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Very frustrating to see how poor Back To Brussels was after being backed into 10/3 second fav. I'm going to avoid the Shergar Cup today, as that isn't a betting angle at all, so I've put my money on the Haydock meeting.
I'm not a big fan of Silvestre De Sousa, especially on Saturday's where racing is at is peak for the week, as I don't think he is that good in the big races. However, this isn't a ‘big' race, and he is on a well handicapped horse in my opinion, so it should be hard for him to mess this one up.
FANTASTIC FOX definitely is 100% better than his current mark of 94, and it would be disappointing if he doesn't go out and win today, as based on his form he surely must be the one to beat. I think De Sousa gave him a stinker last time at Ascot, they didn't go a great gallop and he had his mount in second last position, which was far too much for him to do, so the fact he finished as close as he did was a real testament to the horses ability.
My main concern about today is the ground, which will probably be bottomless come the time of the race. He has ran twice on soft ground, one being his debut run where he finished 3rd of 17, the other was when he was 12th out of 14 at Royal Ascot, so there is mixed messages. He is by Frankel, and a lot of his progeny thrive on the soft ground, and that is why I'm willing to give him a chance. He was well fancied at Royal Ascot, going off at odds of 11/2, so something tells me tat something more was amiss that day, than the soft ground, as they were clearly expecting a big run.
He is a 3yo, so will get the weight allowances from the two Godolphin runners, who both carry quite big weights (10st 2 and 9st 10). Dubai Mirrage won this race last year, but he's higher in the weights this time around, and I think he'll find it hard to concede the weight to the selection, as well as the question mark on the ground.
Royal Mews is a complete no go in my opinion. The Gosden runner has ran all three of his races on the All Weather, so to then race on conditions like this is a huge risk if you are wanting to back him. Obviously, he could love the conditions, and could be much better than a mark of 91 as he is unexposed, but there are risks attached. As for the other two I think Bakersboy will be the interesting runner for Tom Dascombe who does very well at this track, and will carry 8st 3lbs.
My each way play of the weekend comes in the next race at Haydock, and I like the look of Micky Hammond's new recruit, CARNIVAL ZAIN.
This horse was previously trained in France by E J O'Neil, but was recently transferred to Yorkshire based trainer, Micky Hammond. He has had one run so far for Micky, and that wasn't without promise. I think it's interesting that they've dropped him back from a mile to 7f on only his second run for the yard, but I do think it will suit, especially in today's racing conditions. He was staying on nicely last time, but then his efforts petered out when entering the final furlong, so I think the drop back in trip could suit. He is a horse who has been tried and clearly does stay 10f, as he finished 2nd over that trip.
It appears that he handles the soft ground, as he finished 2nd on that ground, and ran a decent enough race on his last for E J O'Neil on soft ground. He has been withdrawn twice whilst being trained in England on ground which was described as Good To Firm, so connections clearly think he doesn't want fast ground.
The form of his last race has worked out quite well, producing two winners and a decent amount of placed efforts, so the fact he was dropped 1lb for that run is a bonus. Billy Garrity takes the ride again on him and will take away a further 3lbs from his current weight of 9st 2lbs, which will be a nice weight to carry in conditions which will be testing their stamina.
12:00 Newton Abbot - Race: 1
12:10 Hamilton - Race: 1
12:20 Roscommon - Race: 1