Fakenham Fences Fit For A Butlergrove King4 min read
Hermosa was cut from 16s to 5/1 for the Oaks at Epsom next month after making all in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket on Sunday. The classic success gave trainer Aidan O’Brien a Guineas double and Ballydoyle have now won nine of the last 12 British classics, although Ryan Moore – who would have had the choice of mounts – finished unplaced on both Ten Sovereigns (5th) in the colts’ race and Just Wonderful (6th) in the fillies. He has had better weekends.
Later in the day on Sunday Maqsab put up a visually very impressive display in the Pretty Polly Stakes and was cut to 6/1 for the Oaks from 25/1. It looked a poor renewal of that listed contest she won, however, and she would need to step up markedly on what she has shown so far to threaten the Ballydoyle fillies’ at Epsom.
Chester’s three-day May meeting – the highlight of the season on the Roodeye – begins tomorrow but we begin today’s preview over the jumps at Fakenham where their highlight is the Norfolk National over 3m 5f. Doing Fine has been given a chance by the handicapper but he might get too far back around these tight turns and is reluctantly overlooked.
The vote goes to Fifty Shades (3.45) who has won two of his last three starts including over today’s trip at Warwick last time from a 9lbs lower mark. He looks a most progressive young staying chaser for Christian Williams.
I hope it is a good day for the yard as Butlergrove King (2.40) drops back in trip to the distance of his Ffos Las win back in June 2017. The selection can race off the same mark as when runner up over 3m to an inconsistent but well-handicapped rival at Warwick last time – his first start for the yard following a 230-day break from the track.
Mr Mix (4.45) found the Aintree Foxhunters’ too severe a test last time and he is best judged on his 11L second to the subsequent Cheltenham Foxhunters’ winner Hazel Hill on his penultimate start under Rules.
2.40: Butlergrove King
3.45: Fifty Shades
4.45: Mr Mix
The ground is described as good at Ayr with further showers forecast and I hope there is enough juice in the ground for Sophie Olivia (3.00) who gets the vote in the 2m 4f Handicap Chase. The mare finished second off this mark returning from a break when last seen back in March and she is taken to go one better with Danny Cook – who was in the saddle for the first time at Gosforth Park – keeping the mount.
3.00: Sophie Olivia
Midnight Glory (6.20) gets the vote in the 3m Handicap Hurdle for Philip Hobbs this evening having finished third in a decent Mares’ only contest at Ayr’s Scottish National meeting last month. Stop The World looks the danger representing Tom George.
6.20: Midnight Glory
At Wetherby I hope to see Moon King (4.55) follow up his recent C&D success under a 6lbs penalty for Ralph Beckett with Harry Bentley taking over in the saddle.
4.55: Moon King