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Frustrating to see both selections running horrendously on Thursday, with Pure Gold out of his depths and Pearling Path struggling to have a turn of foot from the rear of the field, where the front runner got the fractions spot on.
Some of you will remember Achelois who was tipped up at double figure prices for the John Smith's Cup at York a couple of weeks ago, where she eventually finished 2nd. Though I think she is a nice horse and is a winning in waiting, I think that this step up to a Class 1 might catch her out. The one I've landed on is the favourite, JUDITH, who also has to prove she is capable of this level, but the two wins from two runs to date are a good indicator that she could be good enough to land this.
She's done nothing wrong in her two runs this season, and the form looks strong, so it's not a surprise to see them going down the Class 1 route already. You'd think that they might have wanted to exploit the opening handicap rating of 91 for a handicap at a big festival meeting like Glorious Goodwood, or the Ebor meeting, so they must really think she has a very strong chance of winning this and getting the black-type which is desperately needed for breeding for mares.
As I briefly mentioned, the debut form looks good with the fourth horse, Perfect Alibi, winning twice since and most recently recording an RPR of 105. Judith won that race in good fashion that day, pulling clear at the line and beating her nearest opponent by a length. The second win hasn't been tested in terms of the form, but you'd expect the Godolphin horse in second to amount to a decent horse, so it's encouraging she beat him by staying on well.
You have proven Class 1 form in this race with Karl Burke's Poptronic, but that win was on the AW and this is a different scenario.
Judith gets into this race off bottom weight with the weight for age allowance, and I think she can win this before trying Group 3 and 2 honours.
SPIRIT DANCER showcases the John Smith's Cup form which Achelois does in the race previously, but this is a handicap, which is why I find it surprising that connections of Achelois didn't opt for this race instead.
Spirit Dancer ran a corker to finish fourth in that utlra-competitive handicap at York last time out, and I believe on the back of that run he is going to be tough to beat as he has only gone up 1lb for that. You have some nice horses in this race with Lucander being the standout who has already won once this season, but carrying 10st 2lbs will be a tough ask. Marching Army has to be respected for a trainer who does well with his older horses in handicaps and horses returning from a long time off the track, but I wouldn't say he is extremely well-handicapped on the back of what we've seen from him.
I think the 4/1 which Bet365 are offering is more than generous and should be taken before they align their odds with their competitors.
One which caught my eye but wasn't one I'd like to suggest as a selection was Ryan Moore's ride at Ascot 1:55. The booking of Ryan on Ismail Mohammed's debutante, NEVER JUST A DREAM is interesting with Ryan only being used by Mr Mohammed on three occasions, resulting in a win, runner-up and a fourth placed effort.