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The Score's top tips for Monday: Keep Special Secret in mind at 15-2

By Andy Stephens@StevoGG
Mon 3 Aug 2020

There was some fabulous racing at the Qatar Goodwood Festival with Stradivarius, Mohaather, Fancy Blue and Battaash all special winners of the marquee races.

Over the weekend, Racing TV Twitter followers were asked to choose their favourite performance among the quartet with super stayer Stradivarius getting 38 per cent of the 1503 votes. Mohaather edged out Battaash for second, with Fancy Blue also having her fans.

The manner in which Stradivarius secured his record fourth Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup was an "I was there" moment, although very few will be able to boast that in years to come.

The Goodwood Cup was first run in 1812, so it might be another two centuries until another thoroughbred even equals him. Let's hope racegoers are back on track by then, even if they might be zooming around in spacecrafts or teleported to and from the racecourse.

Monday's fare is not exactly out-of-this-world variety, although there is a decent Listed contest for two-year-olds at Naas and I've come up with following three bets in Britain and Ireland.

3.05 Naas: Measure Of Magic at a general 11-4

This €48,000 Listed prize for juveniles surprisingly does not include an Aidan O'Brien-trained challenger but does feature a possible Nunthorpe contender in Frenetic.

Frenetic already has a Listed win on her CV, by five lengths at the Curragh on her penultimate start, but I thought Aloha Star beat her on merit in a Group Two contest at the same track last month and her breeding points to softish ground being a potential stumbling block.

By contrast, underfoot conditions will pose no problem for Measure Of Magic, who gets 3lb from the market leader and arguably boasts superior form having had Aloha Star three lengths adrift when losing her maiden tag at Tipperary on her penultimate start.

Her subsequent success at Down Royal also has substance and I'm not surprised the early 13-2 available has shrunk to 11-4, especially with trainer Johnny Murtagh enjoying a purple patch.

I'll probably also have a small each-way play on Moon In Her Eye, at 20-1, because she didn't seem to get home on her debut over six furlongs after being well punted. The same stable have exciting Molecomb winner Steel Bull in their ranks.

4.45 Haydock: Topanticipation - now a non-runner

An opening handicap mark of 79 may well underestimate Topanticipation, who shaped well on her debut at Yarmouth in June before chasing home Ricetta in a mile maiden at Newmarket last time.

She was last off the bridle at Headquarters and, given how exuberantly she raced, stuck to her task well behind the odds-on winner, who had also been strong in the market when scoring on her debut at Headquarters 13 days earlier.

Topanticipation pulled almost five lengths clear of the third and the winner has franked the form by since going close in the Musidora at York.

This promises to be run at a decent gallop and that should help Topanticipation settle, plus she is obviously open to more improvement on only her third run. Picture Frame is feared most.

Topanticipation impressed with the way she moved through her latest race at Newmarket and the form looks strong

5.15 Haydock: Potenza - now a non-runner

Having had only six runners at Haydock in the past five years – a couple of them winners - James Eustace runs two at the track in the space of half an hour.

I’ve already made a case for why his Topanticipation will win the 4.45 and am also keen on his Potenza, who landed some good bets when winning on his return here in tidy style last month.

That contest was over 10 furlongs on softish ground, whereas this is over almost 12 furlongs on a quick surface, but Potenza is versatile regards trip and going. Indeed, on a sound surface, he probably requires the longer distance.

I liked the willing way he got the job done last time when his rider nursed him to the front from off the pace under hands and heels. A 4lb rise looks fair enough, with the third subsequently going down by a head at Pontefract.

Dreamweaver is 2-2 at the track and has a progressive profile. He looks a bigger threat than the thriving Songkran, who is not sure to appreciate this step up in trip.

6.15 Windsor: Spoof at 7-1 with Betfair and Paddy Power

There are only six runners in this sprint but Just Glamorous Wonderwork and, to a lesser degree, Top Breeze all like to get on with things.

I can see the trio burning each other out, and with Wild Edric reserving his best for Wolverhampton that leaves us with Daschas and Spoof to choose from.

Daschas is the more likely to give his running but the handicapper seems to have his measure and claimer Marco Ghiani, on board for his past two wins, will be in action at Haydock, where there are a couple of races exclusively for apprentices.

Spoof is quirky and comes with risks attached but he should have the perfect set-up here and, 22lb lower than at the start of last year, is clearly well-handicapped if having a going day.

His connections have had another play with his headgear, equipping him with first-time blinkers, and his penultimate effort here, when beaten a couple of lengths in a better race off a 4lb higher mark, offers hope he can snap his lengthy losing run. He was also a big eye-catcher when runner-up at Kempton last month and at 7-1 he’s worth a play.

6.45 Windsor: Special Secret at 15-2 with Betfair and Paddy Power

There is no better-bred horse in action all day than the favourite for this mile handicap in Taawfan, a daughter of 2000 Guineas winner Night Of Thunder out of 1000 Guineas heroine Ameerat.

A mark of 80 for her handicap debut has seduced the bookmakers, but her win in a novice event here last month has holes in it and it’s worth noting that her close relation, Kawssaj, failed to win in six handicaps – including off marks in the 70s.

I’m happy to take on the market leader with Special Secret, who ran creditably as a two-year-old when trained by Eve Johnson Houghton and was considerately handled when a keeping-on fourth over 7f at Kempton last month.

The run that draws me to her is her close fourth in a competitive contest over an extended six furlongs at Doncaster in September, when she would have gone even closer had she not had to wait for a run.

She’s back off the same mark and stepping up to a mile should suit as there’s loads of stamina on the distaff side of her pedigree.

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