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A blank day yesterday, which isn't the end of the world as there were only two selections, and we've had a decent amount of winners in the last couple of weeks. Today's racing is top class, so sit back and enjoy.
This race is likely to be dominated by 3yo's for the top of the market, and you can't really argue with their form which they have shown this season. This race has often been good for the older horses, and I'm siding with one to potentially cause an upset.
The Japanese horse who seems to be getting all the attention is Chrono Genesis, but frankly, I think she's got no chance whatsoever (probably come back to bite me). She clearly appreciates fast ground, which is something she definitely will not get. She is drawn 14 out of 15, which makes life extremely difficult, but also the stats are against her. A 5yo mare hasn't won this race in 70+ years, so in my opinion the Japanese horse they need to focus on is DEEP BOND, who has a much better chance.
With the forecast rain likely to turn the ground into an absolute swamp, it's going to make it very stamina testing, so you want to be on a horse who will see the trip out well. Deep Bond is a horse who has form over 2m, so the stamina is definitely not in doubt with this horse. But you'd think a horse who stays 2m wouldn't be good over this shorter trip, and I had the same opinion until his last race where he put me firmly in my place. He won the Prix Foy (Group 2) beating Broome, and it was a very good run, and never looked like getting passed by Broome. That was on good ground and wasn't ran at a fast pace, so I'd expect today's conditions to bring out further improvement. The Prix Foy has been a good stepping stone for the Arc is recent years with both Waldgeist & Found using it as a warm up race for the Arc.
Another thing to note is that he is drawn in Stall 5 and wanted to race prominently last time out, so there is a chance he'll make use of that low stall and get a prominent position to put his stamina against the rest.
SPEAK OF THE DEVIL. In my opinion she offers the best value in the race, as her French form is up there with the best on offer.
Space Blues is the current market favourite, and will probably remain the favourite until the time of the race, as he is a previous Group 1 winner, and is a 7f specialist. However, he is far too short for my liking based on what we've seen from him this season. I took him on at Goodwood when he was making his seasonal reappearance, and I was rightly to do so, with Kinross winning nicely. Space Blues then went on to win at York, and although he won by 1.5 lengths, I'm not 100% sold on the form. The runner-up finished 4th in a Group 3, and even though Glorious Journey won next time out, it was a weak Group 2 in which he won.
Speak Of The Devil holds a similar form line to Sagamiyra, so if you fancy the latter, you must like the chances of the selection. The selection was a short head behind Sagamiyra who finished second to Mother Earth in the Prix Rothschild. We know the form of Mother Earth is strong, but the fact that the selection got that close to Sagamiyra was impressive as she was held up and would've gone much closer if she was positioned closer to the pace. The same can be said again where she was poorly positioned, and ultimately finished 3rd, 1.25 lengths behind Sagamiyra. She was slightly hampered when trying to make up the ground, and she was staying on strongly. Today's conditions of soft ground will be in her favour, and I think the price discrepancy between the two horses is far too big.
A wide stall in this race is also a bad thing, with only two horses in the last ten years winning this race from a double digit stall. Speak Of The Devil is drawn in stall 3, and even though we've seen her be held up in the past, I'm hoping she tracks the leaders, as it is so important not to get too far back in this race, where the field size is quite big. She has the ability, so we just need to hope the jockey gives her a good ride.
GLENQUIN CASTLE is ridiculously well handicapped based on his chase form of recent runs.
I understand that horses are generally better over one type of obstacle, whether that's a fence or a hurdle, but I don't think that this lad is terrible over the latter even though he is 0/5 over them, and is 3/8 over fences. Until the last three runs he was 0/5 over fences as well, but the key to his success clearly looks like a step up in trip. Since they've moved him up to 3m he has won every single time, and he's never had that opportunity over hurdles. He has raced as far as 2m 5f over hurdles, so it's not right to say that he can't win over hurdles, as that trip appears to be too short. He is rated 108 over fences, and is 85 over hurdles. Now he's been given a chance over a trip which suits, I find it very hard to see him not going close in this race.
There is a chance that he'll be strongly supported, but you can see why, and it wouldn't put me off from backing him, unless he goes shorter than EVS.
12:00 Doncaster - Race: 1
12:20 Galway - Race: 1