Race Time: 4.15pm Meeting: Newmarket Day: Thursday 24th September Distance: 2m
Full Race Name: Jockey Club Rose Bowl (formerly The Fenwolf Stakes) (Listed Race) Class One
Pat Dobbs rides Eye Of The Storm (8/1) for trainer Amanda Perrett here and the four year old has to give three pounds or more away to all of his rivals this afternoon. He did win two races ago at Sandown over a fraction further in Listed class before finding the likes of Big Orange, Quest For More, and Trip To Paris after too good for him when stepped up to the Group Two Goodwood Cup when last seen in anger. Slowly away, he was never travelling and may have just had an off day, but with close to two months off to be freshened up, he could be more like his old self today, though the extra weight could yet be an issue. Flying Officer (6/4) is perhaps his most serious rival, after all he is trained by John Gosden! Unusually for a five year old, he has only been involved in seven races, winning four of them at Sandown Windsor Nottingham and Salisbury, including a Listed event over a mile and three quarters in April 2014, so there are high hopes he will see out this two mile trip. Last time out was his first run of 2015 when he sauntered home on the bridle at Salisbury on a softer surface, and if we can bring ourselves to forgive him his obvious issues (he must be pretty fragile to be raced so infrequently), he would arrive here with a great chance of upsetting the favourite if everything goes his way. Sensibly, we now need to look for three possible improvers who could upset the apple cart (however unlikely), and Forever Now (9/2) has chances at his best. Trained by Martyn Meade, the four year old hasn’t won since last August but has been generally mixing it with the very best of them, and should appreciate the drop in class. When last seen he was only four and a half lengths behind winner Trip To Paris in the Ascot Gold Cup despite finishing back in eighth, looking a bit one pace, but then who wouldn’t over two and a half miles? He has won over a mile and a half so we have no issues with his speed or stamina and he arrives here with a frankly superb chance this afternoon.
Havana Beat (10/1) is one of the four distance winners in the field, and we mention him because there is the possibility a visor may wake him up today for trainer Andrew Balding. He did win a Listed race over this trip at Sandown back in July 2014, but hasn’t won a race since in eight attempts which is enough to stop us backing him, but if the headgear has the desired effect he may well run a lot better than his price on the day implies. To round off our little “famous five” here, how about the ultra consistent Gale Force (9/1) for the likeable James Fanshawe? Now a four year old, she has finished in the first three home in her last five races which include a win over this two miles at Kempton on the all-weather, and another at Goodwood at the same trip on soft going last time out a shade cleverly. She isn’t Listed class on what we have seen, but she is improving and does certainly stay – one to consider for a place at least, if the price is right.