York Ebor Festival 2015: Gimcrack Stakes preview (15.10)
Trainer William Haggas has already enjoyed tremendous success at the 2015 York Ebor Festival, and Raucous looks decent value to provide him with another big race winner in the Group 3 Gimcrack Stakes (15.10).
The colt had little difficulty landing a two-runner contest on debut at Sandown, making all and quickening clear at the furlong marker to score by 3 3/4 lengths.
Raucous went on to follow-up in good style in a conditions’ contest at Newmarket when beating the useful Orvar by a neck.
After being held-up last of the four runners, the son of Dream Ahead showed distinct signs of greenness before picking up well and running on strongly to get up close home.
It was a most taking performance, and the runner-up had previously run very well to finish sixth of 27 in the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot and a decent fifth to Shalaa in the Group 2 July Stakes at Newmarket.
Orvar was also far from disgraced when a close-up fifth to Tasleet in a valuable sales race here earlier in the week, and it gives the form a solid look.
Although Raucous now steps up significantly in grade, he is clearly progressing with each run and looks the type who has plenty more to offer.
Another plus is that Raucous is versatile as regards ground having won on good-to-firm and soft, and it’s also interesting that Pat Cosgrave has presumably chosen to partner him over stable companion Ajaya who has proven form at Group 2 level.
Buratino brings the strongest form into the contest, having won the Group 2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot and finished runner-up to Air Force Blue in the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh last time out.
The Mark Johnston trained colt is a really tough sort who has won four of his seven starts, but has to shoulder a 3lb penalty for his Coventry Stakes success.
That is going to make things tough against some unexposed types, and Buratino has already had a very hard campaign for a juvenile.
For that reason I am keen to oppose, and a bigger danger to Raucous may well be American raider Finnegan.
After finishing runner-up on debut at Keeneland, the Coolmore-owned youngster went one better at Pimlico when scooting home by five lengths.
The son of Unbridled’s Song is very highly rated by trainer Wes Ward and his UK runners always command the utmost respect.