Voyage By Investec Stakes
THE VOYAGE By Investec Stakes is also known as the ‘Get Out of Jail Stakes’ and bettors across the land will be hoping to extricate themselves from a punting hole by picking the winner of this sixfurlong handicap.
Just two winners in the last 10 runnings have been shorter than 9/1 and bookmakers are likely to find it tough trying to price this open contest up.
ARCTIC FEELING was a 25/1 winner of this last year, though, and everything is in place for Richard Fahey’s horse to complete a double.
He’s running with exactly the same weight as last year, 8st 2lb, but is actually 2lb lower in the handicap than that success having won just once since.
Jimmy Quinn is back in the saddle and the Camacho gelding returned to form in first time blinkers at Haydock on his last run when a close-up third. Fahey has reached for the visor this time and if that can eke out just a little more improvement then the bottomweight should make his light burden count.
It’s a typically hard test for punters and there are bound to be one or two hard-luck stories with 17 speedballs going hell for leather downhill, so it will definitely pay to have another on side.
The in-form Bondesire will be popular for the excellent David O’Meara but is unlikely to have his own way up front as was the case at Chester a week ago.
Ashpan Sam is another who holds a decent chance. But he’ll do well to defy top-weight, particularly as he’s gone up 10lb since his last win for a series of good runs even though he hasn’t triumphed again.
Swiss Cross won this off a 7lb higher mark in 2011 and won on his reappearance this term. However, Phil McEntree’s gelding has been well beaten in five starts since, and connections must be hoping the return to the Downs sparks a dramatic revival.
David Nicholls has won this twice in the last 10 years and Lewisham bounced back to form on his first start for the stable at Thirsk. He’s another interesting one to consider.
But I’m drawn to in the first-time headgear for local trainer Simon Dow.
The six-year-old loves Epsom and almost won the 2013 Dash, before being swamped close home. He seems to love the hustle and bustle of big handicaps and the hood should help him settle pre-race.
That close-up fourth in the Dash came off a mark of 90 and he’s down to 82 here. Raul Da Silva has found things hard since losing his claim but he remains a solid pair of hands in the saddle and rides sprints particularly well.
If he can hold a decent position and not get to the front too soon, then I can see this one going mighty close.
Arctic Feeling e/w
Fair Value e/w