The Racing Paper - - Tv Races And News - BEN MOR­GAN

Hay­dock 1.50 - I doubt the ground will be soft enough for Mr Antolini, although if we do re­ceive late show­ers, bear him in mind. I was taken with GARO DE JUILLEY’s win at Chep­stow last month in the Sil­ver Tro­phy, a race which nor­mally works out well and is al­ready do­ing so (2nd place What­more has hacked up since).

He was one of only a few run­ners that came from off the pace that day and it looked a much im­proved per­for­mance com­pared to some of his runs when un­der the care of Paul Ni­cholls. If So­phie Leech has found the key to him then he could have more to of­fer off his new mark. As­cot 2.05 - Politologue is go­ing to be a warm or­der and with the de­fec­tion of Shat­tered Love it looks like he is the one to beat. His dead eye jump­ing makes him hard to catch on the front end and this looks to be his ideal trip. Although he has out­stand­ing claims, at 11/8 he of­fers no real value in a race which has a few young im­provers lurk­ing.

BE­NATAR’s price has con­tracted dur­ing the week and I will be in­ter­ested to see how he per­forms. I fancied him for the BetVic­tor Gold Cup be­fore his late with­drawal and in­ter­est­ingly enough his lesser fancied sta­ble mate won the race. I’m sure he is up to this grade and with match fit­ness to his ad­van­tage, I’m hope­ful he can give the jolly some­thing to think about. Hay­dock 2.25 - I’ve backed FIRST AS­SIGN­MENT in both his wins so far this sea­son and I’m not stop­ping now. This is a poor turnout for a race usu­ally so com­pet­i­tive but the bet­ter ground could be the rea­son for that.

Ian Wil­liams’ charge looks firmly on the up­grade and con­nec­tions have made the right de­ci­sion al­low­ing him to take his chance un­der a penalty as his main ri­val, Pais­ley Park, has to give him a fair lump of weight. As­cot 2.40 - I was, ini­tially, dis­ap­pointed with IF THE CAP FITS (NAP) on his sea­sonal de­but at Win­can­ton. How­ever, look­ing back at the race I am will­ing to con­cede that it might have been a fair re­turn to ac­tion. Ver­dana Blue is a dif­fer­ent an­i­mal on de­cent ground and the con­di­tions of the race suited her bet­ter than my lad. I’m sure Harry Fry left a lit­tle bit to work on as well so I’m con­fi­dent we will see a bet­ter horse to­day. The ex­tra four fur­longs should bring about fur­ther im­prove­ment. Hay­dock 3.00 - If the £1m bonus wasn’t on of­fer I doubt we would see MIGHT BITE and Na­tive River clash this early into the cam­paign. The Gold Cup first and sec­ond look set for an­other gru­elling duel and it’s the horse that came off sec­ond best in March that I fancy to­day. I was a keen ad­mirer of Might Bite go­ing into the Gold Cup and I think he was beaten by the rain soft­ened ground more than any­thing else, so on a bet­ter sur­face I’m hope­ful he can turn the ta­bles. The pair pinged from fence to fence in what was one of the bet­ter Gold Cups of re­cent times and if we get a sim­i­lar bat­tle to­day I will be most sat­is­fied.

As­cot 3.15 - I was a doubter of OZZIE THE OS­CAR (NB) un­til his run in the Hal­don Gold Cup where his showed class and de­ter­mi­na­tion. I al­ways thought he was for­tu­nate to be rated as high as he was but he clearly has plenty of abil­ity and has cer­tainly im­proved over the sum­mer. Hay­dock 3.35 - To­day is the last chance I give to BRAQUER D’OR to cash in on his le­nient mark. The form he has shown sug­gests he should be rated a lot higher than mid 130’s but he hasn’t quite cat­a­pulted him­self just yet. The ground should be in his favour and this could be his last chance to win a big pot be­fore the ground turns.

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