No luck with Buzz the other day. He stumbled coming round the top bend and its game over after that. We can put a line straight through that run and he should still be a decent price next time. He remains one to follow. One for me on Day 1 of the Dante meeting. It looks a tricky day in all honesty so I’m not going in hard. Hopefully the other 2 days might prove to be a bit more punter friendly.
3.30 – Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes (Group 2) – 6f
It’s a good field we’ve got for this year’s renewal, with the 1-2-3 in last year’s Champion Sprint all reapposing. The winner of that, The Tin Man, is the top rated in the field, but carries a penalty for that win on Champions Day at Ascot. Whilst it’s not impossible to win under a G1 penalty, like Marsha proved in the Palace House, it’s a big ask when he only has 1lb in hand on ORs, with a few more not far behind. Growl was 2nd in that Champions Sprint, and whilst I don’t want to go as far to say it was a fluke, there’s no way he was the 2nd best horse in that race, or even this race for that matter. Instead, I like the horse that was a short head behind him in 3rd, Brando. He won the Ayr Gold Cup last year off 9st10 (beat Growl 1 1/4 lengths conceding 9lb), and you’ve got to be a serious horse to do that. Since finishing 2nd at this meeting last year off a mark of 97, he’s finished 2nd in the Wokingham, won the Coral Charge, finished 2nd in the Sapphire Stakes, won the Ayr Gold Cup off top weight before the aforementioned 3rd in the Champion Sprint. That rapid progression saw him end the season rated 116, which is a huge amount to find in just one season. That rating puts him clear of this field once The Tin Man’s penalty is factored in. He’s also had the benefit of having already ran this season too, unlike most of the other main contenders. That was when running down Ornate in the Abernant on ground that was plenty quick enough for him. So he comes into this fit, is highly progressive, is top rated on weight adjusted ratings and with the ground expected to suit (rain due). What’s not to like? I expect him to win this before lining up in all the major Group 1 sprints this season. And if he keeps improving, then I think he may win one of those.
Selection: Brando 10/3 (Coral)