Friday Racing: Captain Buck’s Could Lead Them Home at Wincanton5 min read
Confirmation from John Gosden on Thursday that Roaring Lion will run in the QE II on Champions Day at Ascot tomorrow for which he is the 9/4 market leader . The Newmarket handler runs Cracksman in first time blinkers as he looks for a repeat success in the Champion Stakes and the four-year-old is 4/5 market leader under his optimum (soft ground) conditions.
The ground is described as heavy for today’s Haydock flat card and Storm Ahead (3.35) bounced back to something like his best when runner up over C&D from a 2lbs lower mark last time. His losing run stands at 20, but he finished runner up at Ascot just over 12 months ago from a 12lbs higher mark and soft ground clearly suits. Tim Easterby’s yard remain in good form and Storm Ahead can reward each way support.
Tom Dascombe’s This Girl has not seen the track since winning here over 6f on debut last September on heavy ground. It should be noted that she went off 20/1 for that success and her half-sister Kachess won first time out and then lost her next 17 races.
With that in mind she is overlooked in favour of Muthanaa (4.40) who cost just £2,500 back in August but made a pleasing racecourse debut when second at Pontefract earlier in the month. New Graduate looked a decent prospect when scoring at Thirsk last time but, as a son of New Approach, he is not guaranteed to appreciate the forecast heavy ground. He is the one to beat but will be a very short price and he and This Girl are penalised for their previous wins.
The ground is good at Fakenham and Rocky’s Treasure (3.10) gets the vote in the Novices’ Chase for David Bass and Kim Bailey despite being slightly inferior to two of today’s rivals Cultivator and Comanche Chieftain on hurdles ratings.
The selection easily landed the odds in a match at Kelso on his chase debut, although one slight concern was his tendency to jump slightly out to his right at the Borders’ track.
In the opener Collodi (2.05) can make all in the Seller under Harry Reed who is very good value for his claim. The selection is hardly one of the stable stars, but he is 2lbs lower than when third in a better race than this at Stratford last time.
I’m going to give Captain Buck’s (2.55) one last chance at Wincanton as I am convinced he is capable of better for the inform Paul Nicholls. The selection has only ever won on a right-handed track and at just six years of age he has the scope for further improvement over the larger obstacles.
There is a cracking handicap hurdle over the minimum trip and Volpone Jelois (3.25) should be fit for his seasonal debut having been on the go for most of the summer on the level. The selection has won a Jumpers Bumper under today’s conditional jockey Alexander Thorne and I hope the grey is open to more improvement.
Chozen (3.55) will get further than today’s two miles in time but connections have found a decent opportunity for his chase debut. The selection still held every chance when coming down two out in a point in his native Ireland on his first start and then finished runner up in his only subsequent run between the flags. The selection can be a tad keen – hence the hood he wears – but he is potentially a bit better than today’s rivals.