A Look Back on Sunday
I was very keen on Capri coming into this season but he was disappointing in the Vintage Stakes. It’s possible that he needed the run but I don’t want to get too carried away with that theory considering the form of O’Brien’s team in the early stages of this season (something that was covered in another post). Southern France was very sweaty before the race, though, and looked a bit big, so it’s not hard to imagine improvement from him and he seemed quite green throughout the season this year. Of the two, he’s the one who looks to have more room for improvement, although the Ascot Gold Cup could come a bit soon.
Verhoyen ran another good race in defeat and I’m still convinced that he’s well handicapped but if he was to go up a few pounds from that run I’m not sure that I’d want to keep following him. Encapsulation was a nice each-way win and considering the rate of her progression so far, she looks like an exciting prospect – the winner is the Oaks favourite, after all. Crimson King finished less than a length outside of the places and he might be one to keep an eye on – it’s a tough uphill finish at Navan and he came through the field well, so I would think that this is his trip.
Monday at Naas
It’s a good card at Naas on Monday and a couple of horses who I’ve been keeping an eye on are running.
5:15 – Sonaiyla’s first two starts came over 6f at Naas. On her first appearance she was 5th of 18 in October 2018 when drawn in stall 17 of 18. She was just 4 lengths behind the winner and the stalls of the first 7 home were 6, 1, 12, 7, 17 (Sonaiyla), 5, 2. She was only a head behind the horse in 4th, who went on to win her maiden a week later and is now rated 84. Sonaiyla was the only runner that day without a run under her belt. She then went to Naas on Lincoln day, finishing 2nd by 2 lengths when drawn 18 of 20. The winner came from stall 5 and the 3rd came from stall 2. Pedigree suggested that a step up in trip might suit and she ran creditably over 7f at Leopardstown next time, hitting the front over a furlong out but eventually getting passed by a few stronger finishers in the last 100 yards. The drop back to 6f seemed like a good idea and she’s back at Naas today, but yet again has been unlucky, drawn in stall 23 of 24. If she runs creditably again from a bad draw, she’ll definitely be one to keep an eye on.
5:50 – T For Tango is also drawn very badly in stall 24 of 24. It’s just worth noting that he was rated 90 two years ago and is now rated 76. There was a bit of money for him first time out this season and was slowly away from a bad draw, was unlucky in running and then ran on well. He didn’t run an awful race at Leopardstown last time and again, if he runs well at a bad draw today he might be worth keeping an eye on, especially back at this trip.
6:20 – Primo Uomo was highly thought of in the early stages of last season but lost his way a bit after that. He was unlucky in running in the Cork Stakes, though, finishing 6 lengths back but encountering interference a few times, so he probably could have gotten closer. It will be interesting to see whether he is getting back on track, but he’s a bit short for me today.
6:50 – Crockford hasn’t always seemed like a horse that you would want to trust in a tough finish, and has been wearing a tongue tie since his second start. However, he ran really well against a strong draw bias and pace bias at Naas last time, coming from last to first on tough ground. I suspect that the patient ride is given intentionally and that he may be a bit of a rogue when he hits the front, but his mark may be lenient and he has been given a much nicer draw here today in stall 3 of 15 (16 of 16 last time). 12/1 looks like a fair enough price.
Crockford 1pt win 12/1 (Bet365)
That’s it for today – I’ll be posting on Monday evening with a look at the first day of the Punchestown festival. For anyone who missed the only ante post bet for the meeting, Bellshill (Gold Cup) can still be backed at 7/1 and the bet was 2pt e/w.