Crowley calls it: “We know Mokaatil has plenty of ability.”
Top jockey previews his weekend rides
Friday – Epsom
My only ride at Epsom is Tadbir for the boss. Being by Kodiac he shouldn’t mind any cut in the ground, and having won well on the all-weather two runs ago, he backed it up with a good second back at Chelmsford last time.
He was gelded after his one run as a 2-year-old, and he’s not done much wrong in those two runs since so I’d be hopeful he runs OK here.
I head down to Goodwood on Friday night for a couple of rides. Firstly in the 8.15 I’m on Paddy A for Ian Williams, who has his horses in great order which is a big positive here, in what doesn’t look a great race, and then in the 8.50 I’m on Ganayem in the Sheikh Hamdan silks.
She’s a nice filly, by Frankel, who won very convincingly at Nottingham last time, but that was on good to firm so we’re not sure how she’ll how handle the softer going.
We’ve had a lot of rain in Sussex and it will be interesting to see how she handles the ground, it’s an unknown but if she acts on it she should have a good chance.
Doncaster – Saturday
1.20 – Cray
On Saturday I head to Doncaster, starting with Cray in the 1.20. His trainer James Bethell was quite keen to book me once he knew I was going to Doncaster, so although he carries top weight here, I’d be hopeful he has a good chance, and I think the trainer has the same view.
3.40 – Lynwood Gold
Lynwood Gold ran last week in the Cocked Hat at Goodwood, so he’s backing up reasonably quickly, having run OK in that Listed race.
Mark Johnston has two in the race, but you can never say you’re on a second string for Mark as they all go there to try, so hopefully he’ll run alright back in handicap company.
4.15 – Master of Wine
Master Of Wine ran in the London Gold Cup at Newbury last time, which usually rides like a good race.
It was his first time in a handicap but he was a little bit disappointing to finish ninth that day, so hopefully he can be more competitive in what is a lesser race here.
4.50 – Mokaatil
I like Mokaatil a lot, but I was very disappointed with him at York first time up this season, he had a very awkward head carriage that day and just didn’t perform, which was a bit of a head-scratcher.
We know he’s got plenty of ability, he ended last season with third place in the Cornwallis, he’s all speed and we just need to get him back on track here.
It doesn’t look a strong race on paper so hopefully we’ve found a good opportunity for him to get his head back in front.
5.25 – Maghaweer
My final ride is Maghaweer. He ran well last time, but he’d have needed the run I’m sure, so should improve for it.
He finished his 2-y-o season with a nice win at Newmarket, and by Dubawi out of Indian Ink, he’s bred to be good. I’d say he’s one of my best chances of a winner over the two days.
Unfortunately I don’t have a ride in either Classic, but looking at the Investec Oaks, it’s wide open and maybe not that strong a year.
Wild Illusion deserves to be favourite, she’s a Group One winner who ran well to be fourth in the 1,000 Guineas, but we could see a surprise here, and one I think could run well is Perfect Clarity.
Clive Cox seems upbeat about this Lingfield Trial winner, who’s by Nathaniel like last year’s Oaks winner Enable. Aidan O’Brien runs plenty but I’m not sure he has a standout filly, if I could pick one I’d go for the favourite, but I do think Perfect Clarity will run well.
With regard to the Investec Derby, I was a massive fan of Saxon Warrior going into the 2,000 Guineas, but I actually didn’t think he’d have the speed to win the mile Classic.
I always thought he was a Derby horse, so for him to win the Guineas like he did was special. There has to be a worry about the softer ground for him, and he’s got the coffin draw in stall one.
But having said that, the right horses are around him to go forward, so I think Ryan Moore will be able to get a nice position on him.
On form he’s head and shoulders above the rest, but I do like Young Rascal at a bigger price. He should appreciate the softer ground, he won well over the trip at Chester and should run well at the odds.
If I had the pick though, I would be on Saxon Warrior, he looks the real deal.