Friday – Keeneland
19:30 – Lipizzaner
Norfolk Stakes runner-up Golden Pal is the pick of the home team form-wise after what he did last time but clearly he has been done no favours by the draw, and we can’t complain too much with how we have fared in that department on Friday. Guts got Lipizzaner home in very bad ground at Doncaster last time rather than his class and, while he handles soft, I would like to think he is a more potent force on a better surface.
He should get that here – we are expecting good ground, maybe on the quicker side, and he had an excellent run behind Lucky Vega on quick ground at Naas earlier in the season – and he travels well in the early part of his races, as he showed in the Middle Park, so hopefully he can break and get a good position from stall three here.
I think he has a good each-way chance at what I gather is a double-figure price, but it is always tricky for our juveniles taking on the Americans around a bend.
Can stand his Battleground
20:10 – Battleground
The Europeans look to hold a pretty strong hand in this with the likes of New Mandate, Cadillac and Sealiway, and hopefully Battleground can prove the best of them.
We haven’t seen him for a while as he had to miss the National Stakes back in September with a cough, but at least he comes here a fresh horse as a result and I loved the way he went about his business in winning at Ascot and Goodwood earlier in the summer. He is a straightforward, uncomplicated and willing horse, and he has clearly inherited those traits from his dam Found, who I was fortunate enough to win the Turf on here in 2015.
If he gets the breaks from his midfield draw in nine, I think he has the class to take a big hand here, while the step up to 1m looks sure to suit him in a race we have been lucky enough to win a few times in recent years. He’d be just as classy as any of those winners, though this does look a strong renewal with plenty of depth. However, I do like my horse.
Test could suit her
21:30 – Mother Earth
Campanelle probably brings the best form to the table here – though I imagine some may dispute that given the level of course winner Aunt Pearl’s victories – but the issue with her is will she stay the mile? On pedigree you would say maybe not, but on run-style you would give her every chance around here, as she has been finishing off her races very strongly.
Anyway, she has to greatly respected, but my filly is not far behind her form-wise and she has no stamina concerns. Bringing an experienced juvenile to this meeting is often a big plus – as we saw with Declarationofpeace in the Sprint back in 2017 – and she also comes here after a career-best third in the Fillies’ Mile last time.
Clearly, her best form has come with plenty of dig in the ground but she finished an excellent third in a very strong maiden on the only occasion she has encountered a quick surface. Of course, she will need luck from stall eight but she should give me a good spin if getting a relatively clean run through. I think this test around here could suit her. Again though, this race has plenty of depth though, and a there are a fair few you can give chances to.