Volante back in flying form
Matt Brocklebank reckons Jim Crowley and David O'Meara can combine successfully at Ascot this afternoon.
Jim Crowley: Can add to him impressive seasonal tally at Ascot
There was a definite buzz about the office yesterday.
A result of the pick 'n mix brought in by a thoughtful colleague? Or perhaps the introduction of another new coffee machine? Would it do chai latte?
It certainly wasn't due to the dead-rubber played out between England and Pakistan at Headingley. What is the point in persisting with these meaningless sporting events? Three up with two to play – just shake hands chaps.
No, the positivity coursing through the sportinglife team was primarily down to the effortless victory of Argenterie in the second division of the seven-furlong maiden at Salisbury.
The light for Derby-winning trainer Marcus Tregoning still shines bright in these quarters so to see him saddle an exciting two-year-old again, in a season containing a total of just eight winners before this one, was a welcome sight.
Another Classic-winning trainer whose recent statistics don't reflect too kindly could stir a few memories at Ascot this afternoon.
It's been a fairly tumultuous time since Peter Chapple-Hyam's most recent Derby success in 2007 but last year witnessed the Newmarket maestro's first Group One triumph since the days of Authorized and to the majority of us he has nothing left to prove when it comes to spotting and nurturing raw talent.
Perhaps Redicean will one day catapult Chapple-Hyam back into the spotlight. The son of Medicean – out of a Galileo mare – makes his first public appearance in the Dark Horse Maiden Auction Stakes (2.00) and his pedigree suggests he could be talented.
The booking of James Doyle also catches the eye. It's not often the trainer calls upon the services of the Godolphin man but he has enjoyed two winners from just three rides on Chapple-Hyam-trained two-year-olds.
It's reasonable to expect a bold bid at least first time out, but anyone who saw Muthmira's debut effort will find it very difficult to take her on with any confidence.
Simon Crisford's Arcano filly was well-supported ahead of her Chelmsford debut last month but completely fell out of the stalls and immediately had loads of ground to make up. Somehow she managed to latch back onto the pack and eventually flew home for a never-nearer third and on that evidence she's a winner-in-waiting.
So I'll wish Chapple-Hyam luck but bank on the David O'Meara-trained Harwoods Volante who is officially 4lb well-in for the Peter Tarrant 50 Years At Ascot Handicap.
Like many from O'Meara's stable, he's looked back near the top of his game of late and only missed out by a short-head at Leicester last week.
Given how hard he pulled in the early stages that day, it was remarkable he managed to go so close to winning over seven furlongs, considering four of his five career wins have come at six.
He drops back in trip this afternoon and competes off the same mark (77) before his revised rating kicks in tomorrow. It's a rating he's very capable of winning from having scored off 2lb higher at Wetherby last summer, while the quick turnaround shouldn't be a concern either as that Wetherby success came just nine days after he'd won at York from a mark of 75.
Title-chasing jockey Jim Crowley may count the selection as one that got away last week and will no doubt be keen to swiftly make amends following such a narrow defeat.
If Redicean were to win as well, then it's mochaccinos all round.