Race Time: 2.00pm Meeting: Newmarket Distance: 1m 1f
Full Race Name: Makfi Suffolk Stakes (Handicap) Class Two
Another of those intriguing mile or thereabouts handicaps that invariably sees a different winner each time as the handicapper amends and shuffles the ratings around, giving different horses better chances each week to confuse us all.
Bronze Angel (12/1) currently heads the weights for Marcus Tregoning and has been dropped a further couple of pounds after a below par effort at Newbury when last seen on good to firm going. Looking back at the race again and again I get the feeling he may have still needed the run (despite already having raced at Doncaster), and we do honestly expect a far bolder showing this time around than his odds might imply. Although we all know early jockey bookings cannot be accurately trusted we have to be intrigued by Frankie Dettori marked down to ride for Champion jumps trainer Paul Nicholls! All Set To Go (16/1) is the horse in question, and he was last seen over hurdles at Kempton finishing third to Stars Over The Sea – fair to say that would be seen as a fairly unusual preparation for a race of this standard. Before changing stables he did run on the flat in Ireland finishing third in a Group Three which explains his high rating of 102 here, but he has to at least be added to the “interesting” pile with such an usual profile.
It was interesting early on to note that William Buick had already been booked to ride Educate (8/1) for Ismail Mohammed despite two lacklustre displays in Group Three events at Lingfield and then here this season. Dropped in class today, he won the Cambridgeshire over course and distance in 2013 off exactly the same rating which could be a coincidence – or could be pointing to his realistic chances here?
David Simcock is a trainer we have a lot of time for, and he tries first time headgear on Halation (13/2), which could be of interest. This would have to be a career best effort to be fair, but then he is only a four year old so could have more to offer, and strange things can happen once a visor is on board – not a good thing by any stretch of the imagination but one to alt least think about each way, perhaps with the up and coming Andrea Atzeni in the saddle for Qatar racing Limited.
Although yet to really hit top gear, I refuse to believe that Sir Michael Stoute has somehow forgotten what is needed to train racehorses after decades of success, in which case Top Tug (4/1) has to be added to our shortlist. Very lightly raced for a four year old (six runs in total and two victories) suggest he has had his problems but at his best he looks pretty decent as witnessed when winning a class three Newmarket handicap over ten furlongs, and if we ignore his last race (a mile and a half was clearly a bridge too far), then he would be coming here with every chance of rekindling his stop start career.