Cats and dogs

More hideous weather today – I’m told that we’re getting a month’s worth of rain today here in leafy Surrey.  I can believe it – it’s cats and dogs out there.

It wasn’t raining at Newmarket overnight and early morning, but the rain started an hour ago and it’s chucking it down now (11:40).  Rain is also forecast at Chantilly where Winker will hopefully be running on Sunday.

The opportunities tomorrow look pretty good.  Bouguereau looks a pretty solid prospect on his form to date, and the conditions of the race look highly suitable – I’d perhaps be concerned if there was too much rain but otherwise it all looks good.  He works very nicely at home and is a straightforward ride – he’ll be ridden a lot more prominently than he was in the Derby.  I’ll be disappointed if he doesn’t win.

Maxwell Hawke goes well at home and Pete generally gets his horses fit first time up.  He was a fairly expensive purchase and we think he has a big future, although there would be some concerns about the ground.  There are only 5 runners in his race.  Parisian Gift may run at Warwick, but he won’t want it soft and may be switched to Kempton next week.

Sunday is the big day for Winker as he looks for Group 1 glory in Chantilly.  Aqlaam is out of the race.  Raven’s Pass is in, but he’s unlikely to get his favoured ground.  Rio de la Plata is a G1 winner and won’t be inconvenienced by a bit of cut – he looks to be a shade off top class though. 

I’d be a little concerned for Winker if it rained too much.  We think he goes fine on softer ground but he’d probably prefer it otherwise and it turns it into more of a staying heat, which might not be ideal for his first run back after a long break.  We’re hoping to give him a racecourse gallop at Newmarket tomorrow morning and that will be it.  Fingers firmly crossed.

We are making various entries for Pansy Potter, and she’ll be out pretty soon.  Tom Dascombe has entered Marine Boy for the Gimcrack, which reflects the high opinion we have of him at home.

I’ve had a look today and I doubt I’ll be placing any big bets.  In the 2:00 I quite like Temple of Thebes, who fits the profile of the sort of horse I’d back from Ed Dunlop’s stable.  She should go on this softening ground and she’s bred for a longer trip, so she should get home ok.  In the 3:45 I’m hearing that Whispering Angel is respected at home, although he might need the run.  Brian seems in very good form now though, so this might be worth looking at each way.  There are some very well bred, highly expensive maidens in the 4:20, not least Meydan City, who cost $11.7 million at auction.  I like opposing expensive purchases as they invariably come with more hype than they deserve – it’s Woodcutter each way for me, who looks a proper stayer at the trip and is bred to go on soft ground.