Friday Racing: Pennywhistle Could Blow Them Away6 min read
Confirmation yesterday that Aidan O’Brien will saddle three of the seven-strong field in the Irish Oaks at the Curragh on Saturday with Ryan Moore booked for Magic Wand (11/8) with British raider Sea Of Class 2/1 and 4/1 bar.
There is a cracking jumps card at Market Rasen tomorrow and I have already thrown a few quid each way at Sumkindofking (10/1) and Geordie Des Champs (10/1) in the feature Summer Plate.
At Newbury this afternoon Momkin (2.00) is taken to land the opener for Roger Charlton having finished third at Salisbury on debut under Andrea Atzeni. The winner (Forseti) and second (Dombra) did little for the form at Newmarket last week, but I felt Momkin travelled like the best horse on debut and he is entitled to come on for the experience.
The step up to 12f for the first time should suit Nathan (4.10) for Alan King whose string remain in such great form. The 4-y-old must give weight to his four rivals, but he made a pleasing reappearance when third at Chelmsford off this mark last month and his pedigree suggests he is well worth a step up in trip.
There is a terrific 1m 6f handicap for three-year-olds at Haydock and I hope to see Surya (4.50) follow up his recent Newcastle win when he looked a real galloper over that stiff 1m 4f. The handicapper had had his say but the second and third have subsequently won and John Gosden’s Frankel colt can follow up.
At Nottingham this afternoon Red Striker (4.00) makes his handicap debut for Sir Michael Stoute and the hope is that Harry Bentley makes a bit more use of the Sea The Stars colt than Ryan Moore did at Lingfield last time when he was never competitive. His opening handicap mark of 76 doesn’t look particularly lenient, but he is open to considerable improvement and he has been very well backed on all three starts to date.
Gravina (5.35) is 1lb higher than when third at Chepstow on her handicap debut and Ryan Moore looks a significant booking for Alan King’s lightly-raced filly who will want a true test at Newmarket this evening.
The first three came clear when Pennywhistle (6.10) finished third at Kempton on debut from a modest draw travelling into the race like a decent juvenile. Jockey Robert Havlin didn’t get too serious with his debutante and the hope is that his kindness will be rewarded tonight.
George Villiers (6.40) looked a non-stayer when a beaten favourite over 10f at Newmarket last time and no surprise to seer Gosden dropping his Dubawi colt down to a mile tonight. The colt runs in the same Princess Haya colours as Pennywhistle and let’s hope it is a good evening for connections.
Arabian Gift (7.10) still holds an entry in the Yorkshire Oaks, but connections drop her back to a mile given she looked a non-stayer over 10f on her belated reappearance at Doncaster last month. She was sent off odds on last time and is obviously a talented filly at home for Charlie Appleby.
Atticus Boy (8.25) has won his last couple of starts on the all-weather and I feel David Lanigan’s 3-y-old can land the hat-trick at Hamilton this evening. One could argue the form of his half-length success at Wolverhampton 10 days ago was devalued when the runner up Silver Character was well beaten earlier in the week, but the latter was given a poor ride – embroiled in a battle for the lead – and is best overlooked.