WHILE the Godolphin operation’s main aim is undoubtedly to revel in the glory of Group One winners, the boys in blue have been taking aim at some big money handicaps over the last year or two.
We’ve seen the likes of Atty Persse and Rare Rhythm earn their keep with big handicap wins this season, while races like the Royal Hunt Cup, Victoria Cup and tomorrow’s big race at Newcastle, the Northumberland Plate (3.30pm), have all fallen into Godolphin’s hands over the last 24 months.
Tomorrow, Saeed bin Suroor flies the flag for Godolphin with Good Run and NATURAL SCENERY and it’s the latter that catches the eye.
Natural Scenery looks a fast improving four-year-old by Dubawi and may prove to be well ahead of the handicapper.
She was an easy winner of a competitive handicap over course and distance back in February, before finishing sixth in the AW Championships Marathon in April.
David Probert gave her a bit too much to do that day, sitting some six to seven lengths off the leading three turning for home, and I think she’ll bounce back from that.
She should be able to jump out and settle into a nice position out of stall 10, though in a race like this she’ll still need a bit of luck in running.
Seamour has every right to go close again after last year’s narrow defeat but is short enough at around 5/1.
He idled badly after hitting the front early on 12 months ago and a more measured ride from up-and-coming jockey Ben Curtis could make the difference.
Hardened eight-year-old Suegioo could muscle in on a place at a big price, whilst Lord George would have been a big fancy had he not been drawn wide in stall 17.
Earlier on the card, AELOUS looks great value at 12/1 in the Group Three Chipchase Stakes (2.25pm).
Ed Walker’s sprinter landed this race back in 2015 and has run some solid races without winning since.
His fourth to subsequent Diamond Jubilee winner The Tin Man in the Hackwood Stakes at Newbury last year stands out and he’ll go close if he can reproduce that kind of form.
After that, LONDON PRIZE looks a very solid bet at 15/8 in the Northumberland Vase (3.00pm).
His eight-length demolition of a good field over Goodwood’s two-mile course was impressive and he looks the one to beat.
Some 200 miles south of Newcastle there’s a good card at Newmarket too.
Richard Fahey saddles two in the six-furlong Empress Fillies’ Stakes (2.40pm), with his second-string, MAGGIES ANGEL, looking a decent each way bet at x/x.
She has gone well in her three starts over five furlongs, but looked to be crying out for a step up in trip last time out in a competitive Conditions race at Beverley.
Being by Dark Angel, she’s likely to appreciate some cut in the ground and the weather forecast appears to be in her favour.
Fahey’s unbeaten first-string, Dance Diva, deserves her spot at the head of the betting but my selection should give her something to think about.
Aelous e/w 2.25pm Newcastle
Maggies Angel e/w 2.40pm Newmarket
London Prize 3.00pm Newcastle
Natural Scenery e/w 3.30pm Newcastle