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Day 4 was difficult for me, with nothing coming to fruition from my four selections. All of them ran well, except Twilight Jet blew out and looked to have something amiss. The rest didn't place, other than Fresh Hope who travelled like one of the best horses but was probably drawn on the wrong side of the track. Cemhaan is a horse I will keep following as he still looks like a horse on a good mark, he missed the places by a nose.
Trainer: Hugo Palmer
Jockey: James Doyle
A bit of a speculative poke on DUBAWI LEGEND as he's been in fairly terrible form since looking like a potential top-class performer in the early stages of his 2yo career, but I do believe this lad has potential still and is a good horse.
I think the lightning-quick ground will be right up Dubawi Legend's street. His trainer shares those thoughts and has been quoted saying he'll love this ground. He'll need more than loving the ground to win this, but I do think he is better than what we've seen of late. His 2nd behind Native Trail at Newmarket last year was a cracking run, since Native Trail was the champion 2yo of last season and has since won the Irish 2000 Guineas.
His run at Del Mar in the Breeders' Cup and the run in 2000 Guineas can be excused for as he is a keen-going horse and he didn't get any cover at Newmarket, and though he finished last, Tom Marquand did the right thing by looking after him and virtually pulling him up when he knew his horse had no chance, saving him to fight another day. I think the drop to 7f is the correct move as he does have a lot of pace about him, and a fast pace which they'll get will set it up nicely for him.
Hugo Palmer had a runner-up yesterday at Royal Ascot and has settled in nicely into his new base in Chesshire under the ownership of Michale Owen. I'm not going to say he will win this but at the prices, I think he is a live outsider.
Trainer: Chris Waller
Jockey: James McDonald
I'm not going to pretend to know tonnes about Australian racing, but Chris Waller has brought over two horses this week with HOME AFFAIRS being his second runner. His first, Nature Strip took the mick in the King's Stand by hosing up and winning without getting out of second gear, so the fact he's brought Home Affairs over for this race suggests he rates his chances highly.
This horse beat Nature Strip back in February of this year over 5f, so that is rock-solid form as none of the British horses got within 4L+ of that horse. His recent run at Flemington was under-par for what he had shown in the two previous races, but I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that wasn't his true running. He's still a very young and lightly raced horse and going from his form, he does tend to blow out in between winning, as that happened the time before, so chances are that he'll be tuned up for this and should run a huge race.
Australians have always been good in the sprinting department of horse racing, whereas us Brits and Irish have dominated over the middle distances on turf. I don't think the spriting division in the UK is all that special now that the likes of Blue Point and Battaash are no longer racing, so a chance is taken on the Aussie horse who has bundles of pace and plenty of ability.
Trainer: K J Condon
Jockey: W J Lee
An ultra-competitive handicap with 28 runners but my eye was instantly drawn to the Irish runner, QUARANTINE DREAMS.
The form of his last two runs looks good and suggests a strip 6f in a race which will be ran at a fast gallop would be straight up his street. The most recent run was the most impressive of the two recent runs as he made up significant ground in the final furlong in a 5f sprint at Naas and that run screamed out that he needs further. The winner of that race has since gone on and won a Group 2 in France and the 3rd won a Listed race at Cork just over a week ago.
Looking at his form as a 3yo it looks quite strong as well, with the 3rd in a 16 runner Listed race behind Romantic Proposal looking like a stand-out piece of form. The winner went on to win a Group 1 later in the season beating A Case Of You who is now a dual Group 1 winner.
This is his handicap debut and off a mark of 100 I think he could have a major role to play, with improvement still to come from this lightly raced 4yo.
Trainer: George Margarson
Jockey: Tom Queally
One of the horses who joined my tracker from the Epsom Derby weekend was SPIRITED GUEST.
This 6yo ran a belter to finish 3rd in a Class 2 handicap when you consider the ground he made up from a terrible position. I think he needs a fast run 6f, or a standard 7f to see him at his best. A handicap mark of 84 isn't ideal at his age and will have to run a career-best to win a race of this nature, but based on his recent performance I think his odds don't suggest his chance of winning and is therefore a worthy bet.
I think the form of the Epsom handicap will work out nicely as the horses from that race continue to run with arguably the top 5-6 looking like they could win some decent pots this season, excluding the winner who finds himself on a tough handicap mark, but he has been an improver from last year and could improve again (runs at Ascot later today).