I’m putting forward a double play this week relating to Perfect Pasture in the Bet365 Hackwood Stakes at Newbury on Saturday and the same horse in the Qatar Stewards’ Cup at the Qatar Goodwood Festival. For the former he trades at 16-1, for the latter a big looking 40-1. Here is my reasoning why he should be backed for both races.
Perfect Pasture has already established himself as a good Listed performer with his victory in a fast time win at Windsor in May. The Timefigure courtesy of Timeform was 115, which tells us he can run fast enough to be competitive in Group Three company. In that Windsor race he travelled like the best horse throughout and could have won by further if he had been produced later.
His subsequent effort 19 days ago can be largely written off. He fluffed the start completely in the Chipchase Stakes on the All-Weather surface at Newcastle, where he was beaten seven and a half lengths by Koropick who could also line up. This and the fact that he is better in a fast surface on turf is excuse enough. However, he may also have bounced after his big Windsor effort, which came off a six-month break.
That he should have run better in the Chipchase is clear but it is made even clearer by the fact Perfect Pasture had the runner-up, Intisaab, well beaten at Windsor even if Intisaab, who also reopposes, did not get the clearest of runs. Now having been freshened up the selection can be expected to repeat his Windsor effort, which would put him right in the mix.
Taking 16-1 about him in the Hackwood seems sensible . Taking 40-1 for the Stewards Cup is much more speculative, but is worth the punt. Cleary, if he runs well in the Hackwood he will not be 40-1 anymore and we will be in a decent trading position. If he doesn't run in the Hackwood we will still have a well-handicapped horse running for us at Goodwood. His official rating of 109 underestimates his ability. Obviously if he puts in a shocker at Newbury on Saturday we may have done our money on two fronts but that's why it is called gambling!
Opposition in the Hackwood is good, if not stellar. The last three runnings of the race were won by The Tin Man, Strath Burn and Music Master and despite the likes of Suedois and Tupi in opposition there is nothing of the likes those three previous winners in the field on Saturday.
Angus McNae’s Something for the Weekend:
3.00 Newbury on Saturday: Perfect Pasture 16-1 generally available
Qatar Stewards Cup: Perfect Pasture 40-1 with Bet365