What a race in prospect tonight: the clash of California Chrome vs. Beholder vs. Dortmund in the Pacific Classic! Should be an absolute cracker.
The mare Beholder tries to defend her crown, after romping home to an 8 lengths plus success in this race last year. It looks a tougher assignment this time, given main rivals Dortmund and California Chrome are sure to be primed.
Both locked horns in the San Diego Handicap most recently where they reappeared after a break. Despite giving weight away, California Chrome came out on top after a tough battle in the home straight.
Quite honestly it’s hard to see Dortmund turning the table today. I’m a big fan of this lad, he just such good looking boy! But he is not quite the class of Dubai World Cup winner California Chrome and is not necessarily appreciating the step up in trip.
No bother for Chrome, though. He has the stamina and class, however will have to overcome a tough draw on the inside – Espinoza has to make a tough call early on.
I believe he’ll keep it simple and will use Chrome’s early speed to make sure he’s not boxed in. And that will be that.
Beholder has tried this trip once before – when she turned last year’s Pacific Classic into a procession. However it was an odd race, with the leaders taking each other on and Bayern not performing on the day.
My feeling is that against tougher opposition, over this trip against a world class animal like California Chrome, who’s sure to stay every inch of the distance, she’s likely to fall short – despite a handy 5lb weight allowance.
Chrome is the class act and clearly the one to beat. He usually improves quite a bit from his first run after a break, so should be ready for a big performance today. In my book he is odds-on.
Selection: California Chrome @ 6/4 Ladbrokes
3.05 Sandown: Majoris @ 7/1 Ladbrokes
3.25 York: Dream Of Dreams @ 12/1 WH
4.50 Sandown: Philadelphia @13/2 Coral
7.50 Chelmsford: Dubawi Hundred @ 3/1 Ladbrokes