Safe Voyage Could Sail Through On A Soft Newbury5 min read
There is the possibility of further showers hitting Newbury this afternoon. At the time of writing the ground was described as good to soft but there was heavy rain forecast for Friday afternoon and I think it is safe to assume that conditions are likely to be testing for today’s feature card.
In the opening 10f Handicap, Qarasu (1.15) is taken to bounce back from a poor run at Windsor last time when connections felt the good ground did not suit their three-year-old. The selection had previously impressed when scoring back at the Thameside track on soft ground. Jason Watson takes over in the saddle and the classic generation have won three of the last four renewals of the race. Caravan Of Hope looks a big danger for Hugo Palmer and a market move would be worth noting for this lightly-raced 3-y-old.
Juan Elcano (5/4) is taken to return to winning ways in the listed Denford Stakes having finished runner up in the Gp2 Superlative Stakes at Newmarket last time on fast ground. The selection had previously scored on heavy ground on debut and this Frankel colt holds entries at Group 1 level later in the season.
There must be a doubt about Her Majesty the Queen’s Sextant coping with the ground if conditions deteriorate and 11/10 favourite Morando must carry a 3lbs penalty for winning the Ormonde Stakes at Chester back in May.
Technician will enjoy the ground but there must be a slight concern about his stamina for this 1m 5f trip and the vote goes to Durston (2.25). The recommendation finished runner up in a hot Goodwood handicap last time but is proven on soft ground and Jamie Spencer should be able to get a good tow into the race. The selection is 11/2.
Ryan Moore is booked for the sole three-year-old in the 7f handicap on Breath Of Air for Charlie Hills and he looks sure to run a big race, but George William (3.00) is the each way recommendation at 5/1. The selection has been dropped 3lbs for finishing runner up over today’s C&D last time – albeit beaten 3L – and he has won his sole previous start on soft ground.
The form of Safe Voyage’s (3.35) Curragh third was given a boost when Romanised did us a favour at Deauville in Group 1 company on Sunday. The selection – 85/40 at BetVictor – should enjoy the return to slow ground and receives 3lbs from Sir Dancealot who won this corresponding race 12 months ago but might not be as effective if the ground turns soft.
Pour Me A Drink looks likely to go off favourite for the 10f Handicap and will enjoy the underfoot conditions, but he has yet to prove he stays this trip especially with the likelihood of soft ground. James Watson has ridden Zzoro (4.45) twice previously and they have resulted in a win and a second and I believe the partnership will go close this afternoon. The selection has won from higher marks in the past and the Amanda Perrett yard remain in good form.
George William (3.00) Each Way
At Newmarket, Aplomb (3.55) has won two of his last three starts for William Haggas and I thought he was good value for his neck success at Leicester on Sunday for which he is penalised 6lbs. Any significant rain would be a plus.