After some fantastic success last week, particularly on Friday, we’re back with another very busy few betting days which is to be expected given that it’s Arc weekend in Paris.
There are some interesting novices running at Newmarket so you should keep an eye on those, but these are the horses providing us with some good wagering value across Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Friday 30th September 2022
2.35 Ascot (Handicap) – WHITEHAVEN
Hughie Morrison is brilliant with stayers and his Whitehaven is ideal for this two-mile handicap.
The 83-rated five-year-old is getting back to his best now, a best that would see him be too strong for this field. Morrison has also booked champion-elect William Buick, a smart move.
3.45 Ascot (Noel Murless Stakes – Listed Race) – SECRET STATE
Initially targeted at the St Leger, rock solid 1m4f performer Secret State is still getting better and should improve further for running over the Leger trip. Giavellotto and El Habeeb have done well in the Classics, while Lionel may have improved for a change of scenery having switched to the Gosdens.
4.20 Ascot (Handicap) – SILENT SPEECH
A rare three-year-old-only sprint for this time of year. Silent Speech was looking like turning into a classy type before having to go to equine hospital earlier in the year in Dubai.
His lay-off is a good thing, and Charlie Appleby doesn’t bring them back until they are ready. He can prove to be very well handicapped now and can run up the stands side rail.
4.55 Ascot (Classified Stakes) – YANTARNI
Yantarni really should have won last week at Newmarket, his defeat being a big surprise. He should do much better here and can turn over the likes of Bullace, Rhythm N Rock and Persian Royal.
Saturday 1st October 2022
1.31 Newmarket (Fillies’ Handicap) – CRYSTAL ESTRELLA
Sir Michael Stoute’s Crystal Estrella was improving rapidly when last seen. She can be even better now, but even on past form on a line through others such as Hexameter, who runs later on the card, she could be very well in here against Al Husn and I’ll Be There.
2.25 Ascot (Cumberland Lodge Stakes – Group 3) – HIGH DEFINITION
It feels like we’ve known former Derby candidate High Definition forever. He’s had excuses lately and wouldn’t be sent alone to Ascot by Aidan O’Brien unless he feels his time has come again.
He has shown Group 1 form this season and it’s easy to forget he’s just a four-year-old colt. He is certainly not finished.
2.42 Newmarket (Sun Chariot Stakes – Group 1) – LAUREL
This is a top-quality race, no doubt.
Saffron Beach is brilliant. She’s capable of more than what I’ve rated her, but she’s had some tough races including on soft ground three weeks ago and I’m willing to take her on.
Homeless Songs looks the best of these based one outstanding Irish 1000 Guineas performance, but that run is very different to her other five outings and so I still don’t know whether to take it literally.
Laurel is more interesting. She was cruising while waiting for a gap on her debut and slammed the opposition. She could have achieved a mark of around 110 on which would have been extraordinary.
She did barely a piece of work last time. Natural progression takes her to the sort of level I expect Saffron Beach and Homeless Songs to be at in a race she has been supplemented for.
3.25 ParisLongchamp (Prix du Cadran – Group 1) – QUICKTHORN
Kyprios is of course very good and he’s consistent, but he’s not improving in lumps so we basically know where we stand with him.
Hughie Morrison’s Quickthorn wasn’t far behind that level as far back as April and has kept getting better all year. He utterly demolished his Lonsdale Cup field in August, beating among others Coltrane by 14 lengths who came out next time and won the Doncaster Cup.
He handles the ground, will love the trip and has a great chance.
3.36 Ascot (Challenge Cup – Heritage Handicap) – SILENT FILM
I’ve punted Silent Film a couple of times based on two excellent runs in the Middle East. He is now most certainly getting to his best form, in fact I had a nibble on him last time at 40/1 when he very nearly beat Fresh over course and distance.
He can beat that horse now, a runner who is of course favourite for this very event.
4.00 ParisLongchamp (Prix Dollar – Group 2) – ANMAAT
Anmaat is quality. There is plenty about him, especially in his pedigree, to suggest that the runaway Rose of Lancaster winner will handle soft ground. I thought in fact he’d be in a Group 1 by now.
West Wind Blows can come on again, while Addeybb has been a star who eventually gets his ground but is understandably regressing now at eight years old.
Sunday 2nd October 2022
3.05 ParisLongchamp (Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe – Group 1) – MOSTAHDAF
It’s been said that this isn’t the strongest Arc of recent times, and that’s probably true in as much as there aren’t two or three obvious superstars coming together. It is still mightily competitive; the field being made up of crack Group 1 types.
There’s €5m up for grabs here and some strange decisions have been made. Watering the track knowing fine well there was rain hitting a track that sits over the River Seine sounds nuts. Suddenly dropping Verry Elleegant to a strangely low rating, basically ruling her out, seems silly too. Who knows the reasons.
I’m not at all as concerned about the draw in this race as some are. Check variously rated horses at different odds from low, middle and high stalls in recent times and you’ll see why.
With all that said, I’m going for the type of bet that either makes you look silly or a handicapping genius. At around 50/1, I can afford to take a chance anyway.
The horse in question is John & Thady Gosden’s Mostahdaf. Ever since he won on debut at Newcastle, he looked a potential star. He’s definitely top class, I’ve thought that for a long time, and his performance when slamming Dubai Honour in the September Stakes last time has gone under the radar.
There’s plenty more to come form him, he will handle this ground and the mile and a half is perfect. He is way overpriced.
Of the proven Group 1 types, last year’s winner Torquator Tasso is probably the strongest in the likely conditions, while Alpinista is rock solid and has handled softer ground well before.
The Irish Champion Stakes form concerning favourite Luxembourg, Onesto and Vadeni is solid, but that was a hard race for all three and it makes them vulnerable. Aidan O’Brien has also expressed his concerns regarding the ground for Luxembourg.
Westover is classy and has excellent form, but I’m unsure of the ground for him too. The owners have talked of their keeping him fresh as the ‘Workforce method’ but despite being good, he is no Workforce.
Japanese runner Titleholder may just struggle on the surface you would think.