William was (is) still clearly way ahead of the handicapper. Euchen Glen recorded there quickest third last furlong, quickening past Torcello into 3rd but couldn’t lay a glove on the top two. He was only beaten three lengths in the Ebor last season and while a mark of 96 will likely not be enough too see him take up that entry again, given he’s a two-time winner on the Knavesmire it’s likely we’ll see him in a middle distance handicap over the course of the week, and he’s one to keep onside with that run last time out still fresh in the mind.
Goodwood 15:25 – Aleezdancer – Fast Company x Clifton Dancer (Fraam) – Trainer: Kevin Ryan.
Very rarely do you ever see a field in a six furlong sprint strung out like a maiden hurdle around Clonmel, but that was the case in the coveted Stewards Cup as Aberama Gold sluiced through desperate ground to rack up a double for his new handler David O’Meara. Despite the ground being treacherous all over, it did pay to race up the middle in the contest so Aleezdancer’s performance on the far-side can be upgraded. He finished first of the five in his group, with the other four beaten 5 3/4L, 10 1/2L, 14 1/4L, and 19 1/2L. Dropped a further pound, he’s just two pounds higher than he’s easy success at Doncaster at the start of there season and this son of Fast Company will be winning soon in especially if the ground continues to soften across the country.
Goodwood 15:25 – Apollo One – Equiano x Boonga Roogeta (Tobougg) – Trainer: Peter Charalambous & James Clutterback.
The dual-licensed trainers haven’t had a winner in 116 days, which will feel a whole lot longer int the racing world. Six of their last seven runners failed to be closer than 7 3/4L, with the outlier being Apollo One who was just beaten 3/4L in the Stewards Cup. Given the yards dire form it’s worth upgrading Apollo One’s effort. He’s been competitive in four quality handicap’s this season with three consecutive 2nd’s now, suggesting that his turn to strike is near and his natural quality outweighs the lack of success in his yard at the moment. He’s been struck with a three pound rise by the handicapper but he has form off 104 and three of his four wins have come in Aug/Oct/Nov, so it may be that this time of year is when he’ll come back to the fore once more.
Doncaster 14:10 – Goodeveningmrbond – Acclamation x Amaira (Excelebration) – Trainer: Jack Jones.
It’s not normally a pleasing sign to the start of a young horses career when they’ve already been gelded and had aid’s equipped, however given the (perhaps now ambitious) smart entries Goodeveningmrbond holds, he may be a 2yo to persist with in lower grade nurseries this season. Carrying top weight on nursery debut on heavy ground probably wasn’t ideal for this son of Acclamation, nor was his early keen exertions, however he traveled well and Dylan Hogan got him two settle better when tucked in behind the leaders. The writing was on the wall early on in terms of his lack of a winning chance, but he kept on well once asked for and effort despite not granted the clearest of trips, and he may have potential to exploit a mark of 66 given he was only a neck behind one now rated 73 on debut.
Doncaster 3:20 – Wonderwall – Yeats x Rock Me Gently (Sulamani) – Trainer: Richard Spencer.
You probably didn’t expect to see a Yeats gelding out a Sulamani mare on this list of flat racing pointers from the weekend, but this winning hurdler ran another good race over what is surely and inadequate 1m2f at Doncaster. While he’s won on soft ground before, I don’t think he was aided by its cause on the flat against naturally quicker horses, so given he finished 3L behind one officially rated 84 giving him 8lbs, and ahead of one rated 72 giving her a stone, I think he’ll be an interesting experiment in staying handicaps on the flat should connections persist down that route. He’s one race off qualifying for a mark in handicaps, so I’d be very surprised if he wins at Lingfield where he’s entered in a Maiden on Saturday. As he’s a bumper winner and a 132r hurdler, he could develop into a useful dual-purpose horse especially if given a mark in the low 80’s/high 70’s which looks the case on his form thus far.
Newmarket 2:40 – Sweet Memories – Sea The Stars x Time Control (Sadler’s Wells) – Trainer: John & Thady Gosden.
Hollie Doyle may have hit the front too soon with Sweet Memories who hung left and wandered a tad once her head was away from the others, however that didn’t stop her from winning the Listed Chalice Stakes in very cosy fashion. Despite just having her 2nd start of the season, only two weeks after her first, the manner in which she won suggested she could be a very smart staying filly. Races such as the Galtres at York in two weeks or the Park Hill at Doncaster in September spring to mind with her. In fact, Gosden won the Chalice Stakes in 2015 with Gretchen, who went on to win the Park Hill before becoming a broodmare, now the dam of smart Gosden inmates Gregory and Lionel
Newmarket 15:40 – Molson Coors Sweet Solera Stakes (Group 3) (Class 1) (2yo)
CAROLINA REAPER (6/1 generally – 1.5pt WIN)
I unfortunately had no luck following the Johnston’s at Goodwood last week, who have often farmed the festival in years gone by. The soft ground throughout the week was likely to blame for plenty of his runners, so I’m sticking with the yard in the Sweet Solera who have won four of the last nine renewals of the event. Carolina Reaper was an eye-catcher when drawn wide on debut at Beverley, rearing at the start before coming home strongly to be beaten two lengths into 4th. She’s quite evidently well thought of at home as she was then sent too the Listed Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot where she was beaten two lengths into 6th, and the form is working out extremely well. The 2nd filled the same spot in the G3 Anglesey Stakes at The Curragh, the 3rd was beaten under two lengths in the G2 Vintage Stakes at Goodwood last week, the 3rd filled that spot again in the G2 Superlative Stakes, three lengths behind the Vintage Stakes winner Haatem, the 4th bolted up by five lengths at Salisbury, and the 9th won by a cosy 3 3/4L at Bellewstown. Carolina Reaper herself added to that form when running away with a strong maiden over course and distance by four and half lengths, with the 2nd following up by a mere seven lengths next time out. Johnston’s filly was very professional there where she made all, and it often pays to be prominent in these contests on the July course. As mentioned earlier, the Johnston’s are profitable to follow in this contest and Lakota Sioux who won last year had previously been beaten in the Chesham before taking this. Four of the last twelve winners of this race were last time out winners and 6/12 had previously won at Newmarket, so Carolina Reaper ticks plenty of boxes. Charlie Johnston has a 50% SR in non-handicaps on the July course, and Oisin Murphy has an excellent record here too, reading 54-13-24 in non-handicaps in the last five seasons on the July course, returning a profit of £40.76 to a £1 level stake, his most profitable course anywhere.
Haydock 14:25 Betfred “Play Fred’s £5 Million” Handicap (London Mile Series Qualifier) (Class 3) (3yo+ 0-95)
ISLE OF JURA (10/1 generally – 1pt WIN)
I very rarely ever back a last time out winner of a handicap let alone one on a hat trick, but at 10/1 Isle of Jura is too big to leave. The gelding will have to better his form in those two class five races, but it’s less the form I’m interested in and more the manner with in which he won. Connections bought this horse from Godolphin in June for £150,000 so they obviously saw something in him. He was sent off 6/5F on debut for Charlie Appleby, and the money often replicates the form at home with those connections. Isle of Jura was in need of the run on debut for George Scott before an eye-catcher at Wolverhampton. He was gifted a mark of 71 and won eased down after a mere push of the button from Callum Shepherd. The handicapper was certainly taking no chances by giving him a 12lbs rise next time out, but he defied that in almost exact form – travelling well (last off the bridle) before drawing five lengths clear under minimal urgings, again eased down heavily. He had to carry plenty more weight than ideal that day as he was rated 83 in a 0-70, giving 11lbs away to the 2nd. He has much more on his plate now off a further 16lbs rise, however his RPR of 101 that day suggests a mark of 97 could still underestimate this well bred son of New Approach.
Matt Sutcliffe’s Weekend Bets
2.25 Haydock – ISLE OF JURA (1pt win – 10/1 generally)
3.40 Newmarket – CAROLINA REAPER (1.5pt win – 6/1 generally)
Looking For More Racing Info? Check Out Our Racecards & Top Tips Sections
Make sure you’re following us on all our social media platforms to keep up to date with all the latest horse racing news and the best tips.