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Sinjaari (-1 to 107)
Aim: Balmoral Handicap
Sinjaari dropped 1lb to 107 which is only 2lb higher than when winning at Sandown in a handicap where I was very keen on him. I think he can certainly win a handicap off 107 and just needs things to go right. I was happy to scrub off his run at Goodwood as he clearly didn’t get a good run at it and was eased early. He then ran in a 4 runner Group 3 at Salisbury which isn’t going to suit his style. He needs a big field and a strong pace to come off and this looked a ‘stop gap’ race for him. I don’t think he needs to step back up in trip yet but think the most logical option for him would be the Cambridgeshire over 1m1f with the hope if he disappoints there he runs in the Balmoral Handicap at Ascot
Summerghand (-1 to 97)
Aim: Ayr Gold Cup
Summerghand finished 4th at Ripon in the Great St Wilfred when clearly drawn on the wrong side. He comfortably beat the favourite in Blackrod who was also drawn on the far side. The rest of the top 7 were drawn down the nearside and Summerghand arguably did well to finish 4th. Surprisingly the handicapper dropped him another pound for that effort and he’s extremely well handicapped when he gets a clear run and drawn on the right side. Off 97, I hope they don’t waste his mark and target a Listed race next which he won in 2021 (worth £30k to winner) and instead run him in the Ayr Gold Cup (he finished 8th last year off 107 (worth £77k to winner). He’s likely to get in right at the bottom of the handicap and if things fall right he can certainly go close!
Stone of Destiny (-2 to 83)
Aim: Silk Series Apprentice Handicap
Stone of Destiny similar to Sinjaari doesn’t want a small field and got a bit lost when a few lengths off Mums Tipple and away from the rest of the field. He wants a handicap where he runs into trouble (but hopefully gets through) and I would be scrubbing this effort off. With that in mind, the fact he dropped 2lb for this, would suggest to me he’s very well handicapped and can certainly go close in a ‘proper’ handicap next time. He’s dropped to a mark where he can now get in class 4 races and wont be getting in the Portland at Doncaster. I think however Doncaster is where they should go next with him for a 6f handicap for horses rated 66-85. Against ‘inferior’ opposition, at a track we know he runs well and likely in a handicap with more runners, I would expect a better run.
Persist (No change at 85)
Aim: Newmarket Challenge Whip Handicap
Persist finished 2nd again this time at Nottingham behind Shaara (who is now 3 from 4) and looked for most of the race like she was going to finish 4th. She appeared outpaced before running on well for 2nd and I think was just beaten by a very well handicapped and rapidly progressive John Gosden filly. I think Persist will show this form to be very good next time. The William Haggas trained Babindi finished 2nd in this race at Nottingham last year before going to Newmarket (and finishing 2nd) and I think Persist will follow the same route but this time win!
Air To Air (No change at 95)
Aim: 7f Handicap at Ascot
Aim: Balmoral Handicap
Air To Air I think just like Persist has simply bumped into a very well handicapped horse in The Attorney and has given him a great race only going down by a neck under Taylor Fisher. The handicapper not moving Air To Air in the handicap would have surely been a nice surprise to George Boughey and his team. I think he’s still progressing and they will be aiming at the Ascot double in October! With a big field and a clear run I think he can show he’s still progressing as a 4 year old!