Carabao Cup Semi-Final Preview
John Gosden reported on Tuesday that his Coronation Cup winner Cracksman was on target for next Wednesday’s Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot for which he is 4/5 market leader. The Frankel colt was not at his best at Epsom but loves Ascot and is likely to take all the beating this time next week.
There is a good card at Sandown on Saturday and I think the stiff five furlongs will be ideal for Roussel – 7/4 – although he makes little appeal from a betting medium at this stage. The Charlie Appleby-trained 3-y-old is also entered at York in a handicap over an additional furlong at the weekend and holds an entry for next Friday’s Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot for which he is a 25/1 shot. The suggestion is to hold fire until the declaration stage.
At Haydock on Wednesday afternoon there is a fascinating Mile Novice event for three-year-olds and I hope to see Caradoc (3.10) confirm the promise of his facile Chester win last month when jockey Pat Cotsgrave had difficulty pulling him up.
The selection must give away 6lbs to both promising maidens Mount Ararat and Swiss Knight and the latter is a big danger given he ran a 90-rated horse a fright on debut back in December. I vowed to support Caradoc until he met with defeat, however, after watching him on the Roodeye but I am worried about the Charlie Appleby-trained Swiss Knight.
I feel the handicapper has given William Hunter a chance in the mile-and-a-half handicap and it will be interesting if the market speaks in his favour. I just favour Sky Marshall (4.10) who transferred his improved all-weather form back to turf when beaten a short head at Newbury last month from a 7lbs lower mark.
Roger Charlton’s string are beginning to hit top form and his Sea The Stars gelding Magellan improved with each run last term – there is likely to be much more from him this term.
Sky Marshall 9/2
I think Chelmsford’s opener is the first 7f Juvenile race of the season and I’ll Have Another (2.20) shaped like a sure-fire future winner when second at Redcar on debut last month. The filly has plenty of stamina in her pedigree and I will be disappointed if she doesn’t go one better.
Geetanjali (3.20) looked a non-stayer over a mile on turf last time but that was over the straight mile on good to soft ground and I hope to see the filly get back to winning ways back at the scene of her 7f win here back in April – albeit from a 10lbs lower mark. A return to polytrack looks the key.
There is a cracking 7f Fillies’ handicap for the classic generation and Amandine (4.50) is 9lbs better off – including jockey’s allowances – with Hermosita for the couple of lengths she was beaten on her reappearance at Redcar. The selection has the bonus of being drawn next to the strands’ rail. If Nicola Currie can get the David Simcock-trained filly into a good position from the gates then she must have a leading chance of breaking her maiden tag at the fifth time of asking.
Simcock also saddles Court Of Justice (5.20) in the finale. This once-raced colt finished second at Ascot on his sole juvenile start and makes his belated seasonal reappearance receiving weight from a number of the principles.
I’ll Have Another 11/8 (NAP)
Court Of Justice 9/4
At Punchestown this evening Wonderoftheworld (5.50) ran a promising race on his chase debut when chasing home, the Willie Mullins-trained Up For Review who gave the second 6lbs. Nick Lost improved when winning at Limerick over hurdles last time and this son of Nickname was only beaten seven lengths behind the high-class Claimantakinforgan on his sole run between the flags. He will certainly be winning races over fences.
Monbeg Chit Chat can run from the same mark as when falling three out at Tipperary last month when he looked sure to play a part in the finish until coming down three out. This evening’s ground might be a shade quick however and Mulklinavat (6.50) can go well fresh and gets the vote as long as there is no significant overnight rain.