Gregorian pick in the Park
Man On The Spot previews Saturday's televised Channel 4 races from Doncaster and Chester.
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Treaty Of Paris just held off the fast-finishing THE GREY GATSBY in the Acomb at York but Kevin Ryan's promising grey took a while to find his stride on the Knavesmire and is fancied to turn the tables here on softer ground. He can also get the better of Gimcrack fourth Cable Bay, who looks held by the less-exposed Goodwood second Outstrip on a line through Richard Fahey's good yardstick Parbold. Anjaal pounced late to land the July Stakes at Newmarket last time but there is just a question mark over how he'll cope with his penalty on slower going over an extra furlong. Exogenesis won a Group 3 at Leopardstown before finishing third in the Futurity at the Curragh and can't be ignored but Picks Pinta may be out of his depth.
The Dr Marwan Koukash colours are prominent as is the norm at this track nowadays and Mehdi makes more appeal off his current mark than both Apostle and Gatepost. Alejandro and Kingscroft could have been better drawn while Balty Boys will find this tougher than the claimer he won at Beverley last time albeit by seven lengths. Conroy returns to action off an 11lb higher mark but Ocean Tempest could figure and Spin Artist has leading claims back over 7f. However, YOU DA ONE won a higher grade handicap at Goodwood back in May and with scope for further improvement this year, the three-year-old gets a speculative vote in a wide-open affair.
Only one winner of this in the last 10 years has started at less than 11/1 which just about sums up the problems punters face. A few of these contested last year's race with Doc Hay coming out on top but third SECRET WITNESS, who was only beaten a length and half, is 10lb better off and makes plenty of appeal at his likely starting price. Barnet Fair, Ancient Cross, Prodigality and Steps weren't far behind but all are worse off at the weights and Ron Harris' seven-year-old can be forgiven his run in the Great St Wilfrid at Ripon last time when he was drawn on the unfavoured stands' side. Ajjaadd was runner-up in the Stewards' Cup at Goodwood last month, just ahead of Burwaaz and the luckless Racy, and has decent claims again while Chester scorer El Viento makes more appeal than fellow recent winners Bogart, Confessional and Zero Money at the weights with George Chaloner taking off 5lb. Definightly and Magical Macey look to have too much weight but Elusivity has each-way possibilities if you ignore an unexplained poor effort in a Nottingham conditions race last time.
TAC DE BOISTRON was originally entered for a hot Group 3 at Kempton last weekend and looks better suited to today's task. A Group 2 winner at Longchamp last year, he ran well for a long way behind Harris Tweed at Goodwood on his first start for Marco Botti and is fancied to get the better of Cubanita. The latter went close in Group company at Cork back in June and is preferred to Cameron Highland, who is penalised for winning a Listed race at Windsor last month. Area Fifty One won over 1m2f here in June which so far has proved his best trip while Montaser and Star Lahib were both well beaten behind Sun Central at this track a fortnight ago. Allied Powers has won just the once since 2010 and last year's Chester Cup hero, Ile de Re, will find today's trip short enough.
Lockwood is back to his best judged on his victory in the Group 3 Supreme Stakes at Goodwood and will be a danger to all as he's proven on the ground. Aljamaaheer didn't find as much as expected in the Prix Jacques-Le-Marois at Deauville last time but his earlier form is rock-solid and includes placed efforts in Group 1 company and a victory in a Group 2 at Ascot. Roger Varian's colt has to go on the short-list while it will be interesting to see how the three-year-old filly Viztoria gets on against older horses after her sixth in the Coronation Stakes. GREGORIAN finished half-a-length behind Aljamaaheer in the Queen Anne Stakes at Ascot but can reverse that form here on an easier surface and over a shorter trip. John Gosden's charge gets the nod, though Sovereign Debt is no mug and could run a decent race at bigger odds. Sirius Prospect is suited by 7f nowadays but the York winner is likely to find a few of these too good.
Recent rain has cast a real doubt over Galileo Rock's participation though the Epsom Derby third, who was second in the Irish equivalent at the Curragh subsequently, has won on soft ground. Libertarian finished a short-head ahead of Galileo Rock at Epsom having taken an age to find his stride but then disappointed badly in the Irish Derby in his first start for Godolphin. Charlie Appleby also runs Cap O'Rushes, who finished fourth at the Curragh before beating the progressive Excess Knowledge on good to soft ground in the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood. But the fifth that day, SECRET NUMBER, got no sort of run and was staying on well in the closing stages and was again doing his best work at the finish when third in the Great Voltigeur at York, just behind the less-exposed Foundry but well ahead of Havana Beat. Aidan O'Brien's charge has more scope but Saeed bin Suroor's colt looks the value at the likely odds as his trainer knows what it takes to land this. Ballydoyle also have Leading Light in the line-up bidding for a five-timer. He's unbeaten this year but the Queen's Vase winner is taking on better horses now while Oaks heroine Talent hasn't been seen since running a shocker at the Curragh in June and no filly has won the world's oldest classic form more than 20 years. Great Hall and Ralston Road are likely to find this a big ask.