Saturday’s action is jam packed with plenty of competitive handicaps backing up some good Group race action, highlighted of course by Haydock’s Group 1 Sprint Cup at 4.10.
There’s lots of value to be had if you look around, but on a busy betting day it seems these six horses are the ones to concentrate on.
1.50 Haydock (Handicap) - FIRST IN LINE
This 1m6f race could be quite some test for the field in the forecast soft ground, but in John Gosden’s First In Line we have a horse with all the right credentials to see this out right to the line.
Having only run four times the son of New Approach has plenty of improvement left in him yet this season and despite a good second at York on quick ground last time out, there’s plenty in his profile to encourage us as regards the going.
As well as his breeding we can point to what was a very easy novice win for the three-year-old at Doncaster two outings ago on rain-softened turf to make us believe conditions will be fine, while his new handicap mark of 100 still doesn’t really represent how good he is.
Both Alan King’s Truseshan and Ralph Beckett’s Moon King are on good runs and can be dangerous, though perhaps now just don’t have as much left to give as Frankie Dettori’s mount.
2.05 Kempton (September Stakes - Group 3) - ROYAL LINE
John Gosden of course won this last year with a genuine superstar and while Royal Line is no Enable, he doesn’t have a Crystal Ocean up against him either.
The lightly-raced Metropolitan and November Handicap winner had plenty of options in the book, but connections have settled on what looks just the right one in terms of ground, trip and class.
The likely favourite is Godolphin’s Best Solution based on his exploits abroad, particularly in Australia, but the thought is that he may just need this run and so will be vulnerable to a smart rival off level weights.
In a competitive renewal the likes of Mootasadir, Pivoine and the filly Sun Maiden cannot be ruled out, but at likely odds our boy seems value enough to shake them off.
3.15 Kempton (London Mile Handicap) - MOTAWAJ
Back on Kempton’s all-weather and despite this being a naturally competitive race, having been given a good draw Roger Varian’s Motawaj can regain his progressive thread after not doing so well on turf last time.
Back over this course and distance in July Motawaj routed his opposition in the style of a good animal, albeit at a lowly level, and now off a mark still some way short of what he’s capable of he can land win number three of his career under Jack Mitchell.
His opposition is plentiful of course so there are each-way bets to be had, Gossiping, Freeloading and Kuwait Currency all being expected to do well.
3.35 Haydock (Old Borough Cup Handicap) - ALRIGHT SUNSHINE
A difficult staying handicap to solve right enough, but as a progressive handicapper who is two from two in such races on the level and trained by a man in Keith Dalgleish who knows how to get the job done in such races this Alright Sunshine looks like a fair bet.
A winner at Ripon and Musselburgh already, the 4yo Casamento gelding could just take his form to a new level here when it’s needed and take care of the likes of Corelli and Reshoun for the win.
4.10 Haydock (Sprint Cup Stakes - Group 1) - INVINCIBLE ARMY
On initial ratings it seemed we had a steal in this race in the shape of Ten Sovereigns at 5/1, but with both he and Advertise now out a rethink was needed and yet we could still have a great value punt.
Khaadem is all the rage after his Stewards’ Cup win but in the end that was a handicap, making remarks about Invincible Army being unproven at Group 1 level look silly when so many are backing the jolly.
In one particularly good Group race win James Tate’s Invincible Spirit colt blew away a decent field at Newcastle, that success having been achieved on slower than normal going at Gosforth Park with an uphill finish to contend with which gives him plenty of appeal in these conditions.
He’s good enough, there’s little doubt about that, so with in my opinion the two best now not taking part he has a great chance of Group 1 success. Waldpfad and Brando are rated next on the list.
4.25 Kempton (Sirenia Stakes - Group 3) - HURAIZ
Strictly speaking on the book Clive Cox’s Streamline is the one here after three good performances, improving each time including here at Kempton, but where juveniles are concerned there is always something to come out of the pack and surprise one or two and I think it could be Mark Johnston’s Huraiz.
He’s two from two himself, and while he only just got there last time in a novice stakes at Newmarket these conditions can bring out much more.
Johnston would usually be more than happy taking in a conditions race or a nursery had this son of Sepoy not been showing too much, but with fancy entries in the book and this track set to suit an early Group 3 success could be on the cards for him and jockey Joe Fanning.