Andrew Balding: Kameko has big chance in the Royal Lodge
The Betway ambassador previews his nine runners' chances at Newmarket, Haydock and Chester on Saturday.
Newmarket on Saturday
It’s a big day at Newmarket and we’re excited to see Kameko run in the Royal Lodge (13:50). It was an excellent effort to be beaten a nose in the Betway Solario Stakes last time and if he is in the same form he must have a big chance.
The one I’d be most fearful of is Highland Chief who was third in the Chesham behind Pinatubo on his last start. Obviously that is really strong form with what the winner has gone on to achieve.
The Cambridgeshire (15:40) is one of the biggest handicaps of the season and it’s been the target for Good Birthday for a while. We were very pleased with him at Beverley last time and his third in the London Gold Cup behind Headman is very good form.
He has the right profile for the race, although in an ideal world we could do with a little bit of rain. He’s drawn high by the stands’ rail and we won’t know if that’s good or bad until after the race. He is drawn with the fancied horses, though, and I’d rather that than not.
Le Don De Vie was with us earlier in the season and he’s a very good horse with a similar profile to Good Birthday. I certainly respect him.
Dream Round is having her first start for us in the fillies’ maiden (16:15). She’s a nice filly in the making but like most of ours she will benefit for the experience.
There are two cracking Group One races on the card and the Middle Park (15:00) looks exceptional. Earthlight and Siskin are both unbeaten after four starts, but Mums Tipple was devastating at York in the big sales race.
York can throw up some funny results and you sometimes get those freak performances, but I thought he looked world class that day. He beat a useful field stone cold and could be anything.
I really like Raffle Prize in the Cheveley Park (14:25). She has the best two-year-old form of the fillies and I’m sure she will run very well again.
Haydock on Saturday
The ground is going to be very testing at Haydock but it shouldn’t be a problem for Ascraeus in the mile fillies’ novice stakes (13:30), she is well equipped to handle it.
It will be a real slog on heavy ground for these juveniles and Michael Bell’s Craylands is the one to beat, although these will be very different conditions for her.
Damage Control (15:50) showed a bit of promise on his first start at Salisbury earlier this month, finishing just behind Khalifa Sat who won well at Goodwood on Wednesday.
You never know about conditions like these for young horses, but I don’t think it will be a problem. I’d be quite positive about his chances.
Chester on Saturday
Straight Of Hormuz ran well from a bad draw at Chelmsford last time and he hasn’t had the best of luck with the draw again in this seven furlong novice race (13:35).
He has good gate speed, though, and as long as he handles the slower ground, he should have a good chance. He’s got the best form in the race and it looks the right kind of option for him.
Whitefountainfairy goes for the seven furlong handicap (14:10). She has been clobbered with an unhelpful draw again, just like last time. That isn’t going to make things easy for her, so we just have to hope she gets some luck.
Fortunately, Inclyne has been a bit luckier with the draw in the 1m2f handicap (16:30). She has been in good form and ran nicely at the track three starts back in July. The ground will be fine for her and I think she has a solid chance.
Our final runner on Saturday is Seeusoon in the staying handicap (17:05). He ran very well here at the May meeting and this is his first run since June and has been gelded.
I suppose there has to be a slight question mark on fitness, but he’s done plenty of work at home and I think he’s still well-handicapped.
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