Monmore’s feature Summer Festivals continue apace on Saturday with the semi-finals of both the Ladbrokes Gold Cup & Summer Stayers Classic taking centre stage and Timeform’s Joe Nordoff highlights his best bets.
It is fair to say QUEEN JESSIEJ (Trap 1, 6.58) had a tricky draw to overcome in her heat of the Gold Cup seven days ago, particularly given she had the very pacy and re-opposing Referendum (Trap 2) on her immediate inside. However, Liz McNair’s charge passed the test with flying colours, breaking smartly from the white jacket and dipping under the 28-second barrier, posting a very smart Timeform rating of 136.
The latter, chasing in vein pursuit, recorded a Timeform figure of 120 in going down by four and three-quarter lengths. In truth, Queen Jessiej may well find her draw on the fence this evening aiding her cause, particularly in a race packed full of railers and, with a 100% record to call upon when operating from the red jacket, she’s expected to book her place in the final.
Waikiki Lad (Trap 3, TF 136) an excellent second in last month’s All England Cup, emerged with credit from his opening heat, encountering a host of trouble spots before keeping on to take second behind Seaglass Tiger and is fancied to emerge as the chief threat and forecast play.
The third and final semi-final of the Gold Cup has served up a real treat with the pair heading up the antepost market BOCKOS DOOMIE (Trap 1, TF 136) and Hiya Boyo (Trap 2, TF 128) locking horns at 7.36.
Emerging with equal credit in proving successful in their respective heats last week, just two spots separated the pair on recorded final time. Connections may well have appreciated a face off in the final alone but it may be Bockos Doomie has come out more favourably on the draw on this occasion. Patrick Janssen’s charge immediately turned left from trap 2 last time, so the move to red looks beneficial and in what promises to be a nip and tuck battle to the opening corner, he may well have enough to hold Hiya Boyo and come out on top in a race to savour.
With proven high-class, six-bend form to call upon earlier in the year AAYAMZA ROYALE (Trap 3, TF 124) was arguably deserving of extra credit in finishing second behind a red-hot improving stayer in the shape of Droopys Catch in her respective heat of the Summer Stayers Classic. That was following a short spell campaigned in Ireland and the distinct possibility is Mark Wallis’ bitch will come forward plenty from that run.
Tom Lever’s star bitch BEECHGROVE BELL (Trap 1), who recorded a Timeform figure of 123 when making all last week, should again put the pace to the race on the rails and is often difficult to dislodge off the front end but Aayamza Royale is expected to be all the better for her recent blow out and can emerge on top on this occasion.
Earlier in the year WALTHAM MAGIC (Trap 6, TF 126) appeared to be levelling out as an A2-3 grader at Newcastle, yet Angela Harrison’s charge has proved an all-round improved model post lockdown, quickly climbing the ranks and confirming herself an open-race bitch of some merit in landing the Angel of the North Oaks Final on home soil.
A daughter of star marathon performer of yesteryear Roxholme Magic, it has come as no surprise to see her make an immediate impact over the longer trip, her early pace looking a potent weapon when successful in her Summer Classic heat last Saturday. This is undoubtedly her toughest assignment to date, particularly with kennelmate Droopys Catch (Trap 3 TF122) and Regency winner Zascandil (Trap 5, TF129) in opposition, yet Waltham Magic’s improvement may not have finished yet and with obvious claims of going clear once more and the potential for scrimmaging on the inner, she’s fancied to be soon making the best of her way home from the striped jacket.
Preview posted at 1110 BST on 21/08/2020
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