Friday Racing: Conditions Perfect for Loughaderra Prince at Cheltenham5 min read
The Bank Holiday weekend is set fair and we should have some decent flat racing ground for the first classics’ of the season at Newmarket. Aidan O’Brien will saddle three of the 14 who were declared for the colts’ classic tomorrow including Gustav Klimt who remains the market leader.
In Sunday’s 1000 Guineas Frankie Dettori’s likely mount Altyn Orda – runner up to Soliloquy in the Nell Gwyn – has been nibbled at in recent days and is (from 20s).
At Lingfield this afternoon the filly, Crossing The Line, carries a 7lbs penalty for winning on debut and the grey colt Lashabeeh (2.50) ran well on debut when beaten just a neck at Kempton at the end of November. That looks decent form and I hope to see Jim Crowley stalk the filly before quickening up in the short home straight – the draw in stall seven is a slight concern.
Pollyissimo (4.50) was staying on nicely under hands and heels over ten furlongs on her reappearance and this half-sister to a listed winner over today’s trip is fitted with cheek-pieces for her handicap debut. She has plenty of weight to carry this afternoon and is not overly big, but she begins life in handicaps from a very low mark.
Monday’s Salisbury (10f) third Clan McGregor is not guaranteed to appreciate this step up in trip but that is, arguably, the best bit of recent form on offer.
There is a cracking 7f handicap at Musselburgh and I expect to see the top-weights Mosalim (3.40) and Tribal Warrior play a prominent part in the finish. The selection showed marked improvement when winning at Chelmsford on his reappearance and the hope is that he can transfer that improvement to turf for William Haggas.
Tribal Warrior has yet to race on turf and has a wide draw to overcome in stall seven, but he was a fluent winner at Kempton from a 5lbs lower mark last month and a tight right-handed track clearly suits.
The form of Four Kingdom’s (4.10) Kempton success from Sky Eagle has been boosted by the runner up winning his last couple of starts and the selection hinted that his turn was near when he finished a good third at Thirsk earlier in the week.
Karl Burke’s four-year-old had to do plenty of running to get into a prominent position from stall 16 on Monday but he has a decent draw today (3) if jockey Ben Curtis wants to make plenty of use of his charge.
The ground should be perfect for tonight’s Hunter Chase evening at Cheltenham and in the opener, I hope to see Loughaderra Prince (4.55) go close for Noel and Tom George. The selection jumped and travelled well when fifth over an additional half-mile on his British debut and the hope is that today’s better ground will suit this lightly-raced nine-year-old, who won a Naas Bumper when trained by Alan Fleming in Ireland.
Barel Of Laughs (6.40) beat The Wealerdealer in the corresponding race 12 months ago and is taken to follow up in the feature race the £25,000 Gold Cup Final. The selection finished third in the Festival Foxhunters’ Chase over C&D back in March on soft ground but is equally effective on a faster surface.
In the 4m contest the ground has come right for Al Co and the teenager must go close but I was taken with the recent Chepstow success of Battle Dust – albeit on soft ground – and he looks the type who will stay forever. Note Al Co was well held on that occasion but he is a much better horse on good or faster ground.
Barel of Laughs