Our Man from HQ provides his best bets for the weekend’s racing
Having won the Cambridgeshire three times already, trainer John Gosden knows exactly what it takes to win this valuable handicap. This year he saddles a couple of runners in the race but the one to concentrate on is Cornrow. The lightly raced son of New Approach has only run five times so far in his career. He has won on three of them starts and last time at Ascot he stuck on in good fashion to finish third, only getting beat a head. His master trainer has planned this all year and the step up in trip will bring out more improvement. Last week I saw him up the Limekilns using his massive stride to bound clear of his two work mates and he looks every bit to me like a Group horse in a handicap.
Earlier in the afternoon, Sir Michael Stoute saddles Mustard in the 3.00 at Haydock, and like all of his two-year olds, they come on so much for a run. His debut was at Kempton and although he was a bit keen early on in the race, he showed plenty of ability before getting tired late on. This likable son of Motivator is owned by the Queen and her racing manager John Warren was on hand last week to watch him stride out up the Al Bahathri, giving the impression he was a winner waiting to happen.
William Haggas runs Soviet Courage in the 6.05 Newmarket tomorrow evening. After watching this horse throughout the year, it’s fair to say that he is finally filling his huge frame, and in doing so he looks quite well handicapped. He is another horse finally stepping up to what will be his optimum trip, and although the race has a competitive look about it, the booking of Cam Hardie, taking off his valuable five pound allowance, will ensure that he won’t be far away.
Sir Mark Prescott saddles Alba Verde, also in the evening action on Saturday in the 7.30 Wolverhampton. Readers of this blog will remember her winning a couple of weeks ago at Lingfield and it will pay to follow her as she steps up to 2m for the first time. She is a filly definitely on the upgrade and one who is strengthening up all the time. I feel she will almost certainly win this, and if all goes to plan, she could run again at Bath on Monday under a penalty.