I got it wrong: Cracksman did that so easily in the Prix Ganay this afternoon. He certainly looked like the horse the betting suggested he is. On the other hand you have to hand it to Frankie Dettori. He gave Cracksman a peach of a ride. Tracking the pace, always in the right position.
That’s the difference between a good jockey who gets it often right and a top class jockey who is at the top of the game for decades who gets it very rarely wrong
Dettori’s judgement was stark contrast to the rather poor ride Cloth Of Stars received from Mikael Barzelona. The idea behind dropping the five year old in seemed sensible. However, you got to be flexible and be able to react to the fact that you can’t concede first run to Cracksman, or at least come from miles off the pace if you want to beat him over this trip is not rocked science (says the armchair jockey that I am).
Would a different ride have made any difference in terms of outcome of the race? Likely not. Though, we might have gotten a contest, at least.
4.25 Wolverhampton: Class 5 Novice Stakes, 9.5f
This is a really good field with the majority of these interesting moving forward this season. Clear preference is with recent Chelmsford scorer Mootasadir. He nicely bred and sets a good standard here.
He is a short price and gives weight away to some other promising individuals. Same goes for Well Suited, also a winner on the Chelmsford All-Weather. One with scope but also weight he’s conceding.
I am most interest in that context in the first son of wonderful Shirocco Star: Starcaster. He’s obviously incredibly well bred but also receives a good deal of weight from the market principles due to them already being off the mark. A further 3lb claimed by a fine apprentice in the saddle is a little bonus.
Starcaster caught the eye in his first two career starts towards the end of last season. He certainly was desperately unlucky not finish closer than a 1½ lengths beaten third at Goodwood.
Judged on those performances as well as collateral form, Starcaster, with the weight he gets, should be in with a big shout in this race. Whether he is fully wound up first time out this year remains to be seen.
10pts win – Starcaster @ 9/2 WH
6.50 Southwell: Class 5 Handicap, 1 mile
In an open contest I feel it’s worth siding with one who is likely to give his running: CD specialist Muqarred. He may well be in the grip of the handicapper, however, in a slightly less competitive contest than the ones he raced in over the winter months, given he has been eight out of eleven runs in the money over CD, even as top weight he appeals to me.
The main reason is that he has shown to be competitive of marks around his current rating off 77 – a run to this sort of mark will see him go close. The bonus that could Muqarred the edge is fine apprentice Ben Sanderson in the saddle.
The 7lb claimer has been striking a fine partnership with trainer Roger Fell lately, particularly at this venue. He is certainly worth his claim – taking that into account means Muqarred has a prime chance here.
10pts win – Muqarred @ 6/1 PP