Andrew Balding: My thoughts on our 8 runners this weekend
The Betway ambassador weighs up his chances this weekend, with eight runners going to post across Saturday and Sunday.
Henrik won nicely last time and I’ve been impressed with him at home since. He seems to have come forward in his work.
It is, however, very difficult to win these types of races with a penalty, especially against horses who have run well in their previous outings.
I was delighted with Fox Chairman as he finished third at Sandown Park earlier this month. I think that was the strongest Listed race I’ve ever had a runner in - all of the horses were above that level.
I do think the key for him in this race is his ability to handle slower ground better than others, so if they get the forecast rain then he should be a real player. His fitness levels are good and, as everyone knows, we’ve always thought a lot of him.
While he didn’t stay the 2m trip last time, Edinburgh Castle ran well enough for most of the race, so I was pleased with that performance.
Barring his poor run on the all-weather, which I’m hoping was down to the fact he didn’t enjoy the surface, I’ve been happy with him this season.
He must have a nice chance here, dropping back down in trip.
Table Mountain runs from out of the handicap and, while it’s a big ask, she is getting heaps of weight from those at the top. Over 2m at Ascot, it could be a good advantage.
She gallops all day so if she reproduces her last run she’ll have a squeak.
Kashi is our only runner at Doncaster and he’s on a bit of a retrieval mission.
It’s fair to say that we were disappointed with his performance last time, but as there’s been nothing wrong at home since, I’ll suggest that he simply didn’t handle going downhill.
This is a stronger race so it won’t be easy, but judged on his pedigree any rain they get will be a help rather than a hindrance.
Look Around goes in the Group 3 and, on her day, she is a really capable filly.
She is one who would prefer better ground, which is why we’ve opted for this Ascot race over a Listed opportunity up at York.
She’s run well over course and distance before and although this looks a tough race on paper, there’s only a few rated higher than her.
Barossa Red is the opposite of Look Around in the sense that he’ll want it soft.
He seems in good form at home so we’re taking our chance, but his only career victory did come on heavy ground at Haydock.
Machios is stepping up in trip which will hopefully bring out further improvement from him.
It’s a really competitive race - you could make a case for any of them - but he seems fairly handicapped so we’re taking our chance.
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