with apologies if you stumbled upon the half-cocked version I meant to save to drafts earlier!
It’s this Saturday at Doncaster and is the race for 2yos that affects the ante-post Derby market having produced Authorized and Motivator in previous years.
This year the buzz is about St Nicholas Abbey, Elusive Pimpernel and Co-ordinated Cut and I suppose I should also mention Al Zir. I must confess I’ve not seen this quartet in the flesh but I am not overly persuaded on paper by any of their chances. This may be because I made my mind up last week who I was backing! I didn’t want to do a “I want that one” post though, so in the name of impartial research (impartial is my word of the week) I had a RP Trophy summit with an RP journo for the inside track…
We discussed the Ballydoyle St Nicholas; might be undone by a fast pace if it is not riding too soft.
Co-ordinated Cut; lacking in experience and unless quite special not what we think of as a winner.
Elusive Pimpernel; I said we should ignore the jockey’s comments about not swapping his horse blah, blah. Al Zir; I actually prefer the chances of the second string Buzzword.
So then we cut to the chase and discussed our joint favourite, available at 14/1 at the moment. Which was lovely in one way because someone agrees with you and is bad in another – it means you may both have fallen under the same spell. This is a common spell that afflicts punters, the one cast by bad fairies, which hoodwinks you into blindly backing losers until all that is left in your pocket is some lint. I don’t think this is the case with Shakespearean though. We saw him at the July meeting (I backed him there and got a third I think behind Silver Grecian, which my co-conspirator tipped and backed!) and agreed he was a grand galloping sort who took a while to get going and wanted a bit further than the 7f on offer that afternoon. He then went on and won over a stiff 7 at Sandown before winning a brave race at the Curragh over 8 by a short head.
So I can worry that that victory in a very valuable sales race has taken it out of him and I can worry that the ground going too soft will not suit. Or I can think positive and consider that his experience of big races, apparent mental fortitude and impressive physique will stand him in good stead over the straight mile. Although these horses are still 2yos we are essentially, unlike at the beginning of the season, looking for that horse most like a 3yo now in body and spirit.
Of course it is impossible to say exactly without seeing them all on the day, fortunately my man on the inside can do just that from the paddock, so I can test the theory. Soft ground could undo my lad, but at this stage 14/1 is a nice each way bet.
A wildcard if the ground comes up soft or worse would be Brian Meehan’s Dancing David, but I can’t articulate why, so maybe ignore me! I expect you do anyway 🙂
He had a hard race didn’t he…
Truth be told, I am a little worried about that, but I won’t be backing anything else.