Man On The Spot: Out on a Lim
There are eight races across three meetings live on Channel 4 this Saturday – all previewed by form expert Man On The Spot.
Limato: The one to beat in the Sprint Cup at Haydock
Firmament has been in terrific form all summer and beat a big field at York last month, though is now on a career-high mark. Von Blucher has been raised 3lb since his fast-finishing second at Newbury and Charles Molson wasn't far behind that day – John Gosden's three-year-old may also be better over a mile. Trainer of the latter, Patrick Chamings also has a live candidate in veteran SCOTTISH GLEN, who goes well here. The 10-year-old was behind Dutch Law and Ghalib at Newmarket four weeks ago but didn't get much of a run and could reverse the form. Squats has every chance on the form book but still hasn't won beyond 6f and Hawkeyethenoo's victory here in July came in a ladies' race. The handicapper may have caught up with Ice Slice and Yattwee has plenty to prove off this sort of mark. Dawaa looks a better bet than stablemate Muhadathat over this trip but may get swamped in the closing stages again.
An open-looking Group 3 contest. Convey has acquitted himself well enough at this level and will be suited by this return to a mile and the ultra-consistent Custom Cut should once again give a good account, though MITCHUM SWAGGER could have all the answers. The lightly-raced four-year-old has rarely been out of the frame, has gone close at Listed level and ran with great credit in the Royal Hunt Cup. He fell short over 7f last time out but this trip should be much more to his liking. First Selection looks the pick of the remainder.
Strapping Goodwood winner DAL HARRAILD is going to be difficult to place in handicaps if he continues his improvement. He's another 4lb higher here but had to overcome traffic problems to score at the Sussex track and he is the one to beat. Stargazer should go well with the extra quarter-mile likely to suit and Gawdawpalin's victory over 1m2f at Epsom was eye-catching – he has a chance against the selection at the weights. Real Dominion has done little wrong this year but was no match for Danehill Kodiac over course and distance last month and also finished behind Combative. Sixties Groove has shot up the weights since winning at Epsom in July but New Caledonia is on a decent mark and could do better than the market is likely to suggest. Dance The Dream and Wild Hacked, however, will need to find plenty to figure in this grade.
Magic Circle was a comfortable winner at York in July but has to defy another rise in the weights in a very competitive affair while though Shrewd has put in some excellent performances this summer he could be in the grip of the handicapper now. The lightly-raced Shakopee improved for the step up to 1m2f last time and could well come on again for this longer trip. He can make the frame while Walpole prevailed with ease at Thirsk last time, though was due to run yesterday at Ascot. GABRIAL'S STAR ran with credit at Chester last time, despite not having things his own way. He's at the right end of the handicap and gets a tentative vote in another wide-open affair, though Intense Tango could also make his presence felt.
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Now that he's got his head in front again, El Astronaute may be capable of following up his Epsom win under a penalty though his tendency to hang left on occasions is a concern and LIGHTSCAMERACTION could be a better bet. His best performances had come on the all-weather prior to his second at Chester but he could be well handicapped off this mark. Confessional, who took this race in 2013, is also respected along with Robot Boy, who ran well for a long way at York last time and is back on a fair mark. Dungannon will also be on several short-lists but his absence since a Newmarket third in June is a worry.
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Lightly-raced filly Quiet Reflection has a superb record culminating and may yet have further improvement in her. The same could be said of The Tin Man, who returned to winning ways in the Hackwood Stakes last time, and the rapidly-improving Dancing Star but LIMATO looks the one to beat here. He was a mighty impressive winner of the July Cup, ahead of Suedois and Quiet Reflection, and second only to the brilliant Mecca's Angel over a trip too short in the Nunthorpe – that's the best form on offer and he will take some stopping. Magical Memory is also worth a second look having struggled for a clear run in the July Cup.