Enable has been truly glorious and her departure from our racetracks is bittersweet. We won’t see too many mares as great as her in our lifetime.
The feeling of loss was counteracted by a more successful day yesterday and the momentum will hopefully enable us to build on day three of the Ebor meeting. Here are my Friday selections.
1:55 – CARADOC
This is a leap in class for Ed Walker’s charge and while both Eynhallow and Genetics are tempting, the continuation of Oisin Murphy in the saddle and the increase in distance could bring about the necessary improvement in this field. His 5lb penalty for a recent victory means he carries 1lb less than he should officially and he was strong through the line when winning most recently. He has had excuses for both his defeats this season and his breeding gives further confidence that he should be even better over a mile-and-a-half.
2:25 – DEE EX BEE
I’m sorry. I know Stradivarius always wins, but this might finally be the time he finds one too good. As the Lonsdale Cup is a Group Two as opposed to a Group One, Dee Ex Bee is in receipt of 3lb. He’s been found wanting for a turn-of-foot by Stradivarius the last twice, but he is one of the most formidable opponents John Gosden’s exquisite stayer has faced. Falcon Eight also presents a tempting alternative as he is unproven, but the weight swing gives Dee Ex Bee a fighting chance if Silvestre De Souza can make this a stern enough test of stamina. He was unable to lead latest and didn’t go fast enough at Royal Ascot, but with knowledge comes power. 4/1 is too appealing given how little there has been between them. It just depends how much Stradivarius still had in reserve. I’m chancing there was less than appeared.
3:35 – MABS CROSS
The billing of this year’s Nunthorpe as a two-horse clash between Battaash and Ten Sovereigns baffled me. The former has a strike rate of 1/6 at the top level and was easily disposed of in this last year, in spite of his talents while the latter surely wants a tough six furlongs rather than a speedy five. Mabs Cross may have only maintained her form rather than improving upon it this term, but she was beaten a hair’s breadth in this last year. Her defeat by Battaash at Ascot should not be cause for concern as that form is almost identical to last year’s King’s Stand which she reversed in fine style in this and she has become a Group One winner since. She has every chance of going mightily close.
4:50 – VITRALITE
The three horses chasing hat-tricks at the head of the market all have factors against them. Vitralite was most recently fourth despite conceding lumps of weight all-round in a novice event won by Mubtasimah (receiving 12lb from selection.). She has won since and was far from disgraced earlier today off a mark now 1lb higher than Karl Burke’s runner. Back at a mile, where he won so convincingly on his second start (he also won on debut), 94 is not the harshest mark for his handicap bow given the promise of those first two victories and he’s a sizeable price on what he’s shown to date.