“We like our guy and think he’s talented enough to win a race like this”

We’ve haven’t got a big team of runners this weekend, with a select group of three horses heading to Sandown, Leicester, and Nottingham, respectively. However, I hope all three can run with credit, so here’s the lowdown on my trio and my thoughts on the the Eclipse…

Saturday

Chasing Aphrodite – (16:47 Sandown)

He heads to Sandown where he won back in June. We did also have him in the Old Newton Cup up at Haydock, but we thought that he’d likely favour the quicker conditions at Sandown. There is a bit of rain forecast but hopefully it’s not too bad by race day. We’re back over the same course and distance again and we’re hopeful of a good run, despite being drawn widest of all in 15.

Chasing Aphrodite (Tom Marquand) beats Born Ruler in the 1m 2f handicap at Sandown

It looks like there are a couple of progressive types in opposition, particularly Balmacara and Dambuster, who I’d see as our main dangers. Whether our guy is as on-the-up as some of the three-year-olds, I’m not sure, but I do think he’ll run his race. I’m excited by the prospect of stepping up to a mile-and-a-half this season at some stage too, so keep an eye out for that.

Harry Did – (17:15 Leicester)

He heads up to Leicester for a restricted maiden, which is a bit of a retrieval mission after his below-par run last time out. He’s a curious one for us, because his early form is very good, and looking back at his second at Kempton, that race has worked out well too. It was probably a step too far running him in a big three-year-old Newmarket handicap on Guineas Day, and he wasn’t quite ready for that in hindsight. They jumped out, went a very quick pace, and he was just all at sea really.

Harry Did (middle) finishing 2nd in the Restricted Novice Stakes at Kempton

As far as I’m concerned, it was a complete non-event, so we’re happy to forget it and move on. Since then, he’s been in good form at home, we’ve kept him fresh, and he should like the ground they’re expecting at Leicester on Saturday. The opposition is hard to size up, but you’d say that Charlie Hills’ Asinara would be the main danger. However, we like our guy, and think he’s talented enough to win a race like this.

Inappropriate – 20:10 Nottingham

Our final runner of the day is Inappropriate up at Nottingham in a 10-furlong handicap. We’ve deliberately just taken our time off the back of his third at Yarmouth. There are a few winners that have come out of it once they’ve gone up in trip, and I’m sure we’ll be doing the same at some point. However, just off a little break, I thought it best to stick to this trip for now.

I think he ought to be competitive here, as it looks like a similar sort of race to the last day at Yarmouth. Kaiya Fraser takes the five pounds off too, which is great value as he’s riding particularly well at the moment, so I’d be hopeful of a good effort.

Eclipse Stakes

As a racing fan, I’m really looking forward to the Eclipse on Saturday. City Of Troy is the worthy odds-on favourite and it’s great to see him out again after his brilliant Derby win. It’s obviously a huge shame that White Birch hasn’t made it, as that clash would’ve been the meeting of the best three-year-old and older horse so far this season. Hopefully that might come down the line.

City Of Troy and Ryan Moore) winning the Epsom Derby

As for the race itself, it’s hard to see City Of Troy being beaten, but saying that, there are a few unexposed three-year-olds in against him. I’ve always liked dancing Gemini and I’d love to see him run a big race, which he should do back over his likely ideal 10 furlongs. There are two in the Jeff Smith colours in See The Fire and Ghostwriter in the field, and I think Andrew Balding’s filly has been crying out for a step up in trip. While this is clearly a huge jump in class, she’s bred to appreciate it and maybe she can sneak into the places.

Best of luck,

Harry

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