With the St Leger meeting at Doncaster and the two-day Longines Irish Champions Weekend taking place over the past week there’s been an abundance of quality action, but no horse made a bigger impression than Charlie Appleby’s Pinatubo who was outstanding at the Curragh on Sunday.
He has cemented his position at the top of the Qipco 2000 Guineas market with 6-4 now the best price available.
A quiet Monday usually follows the big meetings but with five meetings taking place across Britain and Ireland on Monday, it is a busier than usual start to the week and I am hoping my three selections can make it a profitable day.
Motagally shaped very well in a race that appeals as good form for the grade at Kempton last time and looks a well-handicapped horse off the same mark here.
Having missed the break slightly, Motagally was keen without cover in the first time blinkers but still had the class to make an impressive move from last to first from the top of the straight to the furlong marker before flattening out late on as he was worn down by a trio of horses he’d quickened past previously.
With the pace expected to be a strong one courtesy of Harrogate and In The Red, Charlie Hills’ three-year-old should get the race run to suit and, if his challenge is delayed a short while longer, then he is fancied to blast past a field of averagely handicapped types late on under Jim Crowley who boasts a good record at the track.
Hartswood was unfortunate not to win when beaten a head into second place last time and has an excellent chance of going one better here.
Dropped out in last place at Haydock, he waited a long time to start his challenge and then met trouble on his way through and did remarkably well to get as close as he did.
The way he shaped there suggests this longer trip will suit, as does his pedigree and this race represents a drop in class to Novice Auction company.
The possibility of a pace collapse looks likely here and that scenario would suit Uncle Charlie who is at his best closing off a strong gallop.
A 68-day break since his last outing could be a plus given he has regularly run well when fresh and the wind surgery he’s undergone during that time off could also bring about improvement.
Although without a win for a while, Ann Duffield’s charge has shaped well on a few occasions this season and has become well handicapped off a mark that is now 6lb lower than for his last win.
The stable form could be better and the draw would ideally be higher, but there’s enough in his favour to make Uncle Charlie looks a decent each-way bet at double-figure odds.
Chris Dixon's top trio:
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