Fairmont Handicap (Class 2) (3YO only) (2.05) – A poor draw is a worry for Madeed but it’s likely that Brian Meehan’s colt has plenty more to give at 10f and a compelling form case can be made for him. Out of his depth in the Fielden Stakes on his return, he fared much better when outrunning odds of 33/1 in the Britannia, finishing a half-length second on the far side in the Britannia when the stands-rail was heavily favoured. Those performances have been shown to be in a better light by the subsequent performances of far side horses post-Ascot: They read 211125310. Winner of that “race”, American Hope, should have won one of the strongest handicaps of the season so far at Ascot but for being nailed in the last stride, while Table Rock has since won a Premier handicap at the Curragh and a listed race at Newmarket when coming well clear with the runner up.
The step upto 10f should really to be a problem today and with just 4 runs under his belt more should hopefully be coming; The previously mentioned draw – he is in 14 – is a worry but if repeating his Ascot form then he won’t be far away.
As with all these handicaps, there is no end of fearsome opposition with Cam Hardie’s 5lbs claim a big help for Rainbow Rock’s chances. Mark Johnson’s charge relished every yard of this new trip when last seen at Beverley last time and he has to be respected, as does Roseburg, who looked a horse well on the up when he trashed his rivals last time at Haydock. One at a bigger price to consider is Collaboration, for whom this is a very reasonable task back down to a trip which may suit him better, and at 16’s he made second most appeal.
Advice: 2 pts each/way Madeed (8/1 general)
Tatler Handicap (Class 2) (3YO only) (4.50) – Championship didn’t turn into the group performance connections hoped he’d be last year but since showing a return to form he’s posted two efforts that rank as highly as any in the field here at Kempton and Doncaster, and if continuing in that vein he has a fine chance off 93 today.
After a limp effort on his seasonal return at Kempton when he was clearly wrong – Ryan Moore looked to give up by the two furlong mark – he has since finished third to the very highly rated Idea and Extremity, who has since finished third at Sandown and won here earlier in the week, and he followed up that with a good second at Doncaster to the extremely progressive Moohaarib, who has since followed up with a third in an extremely strong Ascot handicap over a mile. He was five lengths clear with the winner that day, and a 4lbs rise looks entirely reasonable all things considered.
In a very strong event the one to beat is Almargo, who wasn’t at his best over 6f at Newmarket but is unbeaten from three tries in handicaps over 7 furlongs, fairly routing the field at Newcastle two stars ago. He falls into the same bracket as Royal Seal, who has form figures of 411 in 7f handicaps. Ifwecan’s second to Velox is strong form although his best performances have all come at a mile. The unexposed Secret Hint can also take a hand in a tightly packed event.
Advice: 1 pt each/way Championship (9/1 general)