DESPITE the fact that jockey Frankie Dettori is only a few months away from his 49th birthday, he appears to be in the best form of his career.
The evergreen Italian steered Enable to an effortless victory in the Yorkshire Oaks a couple of weeks ago, which was also his 14th Group One success of an incredible 2019.
He has a chance of landing another tomorrow when he partners favourite Advertise in the Betfair Sprint Cup (4.10pm) at Haydock.
The three-year-old has been in rude health this summer, landing both the Group One Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot and the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville.
Those two successes sandwiched a solid second to Ten Sovereigns in the July Cup when the cards didn’t really drop in his favour.
Even though there was plenty of cut in the ground when Advertise won at the Royal meeting in June, I’m not sure he wants it really soft and that’s a concern if you’re getting involved at 11/4.
All the recent rain means that, even though he has been declared, it would be a surprise if Ten Sovereigns was allowed to take his chance.
Khaadem made a mockery of his handicap mark in the Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood last month and is another with form on rain-softened ground.
However, he may not want it too soft either and at as short as 4/1 with the sponsors I’m prepared to look elsewhere. One horse who will relish every drop of rain is Sir Michael Stoute’s DREAM OF DREAMS who got within a head of beating Blue Point in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes two starts back.
You can draw a line through his last run in the July Cup where the combination of fast ground and an undulating track were against him.
Conditions are spot on for the five-year-old and he looks the value call at around 8/1 with such an unsettled forecast.
Stoute last won this valuable prize with Ajdal back in 1987 so you could say it’s been a long enough time between drinks!
Looking at his dangers and it would be no surprise to see fellow three-year-old Hello Youmzain give him most to think about, as he is another who handles soft underfoot conditions and goes well at Haydock.
The same can also be said of Brando who was a gallant second to The Tin Man in this 12 months ago on bottomless ground.
Regular followers of this column will remember I selected FIRST IN LINE who was narrowly touched off in the Melrose Handicap at York a fortnight ago on ground that was too quick.
He gets a chance to gain some compensation in the opening staying handicap (1.50pm) now that the rain has come and the 11/4 should be snapped up.
Finally, on a busy afternoon, don’t miss GOSSIPING as he returns to the all-weather in the ‘London Mile’ (3.15pm) at Kempton.
Gary Moore’s seven-year-old can race here off an 8lb lower mark than his turf rating, and with Thomas Greatrex taking off another 5lbs he is effectively racing off just 83.
He was only beaten a handful of lengths off marks in the high nineties at Goodwood in two starts last month so shouldn’t be far away here at around 8/1.
First In Line 1.50pm Haydock
Gossiping e/w 3.15pm Kempton
Dream Of Dreams e/w 4.10pm Haydock