IT HAS been a season to remember for John Gosden and, although he will be devastated that Nathaniel is unable to travel to Paris for the Arc, compensation potentially awaits back at Newmarket in the £500,000 Tattersalls Millions (2.50pm). GHURAIR won what turned out to be a very hot maiden at the July meeting and, even though he was a shade disappointing in the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood, he has been rested since and should be very hard to beat tomorrow.
The Elusive Quality colt still has an entry in the Dewhurst and Racing Post Trophy, but there is huge prize money on offer here and a win would make it very difficult for Aidan O’Brien to overhaul Gosden’s lead in the trainer’s championship. Richard Hannon’s Havana Gold and Tamayuz Star look the chief dangers, but I don’t think they have the potential of Ghurair, who can take this before a possible tilt at the QIPCO 2,000 Guineas next season.
Later on the card I’m quite keen on the chances of Charlie Hills’ ANGELS WILL FALL in the Listed fillies sprint at 4.25pm. She was trapped behind a wall of horses at Newbury last time and would have finished much closer than eighth had the gaps emerged. Robert Winston gets on with her well and she finished an excellent third in the Group One Cheveley Park last season.
There is some cracking action at Ascot tomorrow and my first fancy is Marcus Tregoning’s HAWAAFEZ in the Cumberland Lodge Stakes (2.30pm). She was well supported at Goodwood last time, but could only manage fourth behind Wild Coco who has since gone in again at Doncaster. There is plenty of rain forecast in the area and that will suit this daughter of Nayef perfectly.
This is a race Tregoning always targets and he’s not done badly at all with four wins from the last nine runnings. Johnny Murtagh is a very positive booking as there wouldn’t be many better at judging front-running rides on the round course. It’s a highly competitive race, with not much between the entire field on ratings, but this filly has always been well regarded and could come back here again on QIPCO British Champions Day.
Mince is going to be a very warm order in the John Guest Bengough Stakes (3.05pm) following her quick-fire hat-trick. She broke the track record here in August, but most of her best form has been on quick ground and I’m going to oppose her at the likely prices. Godolphin’s SOUL was disappointing at Doncaster last time, although he met with some interference, and he will relish any softening of the ground. He was fourth in the Golden Jubilee behind Black Caviar and a repeat of that run would be good enough to win this.
The big betting race of the day is the Challenge Stakes (3.35pm) where Captain Ramius bids to follow up his emphatic Ayr Gold Cup victory. He won’t be far away but I’d prefer to back old friend GLOBAL VILLAGE each-way at 20/1 with Coral. The key to Brian Ellison’s seven-year-old is plenty of cut in the ground and he has run some cracking races over course and distance this season.
You can follow me on Twitter @BillEsdaile for all my racing views.
HAWAAFEZ 2.30pm Ascot (tomorrow)
GHURAIR 2.50pm Newmarket (tomorrow)
SOUL e/w 3.05pm Ascot (tomorrow)
GLOBAL VILLAGE e/w 3.35pm Ascot (tomorrow)
ANGELS WILL FALL e/w 4.25pm Newmarket (tomorrow)