A lightly raced Newmarket-raider is all the rage for the 1m5f Listed contest on Friday’s Hamilton card but our betting tips identify a good-value alternative. Read our full race preview here.
IN SUMMARY: This isn’t very competitive for the grade and it’s easy to understand why the bookmakers have made Wajeez their short-priced favourite. John Gosden’s colt hasn’t been seen since winning a Nottingham maiden on his debut at the end of last season but he was very impressive that day and there’s every chance he’ll make his mark in Pattern company this year. However, it’s too early to lose faith in VENTURA STORM, who has been comfortably held in three consecutive Group races but will find this much easier than his latest assignment in the Prix du Jockey Club and was a winner at this level at the Craven meeting at Newmarket in April. At the odds on offer, he’s well worth an each-way interest. Richard Hannon’s other runner, Steel Of Madrid also has a part to play and it will be interesting to see how well Montsarrat copes with today’s rise in class.
1 Steel Of Madrid – Improved to win small-field Listed event at Newmarket (1m2f, good to firm) in May and subsequent fourth in Group 3 event at Royal Ascot (1m2f, soft) was very respectable; likely to be on the premises if suited by today’s slightly longer trip.
2 Ventura Storm – Began season with success in the Listed Fielden Stakes at Newmarket (1m1f, good to soft) in April; unable to land a significant blow in Group company in Ireland/France on three subsequent outings and has something to prove now, but is sure to appreciate today’s drop in class.
3 Carrington – Won 7f Doncaster handicap on seasonal debut in April but has had to settle for midfield finishes since upped to 1m for last two starts, the more recent in the Britannia at Royal Ascot; needs to improve to trouble the principals here and there are mixed messages from his pedigree regarding the suitability of today’s significant step up in trip; hood fitted for first time.
4 Montsarrat – Was beginning to look exposed but produced a good performance to win a Class 3 Ripon handicap (1m2f, good) from the front 11 days ago; will find it tougher to dominate this stronger field but it’s easy to understand why connections are tempted to strike while the iron is hot.
5 Ormito – Ran quite a bit better than 16l defeat might suggest when upped to 2m for the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot and today’s drop back in trip looks the right move; his best form puts him in the mix but he’s been known to display a rather awkward head carriage and is yet to add to his 2yo maiden win.
6 Percy Street – Ran well when fifth in valuable Epsom handicap (1m2f, good to soft) last month and bettered that form when winning at Newmarket (1m2f, heavy) three weeks ago; conditions won’t be as testing here but rain is forecast and he has a decent chance on the figures.
7 Wajeez – Out of an unraced half-sister to King George winner Belmez and cost 190,000gns as a yearling; created very good impression when 7l winner of Nottingham maiden (8.3f, soft) on debut in November; not seen since then but could be anything this season.
8 Warp Factor – Irish-raider who is still a maiden after five starts; ran to a fairly useful level when close second in first-time blinkers here (1m1f, good) last month and will be fine over today’s trip but needs to display a good jolt of improvement to get competitive.
myracing Forecast Prices: 13/8 Wajeez, 9/2 Steel Of Madrid, 11/2 Percy Street, 7/1 Montsarrat, Ormito, 10/1 Ventura Storm, 14/1 Carrington, 50/1 Warp Factor