Make things personal with Intimation
SIR MICHAEL STOUTE is looking forward to a big weekend with two live chances in the Investec Derby, but Intimation can ensure the yard heads to Epsom in high spirits by landing a Listed success at Nottingham.
The four-year-old lines up in the EBF Stallions toteexacta Nottinghamshire Oaks Stakes for what will be just the fifth start of her career, and she looks a filly of potential at this stage.
A daughter of Coronation and Falmouth Stakes second Infallible, it is easy to see why owners Cheveley Park have persisted with this Dubawi filly despite the stop-start nature of her racing career so far.
Well down the field on her sole juvenile start in a race that produced a few classy winners, Intimation sprang a 20-1 shock when winning on her return at Newmarket last May before following up with a convincing success on her handicap bow at Leicester last July.
However, something was clearly amiss after that run as Intimation did not reappear until turning out at Newmarket again at the end of April, when she made little impact in a handicap event.
Beaten three lengths, Intimation will likely have come on plenty for the outing as she could only stay on at the one pace when the race really heated up, suggesting that she was perhaps a bit ring rusty too.
Fort Bastion may still be a little short of the form that saw him receive a rating of 106 but he should still be good enough in the totetrifecta Pick The 1,2,3 Handicap.
Now with David O’Meara after spells with Richard Hannon snr, Ed Dunlop, Richard Fahey and Ruth Carr, you would think Fort Bastion probably has little left to give.
O’Meara is a master at eking out the best of such seasoned animals though, and his current mark of 96 appears to be a very workable perch judged on his recent fast-finishing fourth at York.
He was actually racing off a 1lb higher rating that day and while only a minor ease, it puts Fort Bastion back within striking distance of his last winning mark.
Fort Bastion appears to take a couple of runs to really hit his best form now, so it could be dangerous to dismiss him.
Vibrant Chords is entered in a Listed heat later this week but the decision to take in the Bet totequadpot At betfred.com Handicap at Chelmsford first can pay dividends.
Henry Candy’s charge has certainly shown ability, coming home in the first three in each of his five starts to date, counting one win amongst those results.
The three-year-old started this term on a mark of 87 following his admirably consistent run in 2015 and he showed he is still capable of making his mark when beaten just under two lengths on his return at Newmarket.
The winner of that race, Aclaim, has since been placed in Group Three company so the form has a sturdy look about it and Vibrant Chords is one who could go on to rank even higher in due course.