Liverpool FC: Christmas Crack Me Up Challenge
The declarations for the Shergar Cup at Ascot on Saturday will be made on Thursday morning and, at the time of writing, it is unsure whether Frankie Dettori will be available to captain the Rest of the World side with his services possibly required at Newmarket.
The feature race at Newmarket (July) is the Group 3 Sweet Solara Stakes and the Italian is likely to be needed for John Gosden’s recent C&D winner Pennywhistle 9/2 . Middleham handler Mark Johnston has the 3/1 favourite Main Edition although he has three of the 10 fillies entered at the five-day stage in what looks a sub-standard renewal.
Haydock hold a competitive card this afternoon and Moyassar (2.40) is taken to defy a 6lbs penalty in the 6f Novice Stakes. Richard Hannon’s colt finished runner up on his first couple of starts before running away with a Chelmsford Novice last time.
Richard Fahey’s Metallic Black made all to win at Pontefract on debut last month and receives 3lbs from the selection, but I would be disappointed if the Hannon colt was not up to conceding the weight.
The grey Kajaki (4.40) hinted at a return to form when beaten just over a couple of lengths at Chester last time and Kevin Ryan’s grey has never finished out of the first three in four previous outings at Haydock.
I am a big fan of Peter Chapple-Hyam and a market move for his Medalla De Oro would be worth noting although Windsor does seem to be his track and the hope is that this front-runner helps set the race up for the selection.
They go at Sandown this evening and Charlie Hills’ fits Royal Ascot disappointment Mutafwaffer (6.05) with a first-time hood. The selection had previously scored at Goodwood (6f) and Jim Crowley travels down from Yarmouth where he is in afternoon action.
The danger on breeding is the filly Royal Dynasty who receives 12lbs including her fillies’ allowance. This well-bred debutante is a half-sister to a couple of winners – a market check is recommended.
I am surprised Too Darn Hot (6.35) has not been out sooner this summer given his name but John Gosden’s beautifully bred colt holds an entry in the Group 2 Champagne Stakes at Doncaster and the yard’s top-class juveniles tend to know their job first time out.
Johnston’s Fraser Island has valuable experience having finished runner up here over 7f last month and he and the selection’s stablemate War Eagle will be winning their fair share of races. A fascinating an informative mile contest which I think is the first juvenile contest of the season over the trip.
Jack Regan overshot the start and pulled hard in the race when scoring at Nottingham last week and no surprise to see Ian Williams fit his 3-y-old with a first-time hood tonight. A draw in stall seven is also a concern and preference is for the handicap debutant Monoxide (7.10) who met trouble in running at Newbury last time, having run a promising race when runner up here on his penultimate start.
I’m going to give Sir Michael Stoute’s Whitehall (8.15) another chance with Ryan Moore back in the saddle. The gelding lost all chance at the start when fourth at Windsor last time and if he can get out of the stalls on terms this stiff mile should suit.
Too Darn Hot 6/5
Whitehall 2/1 (NAP)