Kristale gets a precious chance in the Hopeful Stakes

Lucky Kristale (Source: Getty)
The switch back to sprinting is yet to provide LUCKY KRISTALE with a win this season, but in tomorrow’s Hopeful Stakes (3.25pm) at Newmarket that could all change.

She charged on late to be held by a head in last month’s Group Three Summer Stakes at York, and this drop into Listed company could be key in getting her back into the winner’s enclosure.

Trainer George Margarson interestingly applies a visor for the first time tomorrow and that might just see her get down to work a little earlier.

The filly would have won her last outing at Listed level if it weren’t for running into subsequent Group One runner-up Tropics. He was pulled out of this race after Thursday’s declarations and now there doesn’t look to be any other great danger to my selection.

Her biggest threat could come in the shape of Naadirr who’s been given a lengthy break since underperforming at Windsor. Marco Botti’s gelding won two Listed contests before then and a bounce back to form would see him go close.

Dinkum Diamond returned to something like his old form when placed in last month’s Stewards’ Cup at Glorious Goodwood and there’s a chance he could make the frame.

Over in Ireland, the Curragh plays host to the Irish Cambridgeshire on Sunday. PORTAGE is entered for the race and could still be very well handicapped. Having only had the five starts, this Godolphin-owned three-year-old looks open to further improvement and should prove better than a mark of 98 in time.

He’s versatile in terms of ground and has showed he doesn’t mind the hustle and bustle of a cavalry charge. This race could be right up his street and the 7/1 available with Betway looks a good price.

I’ve also got a bit of interest at Goodwood tonight. SCARLET DRAGON held entries for a Class Three contest on Newmarket’s Saturday card and a Class Two race at Goodwood next week but, instead, Eve Johnson Houghton has pitched him into tonight’s Class Four event (6.05pm).

He can be taken to record back-to-back victories on the South Downs tonight after breaking his maiden at Leicester.


▀ Pointers…
SCARLET DRAGON 6.05pm Goodwood (today)
LUCKY KRISTALE 3.25pm Newmarket (tomorrow)
PORTAGE e/w 4.50pm Curragh (Sunday)