Leicester Can Be A Happy Hunting Ground For Great Esteem6 min read
The first leg of the Autumn double, the Cambridgeshire, is the big betting race of the forthcoming weekend. John Gosden’s three-year-old Lord North currently heads the market at 8/1 . There is an unsettled forecast with the prospect of significant rain in the early part of the week and my selection at this stage would be Charlie Fellowes three-year-old King Ottokar who is 11/1. A straight 9f could prove ideal for a colt who has not had lady luck with him for much of the season.
Leicester (1.50): Law Of Peace
There was significant rain predicted for Leicester yesterday and if the forecast was correct, the ground is likely to be on the soft side of good for today’s flat card. A market move for Sir Michael Stoute’s Frankel colt Highest Ground would be worth noting in the opener, but Law Of Peace (1.50) has been beaten a neck and a nose in his first couple of starts and can make it third time lucky for Charlie Appleby and William Buick.
Leicester (2.20): I Had A Dream
In the fillies’ nursery I Had A Dream (2.20) drops back in trip by a furlong having made most when runner up at Haydock last time. The filly is a half-sister to five winners and she does not look overburdened from an opening mark of 67.
Leicester (4.00): Great Esteem (NAP)
Great Esteem (4.00) was beaten over 4L on debut at Wolverhampton but the winner – Casanova – has subsequently followed up in a Sandown handicap from a mark of 91. The fact that the selection went off just 7/4 against a rival who had already shown a good level of form suggests that he had been shaping up well on the home gallops. He lost his race at the start at Dunstall Park and is likely to improve significantly with that experience under his belt.
Hamilton (4.10): Carbon Dating Each Way
Tim Easterby was among the winners at Ayr and his Multellie won the corresponding 12f handicap at Hamilton for 6-year-olds and older 12 months ago and he can race from a mark 1lb lower this afternoon. A check of the market is advised.
The each way vote, however, goes to Carbon Dating (4.10) who is weighted to reverse C&D form with Donnachies Girl. The selection travelled like the best horse last time and could not be described as a serial winner, but he is very well treated on his best form and Rowan Scott – who rode a winner for Irish trainer Andrew Hughes at Ffos Las recently – takes off a valuable 3lbs.
Warwick (2.45): Heart Of Kernow
There is a competitive handicap chase at Warwick but do look out for a market move on Nigel Hawke’s Heart Of Kernow (2.45) who has the scope to make a decent chaser although he disappointed – beaten when fell on his reappearance – last season. A number of the stable’s runners were under a cloud last season, however, and this inmate could make up for last time this term. Sean Bowen was in the plate when the selection made a winning seasonal reappearance two years ago and he is back in the saddle this afternoon.
Kempton (7.00): Cadre Du Noir
There is a good card at Kempton this evening including a valuable mile handicap. Cadre Du Noir (7.00) didn’t look to be crying out for a step back in trip when third at Sandown last time, but he did win on his penultimate start over this trip at Newmarket and is well drawn in stall two.
Kempton (7.30): Noble Music
Alignak is likely to be all the rage in the 12f Novice event with his second at Salisbury on his reappearance, arguably, the best form on offer. Marginal preference is for the filly Noble Music (7.30) who finished a close third at Haydock on heavy ground last time and looks well up to winning a small race for Ralph Beckett.
Kempton (8.00): Al Moataz
The draw has again been kind to Highfaluting in the 7f Handicap and he is only 2lbs higher than when second here last time. The vote goes to Marco Botti’s Al Moataz (8.00) who improved for the step back to this trip when second at Wolverhampton last time.
Kempton (8.30): Percy’s Prince
Percy’s Prince (8.30) stayed on stoutly when fifth here over 12f last time and the hope is that the step up to 2m and first-time cheek-pieces work the oracle for Sir Mark Prescott’s 3-y-old who does nothing quickly but looked ready for this stiffer test of stamina last time.