Liverpool FC: Christmas Crack Me Up Challenge
The opening day of Newmarket’s three-day meeting (live on ITV 3) begins on Thursday afternoon and I hinted earlier in the week that I couldn’t desert Legends Of War (2.25) in the Gp 2 July Stakes for John Gosden.
The Newmarket handler suggested his colt missed Royal Ascot and a meeting with stablemate Calyx in the Coventry Stakes as he gave a cough, but it could be a blessing in disguise that he missed the race and comes here on the back of a facile Yarmouth debut success.
Tribal Quest (3.00) has won both starts this season since being gelded and I thought he had a bit more in hand than the length margin of victory when scoring on the Rowley Mile over Guineas weekend. His subsequent two-month lay-off is a slight concern, but he might still be ahead of the handicapper racing from a 7lbs higher mark.
My two against the field in the Princess Of Wales’s Stakes are the Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned pair of Muntahaa (3.35) and Laraaib with marginal preference for the former who finished a staying on third at Royal Ascot over 1m 2f in the listed Wolferton Stakes last time. He is 7/1 and is an each way recommendation.
One would imagine Jim Crowley had the choice of mounts but remains loyal to Laraaib who was posted wide in the same race at Ascot and was never competitive. The colt steps up to 12f for the first time and is also priced at 7/1 .
The listed Sir Henry Cecil Stakes represents a drop in grade for Symbolisation (4.45) and Gabr and the narrow vote goes to the Charlie Appleby-trained colt who could never strike a blow dropped to seven furlongs for the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot last month. The colt had previously followed too strong a pace in the Irish Guineas at the Curragh and the hope is that William Buick can get the fractions right this afternoon.
Legends Of War 5/2
Tribal Quest 7/1 (e/w)
In the opening Amateur Riders’ Handicap at Doncaster the maiden Perla Blanca (2.15) steps up to 2m for the first time and this could be the making of her. The filly made a pleasing comeback at Ayr on her first start for Ed Dunlop over 1m 5f and if she stays today’s additional distance she will be tough to beat. Tyrell ran well on his first start for Lawrence Mullaney at Pontefract and looks a big danger.
Supernova (5.10) would have been an unlucky loser at Goodwood when breaking his maiden tag last month and I hope he can defy an opening mark of 81 on his handicap debut this afternoon. Jamie Spencer keeps the mount on David Simcock’s colt who looks open to further improvement having had just the three career starts.
Perla Blanca 4/1
Supernova 5/6 (NAP)
Gerard Mosse takes over on Armed (8.00) stepping up in trip to 10f at Newbury this evening. The selection is half-brother to seven flat winners and his pedigree suggests this trip should be ideal.
It is not out of the question that Outofthequestion (8.35) can defy a 3lbs rise for coming from last-to-first here just over a fortnight ago from a slightly shorter trip. That was in an apprentice contest but Martin Harley takes over in the plate tonight for Alan King.