Very little to go on after just the two renewals of this race but it still looks extremely competitive with a long list of recent winners ready to go in to battle. The early betting suggests it is mightily competitive but we are pretty sweet on the chances of Ralph Beckett’s Gold Faith (20/1 Each Way) who looks massively over-priced. Lightly raced with just the seven career starts the son of popular sire Dark Angel has won two of them, the latest at Newmarket on the July course over this mile and a half trip, and was a good third to Rydan last time out at Salisbury despite failing to get a clear run at a crucial stage in the race. Left on the same mark of 85 he gets to carry eight stone this afternoon and top lightweight jockey Jimmy Quinn has been booked to ride suggesting they fancy his chances and at the prices he does look a decent bit of value.
Up at the top of the weights we have Richard Hannon’s Steel Of Madrid (20/1) who was last seen in action at Veliefendi in Turkey when fifth behind Saeed Bin Suroor’s Move Up in a Group Two and is obviously dropping in to handicap class. Ryan Moore has been booked to ride which seems interesting, and although he is yet to win over further than ten furlongs, his last five races have all been in Listed class or above and dropped in class today even nine stone seven may not be enough to stop him.
Trainer David Menusier is starting to catch the eye and seems very adept at placing his horses as best as possible and he has a chance with Saunter (8/1) who is looking to land his hat trick after wins at Goodwood and here at Newmarket over a mile and a quarter. He has been put up nine pounds for his last easy win where he lived up to his name but connections will be hoping that he can offset that penalty with the extra quarter mile this afternoon and he won’t be far away if that is the case.
Sixties Groove (8/1) also heads the early market for trainer Jeremy Noseda and jockey Silvestre De Sousa and the stable rarely leave their money behind if their horse has a decent chance. Not seen for a couple of months he finished second to Poet’s Word at Goodwood when last seen in action when hanging inside t final furlong but may find things happen slower stepped up to this trip which will ease the pressure. Up seven pounds for that we think he may be in the grip of the handicapper but if the yard think otherwise they really ought to know better than us.
To round things off for today we have Ed Dunlop’s Manjaam (11/1) who has already won four races this year and finished runner up in two others. Last seen at Ascot in July he held off Shabbah by a head with Dal Harraild a further head back in third, and he has gone on to win in Listed class since so the form has a decent enough look to it. Up five pounds for that win he won’t find life as easy from now on but he has had a break, and could yet return refreshed and with room for even more improvement.