A tougher day yesterday but the 11-1 winner, Caravela and the 4-1 price about Expert Eye, meant we had a small down day on our tips yesterday and are still well up on the week. Today the fillies take centre stage with the Group 1 Nassau and a couple of fiendishly difficult handicaps with two decent Group 2 Races support the Group 1 contest. We have some real chances today and think it could be a good one.
MATCHBOOK BEST VALUE EXCHANGE HANDICAP (Class 2) (3yo) Winner £46,688 12 runners 1m1f197y Good
I have got this 10 furlong contest down to a 3 horse race. Communique will be well backed because it has decent form, Mark Johnstons horses get backed in all these Goodwood handicaps and SDS is ridng extremely well. He has every right to run a big race. Maverick Officer ticks a lot of boxes for the very in form David Simcock and after the win at Haydock where 2 extra furlongs looked like they would suit, if we put a line through the latest run at Ascot there is a good case. I am going to side with Rock Eagle. Its his first run in a handicap off a mark that looks well within his compass and he is less exposed than most. He has won twice over this trip and Ralph Beckett really likes the horse. He is also attractively priced at 9-1
2 units e/w Rock Eagle @ 9/1 with Coral
QATAR LILLIE LANGTRY STAKES (GROUP 2) (FILLIES & MARES) (Class 1) (3yo+) Winner £170,130 13 runners 1m6f Good
Good race this one. I like the 14f test for these fillies and my short list includes God Given for Luca Cumani, with the eye catching booking of Ryan Moore. Moore abandons his stables Flattering to take the ride and she is now piloted by Wayne Lordan and not without hope. Precious Ramotswe succeeded over this trip at York and then was caught out over a lesser test at Haydock. She looks a real grinder and will be there at the death, as will Dance the Dream who didnt like the soft ground on her latest run for Marcus Tregonning and she looks over priced at 14/1. My preference though is for Pilaster who is destined for staying glory and she was so impressive accelerating away from, it must be said, an ordinary field, at Kempton but she did it very impresively and is bred for staying assignments like this one. She looks to have a touch of class about her. if she can get a handy sit then pace wins races and used at the right time she just might be too quick for these staying types.
3 units e/w Pilaster @ 3/1 with bet 365
QATAR RICHMOND STAKES (GROUP 2) (COLTS & GELDINGS) (Class 1) (2yo) Winner £113,420 9 runners 6f Good
Only two horses appeal in this race. The first is Maries Diamond who has performed well in big races with a 2nd and a first in Group 2 and Group 3 races in his last two starts for Mark Johnston after winning at Chester. He definitely sets the standard but I am most keen on Konchek for Clive Cox. His second in the Arquana at Newmarket was full of pluck and he looks capable of one better today. His trainer has eased him in to racing and this looks like a season target. Landforce looks like he doesnt have the scope to go on again and is a surprising favourite for me.
2 units e/w Konchek @ 5/1 with Skybet
2 units e/w Maries Diamond @ 13/2 with Bet365
QATAR NASSAU STAKES (GROUP 1) (BRITISH CHAMPIONS SERIES) (FILLIES & MARES) (Class 1) (3yo+) Winner £340,2606 runners 1m1f197y Good
Three horses dominate the argument for me. The favourite Urban Fox was very impressive in the Pretty Polly at the Curragh but I am not sure that the second showed up that day. She has to do it again today against another quality and consistent O’Brien horse in Rhododendron. Billesdon Brook won the 1000 Guineas earlier in the year and she looks like 10 furlongs will help now, having been caught short of speed at Ascot. She represents the 3 year olds, who haven’t starred as colts to date. Will it be another win for the older generation as the Sussex was yesterday. If it is, then the form line where Rhododendron beat Lightining Spear over a mile earlier, now looks a whole lot stronger and for that reason she is the selection.
4 units e/w Rhododdendron @ 3/1 with Sportingbet
TELEGRAPH NURSERY HANDICAP (Class 2) (2yo) Winner £15,753 17 runners 7f Good
Normally this is confined to the too hard box but two horses take the eye and despite their draw I think they are destined to run big races. They are Cupboard Love and More Than This and I will be backing both against the field. With all the fancied horses all drawn badly I think luck will come in to it and for that reason we need two in this race at decent prices.
1 unit e/w Cupboard Love @ 8-1 Bet 365
1 uits e/w More Than This @ 8-1 Bet 365
Others to back
2 units e/w Kick on Kick on @ 4/1 Bet 365
2 units e/w Jack Taylor @ 12/1 Bet 365