Naps king selects a few each-way alternatives in case the Oaks heroine finds the French Classic too much at the end of a hard season
Naps king with some each-way hopes for Chantilly
Battaash saved our bacon at Goodwood and sometimes when ground conditions turn dramatically to the extreme you simply have to relax and take a back seat as this is the time of year that punters traditionally find the most difficult for winner finding.
The Arc on October 1st is shaping into a better race than I thought and there are some very interesting each-way manoeuvres to be had.
Ok let’s get this straight from the getgo, on private ratings I have Enable 4lbs clear of the field and having backed her at 12/1 straight after the Oaks I do have a keen interest in her.
However, there are major doubts on my mind now that she can complete an amazing season by winging the Arc at Chantilly, she would be so much better suited to Longchamp.
Down through the years, the Arc has been a step too far for many great champions, not because they weren’t good enough, but due to the fact that they had endured a long and arduous season at the highest level.
Troy, Dunfermline, In The Wings, Hernando, Montjeu, Authorized, High Chaparral to name but a few were turned over when strongly fancied.
It is worth remembering that Enable has been on the go since April 21st taking in six middle distance races.
I actually thought she looked sluggish in the Yorkshire Oaks and there is no knowing how much her stylish success took out of her in the King George.
The very fact that she has to work for her wins is a negative. I’m not confusing that with the end result which has always been clear cut, but the fact that she has pulled hard in her races and has to be rousted along to achieve maximum speed.
Her Ascot win was, to the eye hugely impressive, but she was under strong pressure from the home turn to slip into top gear and in that testing ground such an effort can take its toll.
I am not for one minute saying she can’t win, but unlike several previous champions she has a different style of racing in that she wears her heart on her sleeve and that could leave her vulnerable at the end of a long and hard season.
She remains the most likely winner of this end of season championship race, but I have also had back-up bets on ZARAK, CLOTH OF STARS and RECOLETOS all each-way.
The first named is a very lightly raced 4yo, unexposed over the trip and with surely more progression to come.His win in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud was hugely impressive and his staying on second in the French Derby shows he will have no qualms returning to this track.
Cloth of Stars will need good ground to show his best form, but Chantilly rarely offers a deep surface and his placed effort in the Prix Foy was actioned merely to blow away the cobwebs.
Recoletos, third in the Prix du Jockey Club from a poor early position, has yet to encounter 12f and to be honest his breeding hardly inspires confidence.
However, he has been given plenty of time to strengthen up by his shrewd trainer and showed a nice turn of foot on his comeback race to land the Prix Prince d’Orange over an extended 10f and you don’t need much on at 300/1 on the exchanges to make a healthy profit!
A quick word on the big handicaps of the month with the Cesarewitch (Oct 14th) looking as open as ever. On goodish ground VENT DE FORCE would look exceedingly well handicapped off 100 and 33/1 is readily available in the village.
The Cambridgeshire (Sept 30th) could see the former winner of the Silver version, GM HOPKINS, run a huge race as long as the ground doesn’t ride on the fast side, while my most interesting wager at the Champions meeting (Oct 21st) is NEZWAAH in the Fillies and Mares granted a wee bit of give.