4.20 Ascot: Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes, 1m
Possibly the race of the week? Some exciting prospects go head to head, no more so than 2000 Guineas winner Coroebus. That form is the gold standard for obvious reasons.
It’s hard to pick a negative looking at the son of Dubawi. He won really well at Newmarket, confirmed the hype and clearly is high class as 107 topspeed rating backed up that day.
At this point in time, though, it’s not impossible that one or two others in this field can improve to the same sort of level. It’s from that perspective I feel he can be taken on at odds-on.
For me the obvious choice – and seriously overpriced – is recent German 2000 Guineas winner Maljoom. He overcame a sluggish start, having to make up a lot of ground in the home straight; the eventual runner-up got first run. But he found plenty under pressure, and the phrase “powered home” is quite fitting, eventually winning perhaps a shade cosily.
That was only his third career start. He won all three of them. He clearly improved with each run. There is every chance he can improve again.
A concern is his poor starting habit. Getting too far behind today will kill his chances I reckon. This is a big field and I doubt he’ll get a trouble free run if turning for home last. At the same time he’s got tactical speed and hopefully learns with experience.
Another concern is that this is his fourth race since his debut at the end of March. Both points are relevant question marks but risks worth taking at the prices.
10pts win – Maljoom @ 16
6.45 Beverley: Class 5 Handicap, 8.5f
Monsieur Jumbo drops down to class 5 and headgear is finally applied. This looks an ideal opportunity for the 3-year-old to strike. He’s obviously quite a tricky sort to handle but there is hope with cheek-pieces he can improve, as well as for the trip he’s still unexposed.
It the time of the year when the younger horses tend to take over and dominate against the older. And this big boy shouldn’t have an issue against those older horses in this race.
He caught my eye two back at Wolverhampton messing up at the starting gate as so often, but rattling home in impressive style. He also finished strongly the other day at Nottingham when moving up to 8.5 furlongs, suggesting the trip is no bother.
The jockey on board is an obvious concern, likely low on confidence, having as poor a strike rate as I have with my selections this month.
Tangled is the obvious danger. He really caught the eye the last time too; now down to a sexy mark. I hope he’s one for another day. I feel the additional half furlong doesn’t quite suit him. But he’s seriously well handicapped on past form.
Of course as my form goes, I missed the big prices at around 8/1 this morning. Too late…. still what’s on offer represents value (in my book).
10pts win – Monsieur Jumbo @ 6.5
8.15 Beverley: Class 6 Handicap, 8.5f
Highlight Reel has shown enough this year to suggest he can win a poor class 6 Handicap. He ran with plenty of credit in recent weeks, especially at Wetherby, when he was quite unlucky not to finish closer.
He wasn’t disgraced the next two times, he confirmed his wellbeing at Redcar with a solid front-running performance twelve days ago,
He won of a mark of 47 over 10 furlongs last year, running to topspeed 50. I would argue these most recent performances are reason enough to believe he’s capable to run to a similar level of form.
The 8.5 furlong trip is no concern, he won over 7 furlongs and can stretch out over 1m 2f too. He’s got a good draw and won at this course before. The 5lb claim of Jony Peate is highly valuable.
10pts win – Highlight Reel @ 10.5