It was a case of reasonably-close-but-no-cigar for me in the Arc yesterday – Cloth Of Stars did me proud with a place – and fair play to Enable if she was able to do that at just 85 per cent fitness.
I am not sure about that surprising post-race revelation by trainer John Gosden on a few levels, but “Monday horses” probably have such injuries, setbacks and issues every day of the week, so perhaps we shouldn’t be so precious about the non-communication of such information.
It was a reasonably big race, mind you.
Anyway, here is what I think are the best three bets on Monday. It was very nearly four.
Good luck, all.
He wasn’t seen at his best when forcing the pace over a mile on firm ground at Bath last time, but he will be better served by a longer trip and softer ground here, and at least he has been dropped 1lb for the below-par run.
He had earlier been in better form on soft ground, winning at Brighton and finishing a good second off a 5lb higher mark at Epsom next time.
Those two performances came over 1m2f and the step up in trip is a slight question mark for me, but he has been placed in his three starts over 1m4f, so maybe that shouldn’t be a concern.
He likes to go from the front, so the presence of fellow pace-setters in Noble Gift and Medalla De Oro is not ideal, but hopefully Shane Kelly will take a pull from stall 10 if the early action is too frenetic.
He is a fair bet at 7-1.
I was tempted to put up Bodacious Name in the marathon at 3.40pm, as the trip was too short at Ayr last time and he might be a shade over-priced on the back of it at around 12-1.
He wasn't beaten far the time before that despite finishing only seventh of nine and he is a heavy-ground winner from last season over two miles, so conditions are in his favour. He also ran one of his better races here earlier in the season when third over 2m5f.
However, he can look terribly one-paced and I'd have preferred a less-solid favourite to take on than So Near So Farhh, who won easily last time and is only 6lb higher in her hat-trick bid.
Candelisa has negatives, too, as his handicap mark has been in freefall since Jedd O'Keeffe got rid of him by winning a seller at Redcar last season and he didn't show that much for Tony Coyle and has now been moved on to David Loughnane.
However, other than that selling win, he has spent most of his life in much better company than this and he does have a pretty good record after a break. His best run of 2017 came on his seasonal reappearance when he was third in the Lincoln consolation off a mark of 94, while a year earlier he ran second to Stamp Hill over 6f on this course (heavy ground) off 95.
Loughnane sticks a first-time tongue-tie on him for this return from 114 days off, and if that helps he could tear this field apart off a rating of just 76, which now enables him to run in a 0-75 handicap for the first time. A draw in stall one is certainly no negative and the general 5-1 available is acceptable.
The handicapper has taken a big risk in dropping Blue Reflection 4lb for her Newcastle fourth last time – well, not a big risk at all, as I imagine the person has carte blanche to do as they please in their area – and I must throw a few quid at her to take advantage of that generosity.
That drop allows her to get into this 0-65 handicap and that Newcastle run certainly wasn’t without promise. Indeed, she was travelling well before getting caught flat-footed as the tempo was increased at the furlong marker, and couldn’t reel them in.
That was her first start over this 1m4f trip and I think a strongly-run race will see her in a better light, as there is a lot of stamina in the distaff side of her pedigree.
She will need the run of the race from stall 12, but the handicapper has dictated that I have to get involved at 9-1.
Later on the card, I was all set to tip Enthaar in the 8.45pm – until the prices came through on Sunday afternoon.
Bet365 set the tone when they were the first firm up at 11-4, and I was hoping for around double that, even though there is some 10-3 available now.
One the reasons behind the punt on Mordin in the Cambridgeshire was because of the excellent record of Simon Crisford when using first-time cheekpieces, and that horse certainly carried on the good work when second to a runaway winner at Newmarket.
Recent winners for the stable when using this headgear initially include Sporting Chance when landing his Group 3 in France, and Nobleman’s Nest at Yarmouth. I couldn’t find one of his horses, using this angle, that has been out of the first four since 2017. So that alone makes Enthaar an interesting proposition on his handicap debut after just three starts with the pieces on.
An opening mark of 69 also looks very workable, as they say, on the evidence of his third at Lingfield last time. Okay, the horse certainly hasn’t hit the heights expected when he was bought for 270,000 guineas at the Breeze-Ups last year.
But the Lingfield form is working out well – the winner followed up next time and went on to finish an excellent second to Lush Life last week, and the fourth ran well to finish runner-up next time, too (the second hasn’t run since) - and I would hope Jim Crowley will try and make the most from his draw in one.
The Crisford yard is in brilliant form, too, operating at a 35 per cent strike rate in the past fortnight. Anyway, the price isn’t right, as Leslie Crowther would say (google it if you are under 50), so we walk away.
Elsewhere on the Kempton card, anyone who saw Ragstone Cowboy at Windsor last time will be interesting to see how he gets on in the 6f novice at 6.45pm, his third start. And I also thought Top Boy and Little Palaver were my two against the field in the finale at 9.15pm.