Monday Racing: Dame Nellie Should Relish Cut in Ground5 min read
A wonderful four days at York last week with facile Yorkshire Oaks winner Sea Of Class now 5/1 (from 12s) joint favourite for the Arc – alongside last year’s winner Enable – and impressive Galtres Stakes winner Lah Ti Dar 3/1 (from 10s) for the St Leger next month.
I feel Frankie Dettori will have to be at his most persuasive to convince owner Lord Lloyd Webber that Lah Ti Dar should be targeted at the final classic of the season. Dettori – let’s not forget – will be claimed to ride Enable in Paris and it would suit the Italian if Lah Ti Dar did not face the starter at Longchamp.
The listed Ripon Champion Two Year Old Trophy is the highlight of an underwhelming set of Bank Holiday Monday fixtures. There is heavy rain due to hit the track on Sunday and conditions are likely to be on the soft side of good if the forecasters have get it right.
Neverland Rock would have been the suggestion on fast ground but Life Of Riley (4.00) looks sure to appreciate any ease in the ground for Karl Burke and he looks sure to appreciate the step up to 6f for the first time given three of his half-brothers have won over 6f or beyond.
In the 10f three-year-old handicap Winged Spur puts her unbeaten course record on the line for Mark Johnston and the filly is only 3lbs higher than when scoring over C&D back in July. She must go close, but preference is for the lightly-raced Buckland Boy (2.50) who was well backed on his handicap debut and is 1lb lower and fitted in cheek-pieces this afternoon.
Gulf Of Poets was a late defection at York on Saturday on account of the prevailing fast ground and would be interesting if the rain arrives, but Waarif (4.35) is in the form of his life and is only 3lbs higher than when scoring here despite missing the break. It will need another career best to win this afternoon, but he gets on well with 5lbs claimer Conor McGovern and he has a cracking draw in stall two. Significant rain would be a big plus for old rival Mikmak who is a big danger.
Life Of Riley
At Chepstow I am keen on the chances of Dame Nellie (6.05) in the finale. The lightly-raced filly finished runner up over 10f at Salisbury on heavy ground back in April when she was doing all her best work in the closing stages.
Rae Guest’s filly won stepped up to today’s trip on polytrack on her penultimate start before failing to cope with fast ground at Newmarket at the beginning of the month. A return to easier ground will surely see her in a better light.
There is also significant rain forecast at Epsom and in the amateur riders’ Derby Gary Moore’s Whinging Willie (3.40) will not mind any softening of the ground and has often ran well here in the past – especially when there is a bit of cut.
The unbeaten Willie John (4.15) must prove he can handle cut underfoot but he is out of a Pivotal mare and he holds a Group 1 entry (Champion Stakes) later in the season. The selection has a bit to find on official figures with a few of today’s rivals including Connect who won over C&D here over the Derby weekend.