Catching Pigeons: Top Work From Offer
Catching Pigeons: Top Work From Offer
Sporting Life

Roger Charlton

Camelot heads the QIPCO 2,000 Guineas betting on potential as much as performance but will still be popular with punters on Saturday despite concerns over track and trip. However those holding meaty ante-post vouchers about Top Offer shouldn’t be tearing them up.

Yes, he’s taken a walk in the betting market in recent days and understandably so given Roger Charlton’s concerns over the rain-softened ground. But Charlton has the right horses at home to benchmark a smart young colt against and some of Top Offer’s best efforts have been outstanding.

The rest of the HQ card looks highly competitive, although Fury appears sweeter than he has been for some time thanks to some individual attention from William Haggas, who lets the horse do his own thing. He should figure again in the opening Makfi Suffolk Stakes.

Incidentally, Haggas and jockey Johnny Murtagh will head north to Doncaster at the end of Newmarket card for Sentaril’s run in the seven-furlong Conditions Stakes. She won’t be much of a price but looks very exciting and Murtagh was happy to give up his Saturday night in order to keep the association going.

Brian Meehan’s Archbishop is definitely worth a mention in the closing one-mile QIPCO Supports Racing Welfare Handicap. The yard couldn’t be certain where they stood until the recent successes of Cogito and Mississippi. Now they know for sure they have a good bunch of three-year-olds and Archbishop – whose maiden victory is well worth unpicking to see for yourself how well it is working out – is considered potentially well treated off a mark of 88. (From the same stable, Yazdi is strongly fancied at Thirsk).

Al Khan has been working nicely under Derby-winning jockey Willie Ryan and is worth keeping in mind for the Al Rayan Handicap if he isn’t a silly price.

Noble Mission’s peculiar hood-and-earplugs combo was again in evidence when Sir Henry Cecil’s colt worked on the Al Bahathri all-weather gallop under Tom Queally on Wednesday. He faces stiffer opposition than the Newbury maiden he won the other day when he lines up in the Qatar Racing Newmarket Stakes, but could have more to offer if he can be kept sweet.

Vita Nova, who runs in the Listed fillies’ race at Goodwood, is one of Cecil’s favourites and has been noted doing plenty of work under Georgina Bell. She should be ready first time out.

Newmarket yards may struggle in the 2000 Guineas, but although Maybe obviously holds strong claims, both The Fugue and Diala are worth a look at each-way prices in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas.

The Fugue is a lovely-looking lady with plenty of scope and she impressed when working under Will Buick on the Al Bahathri on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Eddie Ahern has been making bullish noises about his ride on Diala making it clear that he expects her to be right in the shake-up. Diala has had her problems and wouldn’t be certain to line up if Haggas isn’t happy with her on the day, but the best of her work has always been very, very good.

Timepiece has been a bit of a madam on occasions but turned in a good gallop with Vita Nova earlier this month and victory for her stablemate 24 hours earlier would enhance Timepiece’s claims in the Dahlia Stakes.

Ralph Beckett will be celebrating every drop of rain that arrives, not just for Moonstone Magic in the Guineas, but also for Cubanita in the Tweenhills Pretty Polly Stakes. She could emerge as an Oaks candidate with a big run here, while stablemate Colima waits another week for the Oaks trial at Lingfield provided she goes well this weekend.

Beckett also has the well-fancied Albert Bridge to look out for at Salisbury on what could be a good day for the yard, while Richard Hughes misses Newmarket to ride Queen Mary Stakes possible Tassel in the two-year-old conditions contest.

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