G Force to put rivals in a spin
Man On The Spot previews Channel 4's live action from Ascot, Haydock Park and Kempton Park.
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Highland Acclaim was well beaten on his only previous try over this longer trip but the progressive Cornrow could figure if handling the drop back from 1m as a few of the fancied runners in this are also drawn low. They include Heavy Metal, who had a number of these behind when winning a heritage handicap over course and distance in July and was only beaten a short-head by Red Avenger in the Betfred Mile at Goodwood subsequently. But Mark Johnston's charge has looked in the handicapper's grip lately, including when behind stablemate Almargo two runs ago. The three-year-old was put up 6lb for that victory and has something to find with Safety Check on an earlier run at Goodwood. REDVERS is back on the same mark as when winning this last year and looks to have been aimed at a repeat as he's been brought along quietly this summer. Don't Call Me won the race in 2012 and is also worth noting following a gutsy victory over 1m here on Shergar Cup day.
CONFESSIONAL doesn't have the greatest of strike-rates but has won this twice and is on a lower mark than last year. He enjoys good ground and, with conditions likely to be in his favour, can gain victory number three in the event. He was three lengths behind Barnet Fair when the latter landed a tough handicap at Goodwood but is 6lb better off with the winner, who would prefer faster going. Borderlescott hasn't won since landing the Beverley Bullet two years ago but this is now his lowest mark since scoring at York in 2005 and there could be one last hoorah in him. Normal Equilibriumhasn't won from a mark this high but the three-year-old High On Life, who completed a four-timer earlier this summer, bounced back to form with a superb run at York when conceding lumps of weight to the first two. Doctor Parkes is rarely far away and is on a fair mark these days with Declan McDonogh an eye-catching booking.
Prince Bishop hasn't raced since back in March, but that was also the case before he won last year's renewal. However, he carries a penalty this time for winning a Group 1 race at Meydan when Cat O'Mountain was fourth. The third Godolphin runner, Secret Number, has been off the track since October and DANDINO is preferred. The latter won this in 2012 and a good effort at Arlington last month suggests he may well be back to something like his best today. The globe-trotting Red Cadeaux returned to these shores last time but should have done better in the Geoffrey Freer at Newbury while Battalion and Robin Hoods Bay have something to find in this company.
Roger Charlton has won this twice in the past four years and CAPTAIN CAT can keep up the sequence. He has a penalty to carry for his victory at this level at Salisbury but probably should have won the Group 2 Celebration Mile at Goodwood - compensation awaits here. Emell, who finished in front of him when a 66/1 chance at Goodwood, doesn't appear likely to confirm the form but Penitent does best with some give in the ground so conditions could suit the eight-year-old, who won two Listed contests around this time last year. Ocean Tempest was a long way behind the selection at Windsor in June though that was nowhere near his form and he carried a big weight to victory in a Chester handicap last time. Top Notch Tonto won this a year ago and finished runner-up to Short Squeeze in a tough handicap at York last time so the latter is very much respected, even though he was also behind the selection at Windsor.
TENOR went close to defying an 11lb rise when second in a Shergar Cup handicap at Ascot. Joe Doyle's 5lb allowance makes today's task that much easier and his main rivals are also looking to shrug off a hike in the weights. Lawmans Thunder failed to cope with a 12lb rise last time having landed a double over track and trip in May while Buckstay is 10lb higher than when beating Suehail here in June. Si Senor is another upped in the weights as he bids for a hat-trick while the likes of Musaddas, George Cinq and Sound Advice have all done their winning in a lower grade so far.
A lucrative staying handicap that has brought out a strong field. Three-year-olds have a good record and Epsom Hill, who has won his last two in very emphatic style, can go well from the bottom of the handicap despite another massive rise in the ratings for his Newbury victory. Havana Cooler is looking a very smart performer over this trip and only just failed to hold off subsequent Ebor runner-up Van Percy at Goodwood. Nautilus was almost six lengths behind Van Percy at Lingfield in March but returned after a long break to land a Newmarket handicap at this level for which a 3lb rise looks lenient. HASSLE is also best at this trip and enjoys a bit of cut in the ground. He'll need to improve but looks capable of doing so and gets the nod, though Glenard wasn't far behind him at Ascot earlier and is a couple of pounds better off. Big Thunder landed a course and distance handicap a year ago and is only 1lb higher while Quest For More stepped up to 2m for the first time at York and only just failed against Edge Of Sanity.
Saeed bin Suroor has won the last two renewals but Hidden Gold will have to improve on his latest second at Pontefract to figure in what is a hugely-competitive handicap. Battersea looks progressive and had subsequent winners Swivel, one of four Mark Johnston entries today, and Galizzi behind when scoring over course and distance in July. But he doesn't appear to have been done any favours by the draw and Second Step, third at Goodwood after a couple of wins at Newbury, and last month's Leicester winner Gothic will also start out wide. Rainbow Rock still looks nicely treated while Montaly beat Gwafa at Haydock last month and is a tough sort. Agent Murphy will have to prove his stamina, however, and Satellite is proving a big disappointment. ASTRONEREUS may have beaten Our Gabrial here last month had Emma-Jayne Wilson not dropped her whip. This looks his trip and he should give supporters a run for their money today.
Three-year-olds have won three of the last 10 and are very well represented this time. Cougar Mountain won easily on his debut and has competed in two Group 1 sprints subsequently and not been beaten far. However, he, Extortionist, Moviesta, Hot Streak, G Force and Astaire were behind Sole Power in the Nunthorpe at York. The winner is definitely best at 5f and the one to take out of the race is G FORCE, who got no sort of run but finished strongly and will be suited by the extra furlong. He's only had seven starts in his life and, with further progress expected, he's taken to reward each-way support in a hot renewal. Last year's winner Gordon Lord Byron has been brought to the boil for another crack and is greatly respected though this looks a stronger line-up than a year ago. Music Master needs to find a bit more but Henry Candy is a master with sprinters and it would be no shock to see him in the frame.