Ante post

Alex Peperell has a nice priced run­ner pen­cilled in for the Cup

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Alex Peperell on his ones to watch

Af­ter what was a close call with Nat­u­ral Scenery from last month’s col­umn in the Northum­ber­land Plate, I’m hop­ing to go one bet­ter on at least one oc­ca­sion this time around. Glo­ri­ous Good­wood isn’t far away and once again it’s another week full of top class rac­ing.

GOOD­WOOD CUP - DAL HAR­RAILD (10/1)

Big Orange put up a gal­lant dis­play to emerge vic­to­ri­ous in the Gold Cup at Royal As­cot and is rightly the short-priced favourite for the Good­wood Cup. Or­der Of St Ge­orge has been ruled out of the race and on pa­per this looks like it could po­ten­tially be a penalty kick for Michael Bell’s charge. But as we all know, races aren’t run on pa­per and af­ter what was such a huge per­for­mance from Big Orange in Berk­shire, that race may have taken plenty out of him and there is a chance he could still be feel­ing the ef­fects of those ex­cur­sions here. There­fore at such pro­hibitive odds there is value to be had look­ing else­where.

Wil­liam Hag­gas has been hav­ing a good time of things and he looks likely to sad­dle the tal­ented four-year-old Dal Har­raild. A mul­ti­ple win­ner over 1m4f, he stepped up to 1m6f atYork on his penul­ti­mate start and that showed him to re­ally good ef­fect. The last fur­long and a half were prob­a­bly his best in that race, he stayed on re­ally strongly to beat some ex­pe­ri­enced and very proven stay­ers, Na­keeta and Sey­mour, by a cosy three- and-a-half lengths.

He made a bold bid from the front in the Hard­wicke Stakes at Royal As­cot but he got over­hauled in the straight. In say­ing that, he con­tin­ued to stay on very well and was only beaten four lengths while be­ing that same dis­tance ahead of his next pur­suer.

He does have it all to do be­ing stepped up to Group 1 com­pany, but he seems to still be im­prov­ing and this fur­ther hike in dis­tance could be the mak­ing of him. If the favourite was to mis­fire then Dal Har­raild looks like the one to be on.

STEW­ARDS’ CUP - EKHTIYAAR (20/1)

The Stew­ards’ Cup has been lu­cra­tive for three-year-olds in re­cent years and I don’t see why this time will be any dif­fer­ent. Mag­i­cal Mem­ory and Dancing Star won this in 2015 and 2016 re­spec­tively hav­ing pre­vi­ously won the 6f Hand­i­cap at New­mar­ket dur­ing the July Fes­ti­val, which is ex­actly what Ekhtiyaar did on July 13.

Roger Var­ian’s in­mate is a win­ner of three of his six ca­reer starts and is still very much on an up­ward curve. He’s won twice at New­mar­ket this sea­son while en­coun­ter­ing trou­ble on both oc­ca­sions, show­ing real de­ter­mi­na­tion and a will­ing at­ti­tude to win. Trav­el­ling like the best horse in the race atYork in June, he didn’t quite pick up as ex­pected and it may have been that the ground was a lit­tle on the quick side for him so he’s not go­ing to want it too rapid at Good­wood.

He looks a sure­fire Pat­tern-class per­former in the mak­ing,be­ing a half-brother to Group 3 win­ner New Prov­i­dence and be­ing by the speedy Bated Breath only en­hances his cre­den­tials. A con­cern would be that he’s not sure to get in the

race, even un­der a penalty. He’d need quite a few to come out,but if he does get in, he won’t be a 20/1 chance.

GREAT VOLTIGEUR - CRYS­TAL OCEAN (20/1)

A bit of a talk­ing horse back in May, Sir Michael Stoute’s Crys­tal Ocean was sub­ject to a gam­ble for the Derby, but didn’t even end up run­ning in the Ep­som Clas­sic.

He was cut to as short as 12/1 for the show­piece event.The fact that he was fan­cied for that and went off the 2/1 favourite for the King Ed­ward VII Stakes at Royal As­cot af­ter run­ning a very re­spectable third in the Dante leads me to be­lieve he must be held in high re­gard. The 20/1 on of­fer for the Great Voltigeur with race spon­sors Bet­way could be an ab­so­lute gift.

Hav­ing had just four runs, he’s open to any amount of im­prove­ment.His run in the Dante was a good one, de­spite drift­ing markedly in the bet­ting on the day. He shaped that day as if the step up to 1m4f would suit him down to the ground, but over that trip at Royal As­cot noth­ing went his way.Not able to get in early on,he sub­se­quently got shuf­fled a bit fur­ther down the pack than I’m sure jockey An­drea Atzeni would have liked in or­der to get a po­si­tion.He then made a very eye­catch­ing move lead­ing into the straight but he took the bend so wide that he cov­ered way more ground than his ri­vals which I be­lieve may have played a big part in the fi­nal out­come. His in­ex­pe­ri­ence might have cost him there and know­ing more this time around can see him come out on top.

Be­ing a half-brother to high class Group per­form­ers Crys­tal Capella and Hill­star,he cer­tainly has the pedi­gree to make his mark at this level. Back on the long straight on the Knavesmire he’ll likely have some tough op­po­nents, in­clud­ing the Derby third Cracks­man, but I don’t think we’ve scratched the sur­face of this Sea The Stars colt just yet.

BLAK­ENEY POINT AND SAIGON CITY HAVE RACES IN THEM

Start­ing off with Blak­eney Point, he was a huge eye­catcher for me in the Old New­ton Cup at Hay­dock. He trav­elled very well into the race over a trip which may have been slightly short of his op­ti­mum.When about to mount his chal­lenge, he got ab­so­lutely no run what­so­ever and by the time he even­tu­ally got rac­ing room the race had gone. He fin­ished full of run­ning in fourth un­der what was con­sid­er­ate han­dling by Kieran Shoe­mark af­ter he knew his chance of win­ning was over.

On his first start of the sea­son he beat sub­se­quent Northum­ber­land Plate win­ner Higher Power at Kemp­ton and was then fan­cied for the Ch­ester Cup and ran no sort of race,but I’m more than will­ing to for­give that.Off a mark of 95 he’s got one of these hand­i­caps in him.

De­clan Car­roll’s seven-year-old Saigon City seems to be get­ting bet­ter with age and has looked bet­ter than ever in two starts this sea­son. He put in a huge run on reap­pear­ance when sec­ond be­hind sub­se­quent Hard­wicke Stakes third Chem­i­cal Charge and had Mun­ta­haa and Fron­tiers­man in be­hind. Next time out he beat Queen Alexan­dra win­ner Ori­en­tal Fox on soft ground at New­mar­ket.

Ver­sa­tile re­gard­ing trip and ground,he was also fifth in last year’s Northum­ber­land Plate.He’s rated 98 and would be one that I’d be in­ter­ested in for the Ebor,but off that mark I would say he’s prob­a­bly un­likely to get in.

Stick Blak­eney Point and Saigon City in your track­ers, they’re a cou­ple to keep on­side!

Dal Har­raild

Saigon City, right

Blak­eney Point

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