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A couple of selections from Deauville, and three from Salisbury for Sunday's racing.
It's quite hard to weigh up some of these French runners in this race, but I do think they'll have to be pretty handy if they are to beat CHOUX, as the connections of this horse must think a lot of her, as she landed the gamble on debut, and has been pitched in some hot races since.
David Evans and connections definitely landed a bit on this filly on debut at Thirsk, where her odds took a dramatic tumble in a matter of five minutes before the off. They hid this gamble very well, as the odds went from like 20/1 to 100/30, so they were expecting a big run, as she must've been showing positive signs on debut. Sure enough, she looked a smart filly, and won in fine style, winning by 1.75 lengths. As I said, she was then pitched into The Queen Mary at Royal Ascot (Group 2), where she ran with credit, but the ground was probably far too quick for her on that day, as it was Good To Firm; she looked at home on the Soft going at Thirsk. I am willing to put a line through her latest run, where she was 12/15 at Newmarket in a Listed race over 6f on quick ground, and I don't think that was her cup of tea.
Today, she returns to a softer surface, and returns to 5f and I think both of those conditions will help her, and see her in a better light.
David Evans has been in cracking form of late, operating at a 38% SR in the last 14 days, and he landed 4/4 on Friday, so he is clearly placing his horses well. This looks like a nice opportunity for Choux to win a decent prize, and get some black type, which is crucial for fillies.
The final race of the day at Deauville is a decent little sprint, and I think IDEAL BEAUTY could be overlooked. She was looking like a sprinter who was on the upgrade, until she was disappointing last time out, and I think that has put a lot of people off from backing her, however, I think it was a blip.
Hopefully, she'll bounce back to form today, as she won quite cosily in a 5f race at Longchamp the time before, which was on ‘Very Soft' ground. I don't believe it was very soft, as the time suggests it was much quicker than that. Despite the questions of the ground, she does handle the soft going, as she won on heavy ground on her debut as a 2yo. She is a filly, so the recent under par run could be due to filly issues, which do happen, i.e. being in season. I believe that might the case as that recent run was too bad to be true, based on the fact she was in cracking form prior to that run.
I thought she would've opened up at a bigger price than 4/1, but I still believe that's a decent enough price. If she came here from his most recent win, rather than the poor run lto, she would've been half the odds and favourite.
I do like the look of NELL QUICKLY in this race, as I do believe there is more to come from her over this trip, especially off a mark of 79.
She's been ultra consistent this year, finishing runner up twice and winning once. The form of her win has started to work out well, with the 2nd and 3rd winning since. I think her most recent run, where she finished behind a Sir Mark Prescott improver, was a good effort, and she showed that she stays this trip out very well. Salisbury is similar to Sandown in the fact that they both have stiff finishes, so she should handle this track, and enjoy the uphill finish.
She raced against the boys last time, but this time she's back against the fillies, which will make it much easier. She also gets the weight for age allowance, which is equivalent to 10lbs at this time of year when racing over 10f, that is going to be a big help against Deep Snow who carries 10st, and although she looks a nice horse, it will be a tough task for her to carry top weight.
I could be overlooking the obvious winner in Invincible Soldier, who looks sure to benefit from this step up in trip, based on his most recent run. However, I'm going to take a chance on SUPERSONIQUE who makes her seasonal reappearance after 263 days off the track.
It would be very difficult to form an argument for Supersonique based on her form from her previous three runs, but she should appreciate a step up in trip based on the Dam's side of the pedigree. Whether today is the day where she wins I'm not sure, but at the odds I'm willing to find out. There is a high chance that she will need this run after such a long layoff, but there are signs that connections fancy their chance in this race.
My eye was instantly drawn to the jockey booking of George Bass. Denis Coakley is a shrewd trainer, especially in recent times. Denis is operating at a 20% SR this season, so the fact he's booked George Bass to ride Supersonique is noticeable, as they are very profitable when combining. George has ridden 14x for Denis Coakley, which has resulted in 4 wins (28.57% SR) and a further 3 places, returning a +36.5 profit to level stakes. He clearly likes to use George when he fancies a horse to go well, so they might be fancying a big run from this filly on his first run of the season.
On an initial first look, you'd say that she wouldn't stay this new trip as she is by Cable Bay, who was best known as a sprinter. His record as a sire for horses who have raced between 10-11f is 0/28 runs, which isn't a great stat. However, if you look at the Dam's side, she stayed 12f and has produced three winning horses who have stayed 10f+. The Dam is also related to two strong stayers.
With only two places on offer, I'll be playing a straight win, but reducing the stakes as there are risks involved with this one. It's either going to go really well, or be a total flop, I can't see an in between.
I think it could be worth sticking with the form horse of TRALEE HILLS in the finale at Salisbury, as he seems to be on a roll at the moment and he has a lot in his favour again.
Though Tralee Hills has been slightly higher rated in the past, when trained by Peter Hedger, his highest winning mark has been 75, which is only 1lb higher than what he races off today. However, he seems quite a quirky horse, and I think his new trainer, Simon Hodgson might have found the trick to him. I'm not saying he's going to keep improving, as I don't expect that from a 7yo, but I do think he still has a little bit of squeak off this mark of 74, which is effectively 69 when you take William Carver's 5lb claim into consideration.
He's won two on the bounce, and I think he could've won by a lot more than his 0.75 lengths win at Newbury, but William timed it to perfection, as he seems a horse who needs to be delivered late. Last time in the Women's Derby at Epsom, he absolutely bolted up. Serena Brotherton was sat on Tralee Hills like a prime Jamie Spencer, she cruised through the field, gave him a tap and he scooted off and won by 5.25 lengths, which I can imagine Simon Hodgson wasn't too impressed about, as he would've liked a much smaller winning distance. For that win, he has been slapped with a 7lb rise in the weight, which is why Carver has come back on board with his 5lb claim. He is a strong travelling type, who likes the ground slightly on the slower side, so I wouldn't want it getting rattling fast.
Simon Hodgson has been in great form this year, and has been placing his horses in the correct races, shown by his 36% SR from his 22 runners (8 wins, with a further 4 being placed).
Advised: Each Way