Sprint Cup 6f Haydock Saturday

William Haggas

The Oddsguru fancies the William Haggas trained Adday to win Saturday’s Sprint Cup.

I hope you were on last week’s selection, the Kodiac colt, Kodi Bear. He absolutely hacked up and is clearly going to be a force at the top level. He might well be worth considering for the QE11, particularly if the ground is on the easy side. Saturday presents another son of Kodiac, Adday, with the opportunity of scoring at the top level on only his second attempt at a Gp1.

Bought for €54,000 as a foal, he was resold as a 2yo for 240,000Gns, and he certainly looks a bargain now. He made his 3yo debut at Ascot at the end of April, finishing third to Saturday’s opponent Limato. He was beaten 3L by the Candy gelding, who had benefited from a previous run, but reversed the form at Haydock a month later when comfortably holding Limato by a length. Seventeen days later, in the Gp1 Commonwealth Cup at the Royal meeting Adday ran an indifferent race finishing seventh, 2 3/4L behind Limato who finished second. Given a nice two months break the Haggas colt reappeared in the 7f Gp2 Hungerford stakes, where, as an easy to back 15/2 shot, he won in workmanlike fashion from a decent field. The score between Limato and Adday currently stands at 2-1, but one suspects that the Haggas colt may not be ideally suited to the Ascot course, (plenty aren’t) and back at the Lancashire track Adday may even the score. One for the shortlist!

Magical Memory, whom this column tipped, when taking the Stewards Cup has been supplemented at a cost of £15,600 for Saturday’s race, highlighting the confidence of the all conquering Charlie Hills stable. After strolling to victory in a Newmarket handicap off a mark of 96 he was all the rage for the Goodwood cavalry charge when backed in to 6/1 favourite on the day, and won like a group horse in the making off his new mark of 102. He was actually being eased down inside the final furlong and probably deserves a considerably higher rating than his current 108. He has done all his winning on top of the ground conditions, but his trainer has no worries about an easier surface, and indeed feels that he might well be suited by some give. Very soft ground however would be a negative. Obviously on a sharp upward trajectory his sporting connections should retrieve, at the very least their late entry fee.

The redoubtable Gordon Lord Byron, who won the race two years ago, can never be left out of calculations. Particularly well suited by plenty of give, he showed his current wellbeing when a decent third at the Curragh on an unsuitable fast surface, two weeks ago. His form in the 6 1/2f Gp1 Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville on August 9th, where he finished only 1L behind triple Gp1 winning Muhaarar, to whom he was conceding 5lbs, would give him very strong claims indeed.

Michael Appelby’s 4yo gelding Danzeno, may have been unlucky in Newmarkets Gp1 July Cup when finishing 5th behind Muhaarar. He seemed to be given an awful lot to do, and Dettori collected a two day ban by the stewards for his belated attempt to get through. In his previous race at Newcastle he again looked unlucky finishing 3rd, just a short head behind Saturday’s opponent Mattmu, who claimed the runner up spot. Here again he was slowly into his stride, and also lost his action when stumbling after 2f. As Mattmu went on to win a Gp3 at the Curragh and finish third in the 5f Nunthorpe, there is nothing wrong with the form, so given a bit more luck in running, the Appelby runner is another worth considering, particularly as all ground comes alike to this talented gelding.

David O’Meara runs two, G Force, and Watchable, and of the two the latter may be the more interesting. Running consistently without troubling the judge all season, he ran the best race of the current term last time, when finishing 4th in the Prix Maurice de Gheest, just a length behind Gordon Lord Byron. This Pivotal gelding, who handles a soft surface well, only needs slight improvement to get involved, and coming from this yard we all know that is more than possible. His current odds of 25/1 certainly look generous.

Selection: Adday

E.W. : Magical Memory

Kodi Bear Fancied For Celebration Mile

Goodwood

Kodi Bear is a rapidly improving animal and has a terrific chance in the Celebration Mile.

Inaugurated as a Group3 event in 1967, it was elevated to it’s present status in 1977 and features most of the top milers of the last four and a half decades, including the mighty Brigadier Gerard, Mark of Esteem, and Ravens Pass on its roll of honour. The classic generation have been the most successful age group, collecting in thirty two of the fourty seven renewals since its inception. Of Saturday’s trainers, only John Gosden has previously hit the back of the net, (Mutathir, 1998 and Ravens Pass, 2008) but Roger Charlton,represented by Captain Cat at the weekend, has had two placed from only three runners in the past decade. David Simcock,s only runner over the same period was placed, and James Fanshawe has had one placed from four attempts.

The Gosden runner this time is the 3yo Richard Pankhurst, and he will be trying to emulate his sire Ravens Pass. On only his second racecourse appearance, at Royal Ascot in June last year, he looked an outstanding prospect, when beating the very useful Toscanini by nearly four lengths, earning a rating of 116. He hasn’t been seen since, but coming from this yard, a fourteen months absence may be no bar to success. However with the weekends weather outlook in mind, it is worth remembering that his sires offspring much prefer top of the ground conditions, and a waiting brief is advised.

The patriarch of the Hills clan, Barry, won the race three times in the eighties and nineties, is unrepresented in this years renewal, but son Charles, who is having such an outstanding season, holds a strong hand with the 3yo Dutch Art colt, Dutch Connection, and the 4yo Cable Bay. Both have strong course form so the idiosyncratic track shouldn’t pose a problem to either, but soft ground would probably be a negative for the three year old. As the ground, at the time of writing is soft and the meteorological forecast is changeable, the stables best chance may lie with Cable Bay. He was probably given too much to do when held up in midfield in the 7f Hungerford Stakes three weeks ago, and finished fourth, but a reproduction of his run in the 1m Lockinge Stakes at Newbury in May would make him a serious contender. Held up out the back by Jamie Spencer, he ran on well in the final furlong, finishing fifth about a length and a half behind the top class Night Of Thunder. One for the shortlist!

Another trainer enjoying a good season is Clive Cox, and his 3yo colt Kodi Bear is a rapidly improving animal. Having finished second in the Group1 Dewhurst Stakes in his last race as a 2yo, he was all the rage on his belated reappearance in a listed race at Windsor at the end of June, but had to work quite hard to collect on the good to firm ground. Thrown in at the deep end in a Gp1 at Chantilly a fortnight later, he was well beaten, but may have found the race coming too soon. Given a four and a half week break, he destroyed a decent field in a Sailsbury Gp3 three weeks ago. This progressive colt will handle soft conditions at the weekend and looks the one to beat.

Olly Stevens’ 4yo colt, Lightning Spear is by pivotal so will appreciate any easing of conditions on Saturday, a point emphasised by his staying on fourth in a Gp1 in testing conditions at Deauville three weeks ago. Only his fourth start on turf, he stayed on well going down by 1 1/2L, 1 1/2L, Nse, to Esoterique, Territories, and Wild Chief. He is another on an upward curve, and given holding ground at the weekend could well be in the mix.

Selection: Kodi Bear.

E.W. : Lightning Spear.