Memories of horses with extra bite plus four tips for Monday

By Andy Stephens@StevoGG
Mon 22 May 2023

Chindit trying to take a chunk out of Modern Games added extra spice to the closing stages of the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on Saturday.

Such instances are rare but, when they occur, it’s often in the biggest races. Is it that our best horses have more of a win at all costs mentality than some of their inferior peers?

Top stayer Arcadian Heights remains the most renowned of the equine nibblers. He attempted to bite a rival at Doncaster in March 1992 and then, three months later, lunged at Drum Taps' bottom in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.

The Jockey Club took exception and insisted that he subsequently wear a muzzle but it didn’t stop his hunger for victory as he won the Gold Cup in 1994. There was no suggestion that the opposition refused to get near him for fear of having a large set of gnashers sunk into them.

Moonax won the St Leger that year and was also known for his biting activities. The following year he wanted a piece of Always Earnest in the Prix du Cadran and his groom, Joyce Walsgrave, resorted to wearing padding on her arms and torso to prevent injury.

Noverre tried taking things into his own hands (teeth) when Keltos went past him in the 2002 Lockinge, and then there was Eminent, who decided Decorated Knight might make a suitable mid-race snack in the 2017 Coral-Eclipse.

There are five meetings in Britain to chew over on Monday and I’ve picked out a bet at four of the meetings. You can enjoy action from Carlisle and Redcar on Racing TV in the afternoon, followed by Market Rasen and Roscommon in the evening.

2.10 Ffos Las: Whatsupwithyou at a general 11-4

Ben Pauling’s runners at the Welsh venue are always well worth a second look. He’s got a 29 per cent strike rate at the track in the past five years (15 winners from 52 runners plus 16 more either second or third) and you would be £53.54 in profit had you backed them all blind to a £1 stake.

It’s fair to say Whatsupwithyou has been an underachiever since finishing fourth to Galopin Des Champs in the Martin Pipe at the Cheltenham Festival a couple of years ago but, on the plus side, he’s now a stone lower in the ratings, plus is only 2lb higher than when last getting his head in front at Uttoxeter.

His past three efforts have all been creditable, at the very least, and this looks an excellent opportunity as his six rivals all arrive here with something to prove.

In addition, Beau Morgan eases Whatsupwithyou’s burden. The young rider will be on good terms with himself after winning on Twig, owned by his mother, at Uttoxeter on Saturday. He’s had 13 winners from 63 rides and won’t be claiming 7lb for much longer.

3.40 Carlisle: Detective at 8-1 with bet365

The Dianne Sayer-trained seven-year-old returns to his favourite stamping ground and is a tempting 8-1 to chalk up a sixth course win.

His record at this venue also includes five defeats by a length or less, so it’s clear that he’s in his element here.

I wouldn’t fret about his recent heavy defeats as they’ve come over jumps (the Kingman colt clearly isn’t a fan) or over distances beyond him. He now has his optimum conditions and is 1lb lower than when gaining his latest win at Carlisle in August.

Paul Mulrennan will need to count to ten as Detective can idle and needs delivering late, but he should have this teed up for him by Gobi Sunset and Alazwar, who both like to go forward. What’s The Story heads the market but is an infrequent winner.

4.30 Redcar: Dubai Dawn at 11-10 with bet365

He won’t be much of a price but is one of the day’s more intriguing runners.

James Tate’s free-going son of Dawn Approach is a half-brother to the stable’s crack sprinter Far Above, who won the Palace House Stakes three years ago on only his fifth start but sadly didn’t run again because of injury.

Dubai Dawn is a horse of some potential, too, winning his two races at Wolverhampton this spring in taking style.

This represents another small step up the ladder but the drop to 5f will be no bother for him and there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be as effective on turf. Remarkable Force, highly tried on occasions last year and gelded since we last saw him, may be the one for the forecast.

5.00 Windsor: Antiphon at 13-2 with bet365

Tom Marquand was riding like a man possessed in the middle of last week, winning the final race at York on Wednesday before enjoying a superb four-timer at Salisbury.

He’s got seven rides on Windsor’s evening card and has bright prospects of getting off to a flyer via Antiphon in the opening sprint handicap. It will be the first time he’s ridden the four-year-old, a consistent customer who has mostly been partnered by apprentices in the past year.

Antiphon is 2/2 at Windsor and is only 2lb higher than when scoring here at the start of the month from a subsequent winner. He also ran well when finding one too good at Lingfield last time, when exposed to a strong pace.

Vespasian is the obvious favourite after beating all bar Great State at Thirsk last time, with the winner since scoring in Listed company at York. However, he is becoming tricky to win with, despite being equipped with headgear.

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