Liberty Breeze was given a strange ride. I was happy to see her sitting prominently but to see the jockey taking her to the stands side rail seemed a little crazy. I think she is a horse who is capable of winning a race in the near future, perhaps better on turf where the tracks are more conventional.
Trainer: Archie Watson
Jockey: Hollie Doyle
Backing a short-priced 2yo isn't ideal as you are prone to an improver popping up out of nowhere, or an unraced horse being better than you expected, but I will be taking a chance on the favourite A TASTE OF HONEY.
From the horses who have raced already, I don't think this is a strong race. The form of A Taste Of Honey's debut run is yet to be tested but I think it will work out better than any other piece of form in the race, other than maybe Rich who won the race in which Woolhampton was in. The winner looks like a nice horse, but the fact he managed to win over 6f and win with plenty in hand with his Sire being Cracksman who was a middle-distance horse suggests that the race wasn't all that strong.
I was impressed with Archie Watson's horse on debut as she was quite keen in the early stages. They raced her prominently and was headed around 2.5f from home, and when that normally happens to 2yo's on debut, they fall through the field and finished tailed off, but this filly didn't. It seemed that the penny didn't drop until late on, but when it did drop she ran on again and ran on strongly. The experience she would have gained from that race will put her in good stead for this race and I think if she steps forward she should be tough to beat. The winner of that race at Doncaster looks like a nice horse for Hugo Palmer, and if that race is to follow the ways of the renewal from 12 months prior then it could produce some decent horses. The 2021 winner is now a 100-rated horse, the 2nd is 90-rated and the 4th is 112-rated and finished 2nd in the 1000 Guineas.
Archie Watson won this race last year, and the horse which he won it with was entered in the same race that A Taste Of Honey ran in, so it seems Archie Watson has plotted out the same path for this horse, in which case he knows what kind of horse he has on his hands. That horse (Nazanin) is now rated 99 and won a Group 3 late last year.
Trainer: Richard Hannon
Jockey: Pat Dobbs
It's no surprise to see the only 3yo in the race being backed into favouritism from the early market moves as over this trip and time of year they are in receipt of a lot of weight to their elders. The chances of Zain Nights are there for all to see but it's not as simple as carrying less weight to win a race like this for a 3yo as they are still developing into their adult frame and they aren't fully matured. So with that being said, I think GRAND SCHEME is the value in this race and I think he is cracking odds.
I've been impressed with the progression Richard Hannon's horse has shown this year. He was a decent handicapper last year, but since turning 4yo he looks a much better horse, and he'll have to be if he's to win off a weight of 10st 2lbs. I really rate his form of all of his runs this year so the recent 6lb rise in the weights looks possible. I tipped up Cemhaan for a Royal Ascot handicap last week and though he didn't win, I think he didn't do bad considering he didn't have a clear run, and I still think that horse is weighted to win a nice race in the near future. From when Grand Scheme met Cemhaan, the latter has improved 10lbs and has won again. The fourth horse in that Salisbury race has improved from 79-rated to now being a 97-rated animal, with his latest performance producing an RPR of 103. In recent days, the fifth horse has also come out and franked the form by winning.
Since his runner-up effort on seasonal reappearance, Grand Scheme has managed to win two times from his last two runs. On both runs, he has shown something different and shows that he stays well but also has a good cruising speed. He won over 14f at Nottingham where he had to bridge a fairly large gap from the front runner who got away from the field, but his more impressive performance of the two was last time out over this C&D. He sat close to the pace that day, which was a positive, but he ran a blinder and showed his battling qualities. The 2nd has since run well in a decent handicap at Chester and I think there are a few horses from that race who will frank the form, including the 3rd who is a tricky horse but has the ability, as well as my selection from that race, Caramelised who was well gambled but didn't give his true running.
Trainer: Gemma Tutty
Jockey: Connor Beasley
Myristica is the one they all have to beat in this race, and it's not a surprise to see him out after quickly after his recent win as connections clearly feel he'll be hiked up in the handicap more than the 5lbs he has to carry today. I've been bit in the past when backing horses carrying a penalty and making a quick turnaround, so I think it could be worth taking him on.
The one which I like is currently at an EW price and that seems fair enough based on his most recent effort where something was clearly amiss. FREAK OUT ran well on seasonal reappearance but then bombed out in a York handicap, finishing tailed off in last place. Something wasn't right that day and connections have given him some time off (3o days) to recoup and go again, and I think a better run is expected this time around. His run at Newcastle in May can be marked up and better than his RPR of 86. That RPR is decent and would put him bang in contention of winning this race if he was to reproduce that form, but I think it could be better as he tried making all at a track which is notorious for being hard to make all. It's a long straight at Newcastle and closers often swamp the pace horses, so the fact he led for a long way and was only beaten into 3rd by a length shows the good form he was in. The form of that race looks solid enough with the winner running well since and the runner-up winning since and running well in defeat. The fourth recently boosted the form with a narrow margin win, but it goes to show that could be a decent bit of form for the grade.
I don't think this race is particularly strong and I'd be disappointed if he wasn't at least finishing in the places.