Soft Ground Gets Seal Of Approval
This weekend’s racing has something for everyone with Group 1 mile action from Deauville on Sunday, competitive racing from Newbury and a 20-runner cavalry charge from Ripon.
Prix Jacques le Marois (Sunday)
Purists will be salivating at another chance to watch the John Gosden trained Kingman as he bids to add this Group 1 contest to his CV. Top of the challengers is Olympic Glory, as Richard Hannon tries to lower the favourite’s colours after his other star miler, Toronado, was firmly put in place by Kingman in the Sussex Stakes, and he’ll relish the soft ground. Esotérique, conqueror of Miss France and Integral in the Prix Rothschild, Coronation Stakes winner Rizeena, and the Freddy Head trained Anodin will also make sure Kingman doesn’t have an easy race. However, as Kingman looked at home on soft ground when winning the Irish 2,000 Guineas, the opposition will surely be clinging to the hope that he runs under par after having already run five times this season.
John Gosden also has a great chance of taking Saturday’s 7-furlong feature race at Newbury with Gregorian who has been successful on both runs over course and distance, including the corresponding race last year. Winner of the 7-furlong Group 3 Criterion Stakes in June, his last two runs have been over six-furlongs, and the return to this trip on the soft ground he relishes should give him every chance of doubling-up.
Geoffrey Freer Stakes
The soft ground has really turned in favour of Seal of Approval, and James Fanshawe’s filly is taken to beat some interesting opposition that includes Red Cadeaux, Pethers Moon and Willing Foe. Jockey George baker also boasts two wins from two rides on her, including one here at Newbury, and it looks significant that the in-form jockey has got the leg-up once more.
Great St. Wilfred Handicap
With the bookmakers going 10/1 the field for the Ripon highlight, this is likely to be the working man’s race this Saturday – and Spinatrix looks a cracking each-way bet. Michael Dods’ charge has an enviable course record having never been out of the first three in eight runs and boasting three victories. This is because she likes to race handy and usual jockey Conor Beasley looks sure to adopt the same tactics on the good-to-soft ground which should be perfect for her.