Fallon booked to ride Opinion in Old Newton Cup
With Ryan Moore on duty at Sandown, Sir Michael Stoute has booked Keiren Fallon to ride Opinion in Haydock’s feature race on Saturday. The handicapper was sufficiently impressed with the colt’s victory at Royal Ascot to raise him 8lbs in the handicap.
Moore switched to Opinion after stable companion and favourite Rye House was withdrawn and gave the son of Oasis Dream a great ride. Having tracked the leaders, he produced his mount to hit the front two furlongs from home and had plenty in reserve to hold off Stencive and Ustura.
Godolphins’s Ustura could reoppose the winner on 7lbs better terms for four lengths and is quoted at 8-1 second favourite. Lahaag (5th), Sir Graham Wade (6th) and Blue Surf (7th) all hold entries on Saturday but there seems no obvious reason for them to reverse the Ascot form.
Ustura is one of four entries for Godolphin with Al Saham and Expert Fighter also being given single figure quotes in the ante-post market. Al Saham was a course winner last time out, overcoming traffic problems to win decisively over a mile and a half. Expert Fighter was eased considerably when winning on the all-weather at Kempton and is difficult to assess.
Luca Cumani has a great record in this event and it will be worth keeping an eye on Franciscan in the market. The gelding stepped up on his previous efforts when just touched off at Carlisle last week.
John Gosden’s Camborne has been saddled with top weight and is yet to race this season. If he is withdrawn, Opinion will automatically carry top weight. Mark Johnston, the trainer of Sir Graham Wade, has five entries in total.
The pick of them could be last time out winner Fennell Bay who battled on well to win at Thirsk. Scatter Dice also caught the eye in last weekend’s Northumberland Plate and may appreciate the drop back in distance if asked to turn out again quickly on Saturday.