Naps ex­pert with his ante post picks for Good­wood and York

Some ante-post choices for Good­wood and York from the Naps king

Racing Ahead - - CONTENTS -

Ihave al­ways though that the Stew­ards Cup on the Satur­day is al­ways a kin­der race to the punter to dis­sect than the big mile hand­i­cap of the Fri­day of the Glo­ri­ous Good­wood meet­ing purely be­cause it leaves less to chance and luck in the run.

A mile con­test around a bend on a tight track needs both top class jockey ship and masses of good for­tune whereas run­ning down­hill for four of six fur­longs only needs a well hand­i­capped horse and a jockey with balls of steel. So given those cir­cum­stances I would much rather have a wa­ger in the lat­ter!

It is odds-on that we will have rat­tling fast ground for that cav­alry charge on the fi­nal day of the fes­ti­val and I will be hav­ing two ante-post shots on this fa­mous race in the form of VI­BRANT CHORDS and BRIAN THE SNAIL.

The former sig­nif­i­cantly has some re­ally solid form on the Sus­sex Down and showed he was ready for a race of this mag­ni­tude when land­ing a solid class three hand­i­cap from Rio Ron­aldo, the sec­ond has won since.

I have up­graded that per­for­mance as he raced from the front and was in the fir­ing line all the way be­fore get­ting back on top in the fi­nal 50 yards, whereas he is nor­mally a mid­field/hold up charge.

This race will al­low his rider to bide his time and edge him closer to the pace from half­way. Of course a ca­reer best ef­fort is re­quired, but he re­mains rel­a­tively lightly raced, should have a good rac­ing weight with so many 100+ horses set to run and the ground shouldn’t be a prob­lem ei­ther.

Brian The Snail fin­ished way back in 21st slot last year, but there were mit­i­gat­ing cir­cum­stances. First, the ground be­came way too soft for him and sec­ond he didn’t act well with the blink­ers on for the first time.

This year he has fi­nally found his mojo again, win­ning cosily at Don­caster off a mark of 95 be­fore run­ning a cracker in the Wok­ing­ham Hand­i­cap at Royal Ascot fin­ish­ing 13th of the 28 run­ners beaten just over six lengths.

Although never get­ting a shot at the lead­ers he kept on nicely un­der hands and heels un­der Wil­liam Buick and has been dropped a pound by the as­ses­sor.

The Ebor Hand­i­cap at York (Au­gust 25th) has al­ways been one of my favourite punt­ing races, but the fact that pro­gres­sive three-year-olds rarely get into the field is a sad state of af­fairs, now it is just the pre­serve of the older horses.

Northum­ber­land Plate win­ner Withold (8lbs higher here) and the hugely pro­gres­sive Ha­mada both have solid claims, but that will ul­ti­mately be re­flected in their prices.

I am a big fan of Godol­phin’s WAL­TON STREET and although the boys in blue have no fewer than 10 other en­tries at the time of ask­ing I am hop­ing that they see sense and run this son of Cape Cross who sim­ply looks made for the race.

He had a fine spring in Dubai end­ing up land­ing a top class hand­i­cap in snug style off a mark of 104.

He re­turned to these shores with a su­perb placed ef­fort be­hind hand­i­cap­per snip Dash of Spice in the Duke of Ed­in­burgh Hand­i­cap at Royal Ascot.

And I think that we can up­grade that per­for­mance as he was plenty keen enough through the first three fur­longs or so and once push came to shove turn­ing for home (three fur­longs out) he was just out­paced at a crit­i­cal time be­fore stay­ing on stoutly up the in­side rail.

Both his breed­ing and his style of rac­ing sug­gest that this ex­tra yardage will be right up his street and the fact that he hasn’t raced since that Royal come­back strongly sug­gests that this has been his big aim all sea­son.

Be­hind him that day was stable mate Eyn­hal­low and he too has been in need of some ex­tra yardage and the two are closely matched on their Dubai form and would both be worth sig­nif­i­cant sup­port should they line up at the Knavesmire for the big bet­ting race of the meet­ing.

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