Thursday Racing: The Last But One To Be The First6 min read
Confirmation on Wednesday that Andrea Atzeni has come in for the plum rides on Stradivarius – – in the Goodwood Cup and Without Parole in the Sussex Stakes next week in the absence of the suspended Frankie Dettori.
The weights came out for the Ebor Handicap at York next month yesterday and last weekend’s Newbury winner Stratum has been allotted 9st 2lbs. The latter is one of ten entries from the yard of Willie Mullins and is the favourite to give the legendary Irish handler a second success in the race following the success of the mare Sesanta back in 2009.
The feature race at Sandown this afternoon is the listed 2-y-o fillies contest over seven furlongs. La Pelosa (2.20) should appreciate the step up to this trip and this represents a drop in class to the Gp 2 Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes she contested last time. Charlie Appleby’s filly was badly hampered by Dettori’s mount (see above) Angel’s Hideaway two out, but was under pressure at the time and would not have beaten the impressive winner Pretty Pollyanna.
The selection had previously finished runner up in the Albany at Royal Ascot and she will be hard to beat this afternoon despite a moderate draw in stall six.
Ghostwatch will have his supporters in the valuable 1m 6f handicap but if Sexy Beast (2.55) settles better than he did at Haydock last time there seems no reason why he shouldn’t confirm the form with the Appleby-trained runner who is fitted with first-time cheek-pieces today.
Sexy Beast was an impressive winner back at Haydock on his penultimate start and if he is more amenable to restraint than on his latest start I feel he will be tough to beat although Ghostwatch is likely to be a different proposition back at Sandown – fluent winner on penultimate start – especially if the headgear works the oracle.
Flight Of Fantasy is likely to ensure a true gallop in the 10f handicap and the hope is that Dream Machine (3.25) has a bit more luck in-running than was the case last time when Jamie Spencer was constantly denied a run inside the last couple of furlongs. Adam Kirby was in the plate when the 4-y-old scored on his penultimate start and he is back in the saddle today.
The form of Fannie By Gaslight’s Salisbury success was hardly boosted when the runner up Player’s Luck failed to improve for the subsequent step up in trip at Doncaster. It is likely that Whispering Sands (4.00) will get further than 10f in time given she is closely related to the late John Dunlop’s St Leger winner Millenary, but I hope she can take this for Harry Dunlop whose filly returns from a two-month break having contested a listed contest at Goodwood last time.
The lightly-raced King’s Slipper (4.30) makes his handicap debut having improved for the step up to a mile for the first time when landing the odds at Windsor earlier in the month. The form of his previous second to Power Of Darkness at Salisbury was given a boost when the winner followed up from a mark of 84 last time suggesting the selection might be fairly-treated off 76.
At Worcester Auenwirbel (2.10) can go one better than when second here at the beginning of the month when he was very confidently ridden by Gavin Sheehan. The selection has been raised 2lbs for that run but he would have gone very close had he not missed out the first two fences in the home straight.
The Last But One (4.50) travelled well but was readily put in his place by a couple of useful sorts over hurdles at Newton Abbot on his penultimate start and he reverts to the smaller obstacles today having bumped into a very well-handicapped sort over fences here earlier in the month.
The Last But One NAP
Silver Crescent (7.15) has been raised 6lbs for finishing second at Wolverhampton in first time blinkers when he travelled like much the best horse in the race but failed to get home. Ralph Beckett’s gelding drops down in trip this evening at Newbury and the Newmarket handler dispenses with the headgear tonight.
Tahreek is likely to be all the rage such was the ease of his Nottingham success from a 6lbs lower mark, but he has to show he stays this additional quarter-mile although it should be noted that the third horse home at Colwick Park has won since.