I’ve got two decent chances in Newbury handicaps
19 May 2017
I’ve got two good chances at Newbury on Saturday and it is great to be aboard Simon Crisford’s Century Dream in the big handicap of the weekend.
Century Dream is the 5-1 favourite for the Al Zubarah London Gold Cup, a race that has produced in recent seasons Group One horses such as Al Kazeem and Cannock Chase.
That said, Imperial Aviator won by more than four lengths last season and never saw the winner’s enclosure again, so we’ll make a decision on how good Saturday’s race is afterwards.
On paper, Century Dream is an unexposed horse who ran well last time to finish third at Sandown.
The son of Cape Cross ran in a first-time tongue-tie, which is applied to horses to keep their tongue out of the airwaves better.
He led for much of the race, as he had done when he won at Nottingham last season, but I’ll see how the pace pans out. I think there is a lot more to come from him and he would be the best of my two rides at Newbury.
Mucho Applause must rate a significant danger. He ran well to finish second to Atty Persse, who Roger Charlton has a high regard for, at Sandown last time and that looks a strong piece of form.
I ride Sinfonietta in the Toronado Handicap over the straight mile and I think he has got a great chance.
He copes well with testing ground - it was heavy when he won last year at Nottingham - and it was good to soft, too, when he was beaten by Ballet Concerto in the Spring Mile at Doncaster.
He clearly likes it and, as the ground at Newbury will also be soft, I think he will be thereabouts.
Gold can shine:
The big race at Newbury is the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes featuring another clash between Ribchester and Galileo Gold.
Ribchester has match fitness, having run with credit over a 1m1f when third in the Dubai Turf at Meydan in March. Godolphin have said that Toscanini will run as a pacemaker, but that can only benefit everybody.
I know how highly David Simcock rates Lightning Spear and I think there is a big one in him.
All in all, though, I think Galileo Gold just looks that bit better. He is a classy horse and it is very exciting to see him back.
Yalawin is nice prospect:
Last week I rode a good horse of Roger Varian’s, Yalawin, to win at Ripon.
I’m not sure how good the race was but he was well backed and won with plenty in hand.
I think he will improve for that run. He won over six furlongs, which is his trip for now, but in time I think he can probably step up in trip – he was second at Kempton as juvenile over seven furlongs.