Simon Holt: Go with the Breeze
Channel 4 commentator Simon Holt previews Saturday's feature action from Ascot and Newmarket.
Librisa Breeze: Worth a bet at Ascot
LIBRISA BREEZE has done us a couple of good turns this season and looks a worthy favourite for the totescoop6 Challenge Cup Handicap at Ascot on Saturday.
The Dean Ivory-trained grey went close to landing a major gamble, and rewarded each-way support, in the Royal Hunt Cup in June when travelling strongly only to be outstayed by Portage inside the final furlong and, dropped back to this distance of seven furlongs, he was hugely impressive over the course and distance next time trotting up by a length and a half from the reopposing Squats.
Given the selection's superiority that day, it is hard to see the runner-up turning the tables even on 3lb better terms and Librisa Breeze clearly acts well on Ascot's straight course.
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Upped in class subsequently in a Group Three at York, he was given plenty to do before staying on into fourth behind the smart Nemoralia, and third-placed Jallota has boosted the form since. He remains a very useful and progressive horse.
As one would expect in such a valuable contest, there is plenty of opposition including last year's winner Buckstay (now 8lb higher in the weights) and the progressive Firmament, though all his winning form has come at a mile.
In contrast, Growl, fourth in the Stewards Cup and second in the Ayr Gold Cup, needs to prove equally effective over this stiff extra furlong.
At Newmarket, the big race is the Group One Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes in which recent Matron Stakes winner Alice Springs is sure to head the market.
Also successful at this level in the Falmouth Stakes on the July course earlier in the summer, Aidan O'Brien's filly is a tip-top performer but faces two smart French challengers in Ervedya and Volta.
The former, a three-time Group One winner last year, runs for the first time against her own sex this season following a good third behind Ribchester in the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville while Volta's efforts behind the brilliant La Cressonniere and Arc hope Left Hand in the Prix de Diane (French Oaks) and when second to Royal Ascot winner Qemah (probably below form when third to Alice Springs subsequently) in the Prix Rothschild also represents very solid form.
It looks a fascinating race but HALEY BOP could be a more attractive betting proposition earlier on the Newmarket card in the British EBF Promoting Fillies Series Handicap.
The daughter of Dream Ahead seems to be improving nicely, beating subsequent winner God Willing at Chester before being collared by the promising Morando in a fast-run race at Ayr two weeks ago when she probably paid the price for chasing a runaway leader.
Haley Bop's second to Eternally (runs in the opening October Stakes at Ascot) with Subtle Knife, runner-up in a German listed race next time, at Lingfield in August also looks a good effort and, like so many of her trainer's horses, she seems to be thriving with racing.
Preview posted at 1450 BST on 30/09/2016
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