Paul Ferguson gives his list to see us through the rest of the Flat season
Our leading tipster’s fancies for the end of the Flat season
CENTRAL SQUARE (ROGER VARIAN)
Off the mark on his seasonal reappearance at Windsor in May, Central Square finished runner-up in the Zetland Gold Cup before getting up in the dying strides to score at Ayr in June, having missed the cut for the Royal Ascot handicaps.
Still very much a work in progress, the Azamour gelding then disappointed when upped in trip atYork,but he remains an interesting prospect and one that could still develop into a very useful performer. Greenness has still been evident in his last couple of runs, but he is capable of winning a nice prize from his current mark once the penny drops.
FAIR EVA (ROGER CHARLTON)
A rather obvious selection, the Frankel filly looked a potential start when beating Nations Alexander (Listed winner next time and subsequently Group 2 placed) easily at Haydock and she built on that when forging clear to land the Princess Margaret Stakes at Ascot on King George day.
She might well have run in the Sky Bet Lowther Stakes at York by the time you read this and I would like to see her head over to Ireland during September, for the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh.Wherever she turns up next she will be very difficult to beat and it will be a shock if she is not heading into her winter break as a warm order for the 1,000 Guineas next May (already clear favourite).
HUGE FUTURE (SAEED BIN SUROOR)
A maiden winner at Newcastle in June, Huge Future looked aptly named when impressively winning on his handicap debut at Newbury the same month. The three-year-old cruised through the contest under James Doyle, clearly coping with the soft ground,and he was value for more than the official margin.
After missing a couple of possible engagements at Glorious Goodwood,the Ebor meeting remains an option for him while this feature goes to press – he holds an entry in the Ebor itself, but almost certainly won’t get in, so connections will presumably consider the Melrose on the same card. The Shamardal colt looked to possess plenty of pace last time,however, and I certainly think he is capable of win- ning another handicap over shorter.He is now rated 95.
IN THE CITY (WILLIAM HAGGAS)
An eye-catcher on his sole start at two,this chestnut went down by just a head on his reappearance (off for more than 10 months) before going one better just 13 days later,in a mile maiden at Newmarket.
Handed an opening mark of 82 following this length success, In The City should be more than capable of winning a handicap before the season is out. He saw the mile out well,having run over 7f the twice before.
POET’S WORD (SIR MICHAEL STOUTE)
After impressing when winning a warm Nottingham maiden in May (form worked out well),readers of my Betrescue column may remember that I was pretty keen on Poet’sWord for the three-year-old handicap at Epsom on Derby day. He failed to handle the track when fourth that day, but bounced back when winning a 14-runner affair at Glorious Goodwood.Held in a pocket after travelling well,the Poet’sVoice colt burst clear in the closing stages to record an authoritative success.
Upped another 8lb (to 96) by the handicapper, he could land another valuable pot before the season is out – the November Handicap is one possible option, though I suspect Sir Michael Stoute will want to find something before then.
SABRE SQUADRON (PETER CHAPPLE-HYAM)
Twice a non-runner at Glorious Goodwood (also declared a non-runner at Chester during the summer) Sabre Squadron won a decent Leicester maiden when last seen in May and looks on a fair mark, once he does get the go-ahead.
The Lope De Vega gelding had Istanbul Bey (won his next two, including a York handicap, before being sold to race in Hong Kong) and Al Neksh (also won his next two) in behind and looks open to plenty of improvement. Clearly connections don’t want to risk him on quick ground, so he should find conditions to his liking as we enter the concluding weeks of the season, and it will be disappointing if he can’t be placed to win a handicap off 80.
SEVEN HEAVENS (JOHN GOSDEN)
Another Frankel two-year-old that made an impressive winning debut, Seven Heavens beat Lockhead (won his maiden next time at Glorious Goodwood) at Ascot in July,with the pair pulling nicely clear.Out of classy race-mare Heaven Sent, the Champagne Stakes is a possible target for John Gosden’s colt.
SHRAAOH (SIR MICHAEL STOUTE)
Another improving Sir Michael Stoutetrained three-year-old, Shraaoh actually finished behind Poet’s Word at Nottingham before shedding his maiden tag on the all-weather at Newcastle. Again, readers of my Betrescue column might remember me putting this horse up at Royal Ascot, where he was backed off the boards (8/1 into 5/2) before beating just one horse home in the King George V Stakes.
The Sea The Stars colt got no sort of run that day, however, and bounced back on quick ground at Glorious Goodwood, getting going late when finishing a short-head second in the valuable Qatar Handicap. Up 2lb to 93, again it will be a surprise if he can’t land a nice prize before developing into a pattern-class performer down the line – he appeals as the type to do well as a four-year-old, if kept in training, too.
SIR CHAUVELIN (JIM GOLDIE)
Another who is unlikely to get into the Ebor, Sir Chauvelin has improved since reverting to the Flat in the spring,winning twice at Hamilton before finding a race at Chester run at an unsuitably slow pace (hold up horse).He improved again when running a blinder in the Northumberland Vase and again travelled well when out of his depth at York.
He remains capable of winning another handicap off his current mark and something like the Mallard Stakes at Doncaster during September could be a possibility, after which he should be noted if going back over hurdles.
WHO DARES WINS (ALAN KING)
Another that was hurdling last season and he made a really pleasing winning return to the Flat on his belated reappearance at Chester in late-July.The four-year-old ran out an impressive five-length winner (off 85) and has gone up 9lb for that.
He was quickly turned out under a penalty at Nottingham where he ran well but the race might have come too soon. He has plenty of options, however, and, granted his favoured quick ground, he looks capable of progressing further on the level. The Mallard would also be a viable option for Who Dares Wins, especially as he won a Grade 2 hurdle at Doncaster last December,though I doubt he will get quick ground at the St Leger meeting.
It will be a surprise if he can’t land a nice prize before developing into a pattern-class performer
Who Dares Wins