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It was nice to see two of the French selections winning on Thursday, with Onesto winning the Group 1 with a lot more authority than his winning margin would suggest. He relished the step up in trip and the jockey never looked uncomfortable. I thought Tom Marquand gave Quickthorn a masterful ride to win the Group 2, where he dictated the race at the tempo he wanted like I said he would, and he got the fractions bang on.
Tipping a horse in this race probably isn't the best idea as it's full pf unexposed horses, but I can't resist backing DANCING TANGO again now she's been upped in trip to 13.5f.
I tipped her up when she raced at Goodwood over 10f, and I thought she would win that day, but to finish 3rd was a good effort to two decent horses, who have both ran with respect in their next races (same race as well) where Knight Of Honour finished runner-up and Broadspear finished third. Kieran Shoemark had to make the running at that race at Goodwood, which wouldn't have been the plan, and when she got headed, she stuck on well and suggested a longer trip would be worth trying. She is by Camelot, who has produced horses who do stay well, so I can see why they are going down this route.
I thought her run at Ascot was very eye-catching the way she ran on strongly to finish ahead of Perfect Alibi who runs in today's race as well. With this longer trip looking more than likely to be in favour of my selection. I think today's odds make Dancing Tango worth a small bet.
I think VAYNOR is worth a good bet as he looks like a horse who is on the traditional upward trajectory and progressive profile. He has won twice in a row now and hasn't been put up too much in the handicap, along with the fact he is running off a clear bottom-weight, he could be tough to beat in this.
I managed to watch his most recent win at Newmarket at the time of racing as I had a bet in the race, and I was surprised with how easy he managed to win in the end. He won by 2.75L, but the authority in which he won was impressive and I think the 6lb rise he was hit for that is definitely manageable.
There are some progressive horses in this, including Zain Nights and Divine Jewel but I think the value is with Charles Hills 3yo Mastercraftsman gelding.
There is a strong possibility that ROGUE LIGHTNING is a very smart horse. It's always a risk when backing a horse with one run under their belt, who then runs in Class 1 company, but based on his run on debut, you have to be taken back and think this could be a smart recruit for Tom Clover.
When a horse is backed in on debut like Rogue Lightning was, it generally shows how confident they are, especially when it comes from a smaller yard. He won by 4.5L at Newmarket, which produced an RPR of 93 and was visually very impressive. The runner-up had the experience over RL, but that didn't matter in the slightest as he couldn't go with the winner. However, the runner-up has since won since, producing an RPR of 85, so is an above-average horse himself, who was dealt with ease by today's selection.
This looks like a good race, with the Windsor Castle Stakes' fourth horse, Chateau bringing in the best form. I think this horse is a very nice horse and has run with credit in both of his defeats before winning at Beverley when things didn't go to plan. He sets a strong standard, but I think Tom Clover's exciting son of Kodiac could be much better than this field.