Escobar to crack HQ rivals
Man On The Spot previews day one of Newmarket's Cambridgeshire meeting with Escobar expected to play a starring role.
Escobar: Can win the Tattersalls Stakes
First-time headgear is applied to Ballydoyle representative Taj Mahal having been narrowly beaten at the Curragh last time. But OKOOL wasn't beaten far despite finishing only fifth in a Class 3 maiden at Doncaster on his recent debut and Owen Burrows' colt may come out best. Alqamar looks a likely improver but several newcomers are also worth noting. John Gosden runs two with Frankie partnering 260,000gns purchase Azam and he's preferred to stablemate Vantage Point while Solo Mission is a half-brother to three winners and makes more appeal than Beach Break. Eminent is a Frankel colt entered in the Racing Post Trophy and could go well for Martyn Meade.
Red Ensign floundered in the closing stages in the soft ground at Haydock last time. By contrast, Bacchus won a novice event at the same track in testing ground back in June. Fly At Dawn won a handicap at Kempton before placing in a conditions race while Haulani won a lowly Class 5 nursery at Salisbury by four lengths last month. BERENGARIA was not beaten far when only fourth in a conditions race at Chelmsford last time and the runner-up has won subsequently. Mark Johnston sent out last year's winner and his Teofilo filly should make a bold bid in this.
Urban Fox sets the standard with a mark of 99 after recent placed efforts in Group races. She was fourth in the Sweet Solara on the July course here earlier and should have the measure of Storm Cry and the lightly-raced pair Highland Pass and Miss Fay. But UNFORGETABLE FILLY may prove a tougher proposition as she took a big step forward with a facile seven-length success on the Turf course at Lingfield – she gets the vote.
ESCOBAR beat only three rivals to win a Listed event at Newbury last month but the runner-up is rated 99 and the other two have both won since. That looks stronger form than Larchmont Lad's placed effort in Listed company at Doncaster so Hugo Palmer's colt gets the nod. Sir Dancealot won a conditions race at Kempton last time and is preferred to winning handicapper Bear Valley but Best Solution could only manage third in a Listed contest in Turkey recently. Aidan O'Brien's Whitecliffsofdover may prove best of the maiden winners partnered by Ryan Moore for the first time having won easily at Naas last month.
A tricky contest as regards distance and the presence of Sir Fever. A Listed winner in South America in 2014, the latter is hard to assess having only raced twice at Meydan last year but is clear of these at the weights if running anywhere near his mark on his return from a lengthy absence. FOREVER POPULAR won a Listed event over 1m4f on the July course earlier and has been beaten in Group 2 races subsequently. She should last home in this and is just preferred to Esher Stakes runner-up She Is No Lady, who was the subject of a gamble in the Ebor last time. Seamour has been thereabouts in tough handicaps over 1m6f and further while Fun Mac won a conditions race at Salisbury recently. Goldmember is another attempting 2m for the first time having come up short in pattern company of late.
Below par in soft ground last time, SHAKOPEE (NAP) was withdrawn when the rains arrived at Newbury last week. He should have more luck with the weather today and has leading claims on his close-up second to Barsanti in a tougher handicap at York in August. Appeared won a Class 4 contest at York back in May while Higher Power scored in the same grade at Kempton last time. The progressive William Hunter bids for a treble off a 5lb higher mark after winning at Ascot recently and Carry Me Home is upped the same amount for last month's success on the July course here. The 1m2f winner Zamperini scored at Sandown in July and Frontiersman has plenty of scope for improvement after just three runs.
GREAT ORDER returned from a lay-off with victory in a classified race at Ascot earlier in the month. The Godolphin colt is taken to continue his good progress in this. Ryan Moore gets the leg-up on War Glory, who has gone close on a couple of occasions since winning at Chelmsford, while Replenish has a shout on his third in a higher grade handicap at Kempton. Huntlaw also drops in class after a second on the all-weather while Chevallier and Ceaseless were both placed without threatening the winner on their latest starts and Fieldsman won over 7f here back in May.
SATISH has yet to win but John Gosden's charge may prove good enough on these terms having placed yet again in a maiden race at Kempton recently. Nigel and Primogeniture have similar levels of form with the latter winning a Class 3 contest on the all-weather in June and the former landing a double at Brighton during the summer and arriving on the back of a second at Wolverhampton.
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