Steve Hughes has another stab at the ever growing jackpot for today’s Scoop 6 bet.
We don’t have the greatest quality of races to pick from in today’s Scoop 6 bet – with the greatest of respect to Catterick, their two races in the bet are simply designed to make this harder to win. However having said the bet was sure to be won last week, I think there is a high probability it will go this time, so it is appropriate to concentrate on those races to try and win a share in the big prize.
Haydock 2.05: Trader Jack
Having tipped him up in one of the legs last week, Trader Jack ran ok without ever really threatening to win at Newbury. In hindsight he had a tough task running on faster ground than recently, over a furlong further at 7f and from 2lbs out of the handicap. Conditions will be more in his favour today though, so there is no reason to lose faith in this horse.
Formerly a useful middle distance performer with Roger Charlton, he did not win the number of races he looked like doing having not often found much off the bridle. However since joining David Flood in the autumn, his new handler has looked to reinvent this horse as a sprinter, and although he has not quite managed to get his head in front as yet, the switch to running over shorter certainly seems to suit Trader Jack.
His best form this season has also come with cut in the ground – third at Windsor, and in particular second in a competitive handicap similar to this at Ascot earlier in the month (the winner Intrinsic since following up at Goodwood this week). With rain set to arrive at the Merseyside track around midday, and then set in for the afternoon, on top of the showers that fell during racing yesterday, I suspect the ground will be on the soft side of good by race time.
Catterick 2.50: Alejandro
This is perhaps the most open of the sextet of Scoop 6 races today, but Alejandro might have slipped under the radar and might be worth considering over some of his more fancied rivals.
He only has a fair win record with 5 victories in 34 starts, but enjoyed a fine midsummer with Richard Fahey last season, winning over this 7f trip at Ayr and Musselburgh, both sharp tracks, with perhaps an even better effort when second on good-to-soft ground at Glorious Goodwood, sandwiched in between. He has also run a batch of good races at Chester over the years, winning as a juvenile but always running consistently once given a presentable draw.
Therefore Catterick ought to suit ideally and he is now only 2lbs higher than for his last win. He will be having just his second run for David O’Meara today, after a fair fourth at Doncaster on his reappearance – and as he appears to act on all ground conditions, I expect a bold show given he has an ideal berth in four to gain a handy position running into the all important tight bend at halfway.
Haydock 3.10: Joyeuse
Having failed to last home in the 1000 Guineas, the decision to drop Joyeuse back to sprinting looks a good one, and already a winner over this trip at her only previous run at listed level, she should take some beating at Haydock today.
A convincing winner of her maiden with cut in the ground at Lingfield last spring, she was a fine third at Royal Ascot behind Kiyoshi, before that listed race success at Salisbury. Whilst she did not quite cut it at Group 1 level at Newmarket in the autumn, this well bred filly definitely is the class act in this field.
She made an encouraging reappearance in the Fred Darling at Newbury over 7f when third to J Wonder, but never really got involved at Newmarket. At her best ridden with restraint, she should enjoy the extra pace over 6f to come with a late run and there is no issue with her stamina at this trip.
Haydock 3.45: Chatez
Bilimbi will be mighty popular for the final leg of the Scoop 6 today – a wide margin winner of his only run this season at Musselburgh, he has the benefit of Ryan Moore in the saddle, and crucially the number one draw in a big field, where there is an extremely short run to the first bend. He also has winning form on both fast and soft ground, so would appear to be bombproof. Therefore including him in perms seems wise, but from the point of view of having a single bet in the race, Chatez makes much more sense each-way at a bigger price.
Alan King has been turning his hand to flat racing increasingly in the past few years, and Chatez has the potential to go a long way for him having been good enough to land a back end maiden on soft ground at Newbury last season where he beat Observational, the big race winner at Goodwood yesterday.
Perhaps lucky therefore to get an opening handicap mark of 78, he showed that rating to be far too generous when scoring by a cosy 2l on his return at Epsom. Having cruised through the race like the best horse over course and distance a couple of weeks ago, he was just outrun by Red Stargazer in the closing stages. A better draw than that rival can see the tables turned today, whilst his cruising speed would seem to be ideal for a competitive contest such as this.
1pt win – 2.05 Haydock – Trader Jack (7/1 general)
1pt each-way – 2.50 Catterick – Alejandro (10/1 Bet365)
1pt win – 3.10 Haydock – Joyeuse (4/1 general)
1pt each-way – 3.45 Haydock – Chatez (10/1 general)
Scoop 6 suggestions
Leg 1- Trader Jack / Out Do
Leg 2 – Alejandro / Green Howard
Leg 3 – Wahaab / Penny Drops
Leg 4 – Joyeuse / Perfect Blessings
Leg 5 – Johnny Cavagin / Solar Spirit
Leg 6 – Chatez / Bilimbi