Illustrating showed good early pace but couldn't keep it going for long enough and wasn't on the best ground anyway. I thought she kept trying nicely and maybe another furlong will make her life easier. She's still a mighty prospect and not just a juvenile type, so hopefully gets back on track again soon.
Onassis absolutely cruised along and seemed to be one of the main contenders coming into the closing stages, at which point she was trading favourite at 6/5. Sadly, once let down there was zero response and a combination of track position, and possibly fitness, caught her out. She's one for another day.
Astro King ran a stormer in the Hunt Cup as expected, sadly he bumped into an exceptionally well-handicapped Godolphin horse who blew them all away on the far side. No complaints for a change and he's one to bear in mind in any of the big mile handicaps between now and the end of the season.
Apricot Moon was last up and one of the last home! It was always going to go one way or the other and unfortunately this time, it was the other. She has some talent but for whatever reason, isn't firing at the moment and needs a revival. When that'll come, God knows. Hopefully it might be soon.
-4.00pts on the day.
This is tough going! Sadly that's the nature of big meetings - some days are unreal, most are mediocre.
It's a couple of months since we backed Akmaam in the Craven and assuming he hasn't lost his marbles altogether, I still think he's a much better horse than that run suggests. The fact that he was a rare debut winner (around here) for this yard last September says plenty regarding his ability and he wasn't disgraced behind One Ruler in a late season Group 3. Now he makes his handicap debut off 100, which is no doubt a tough task against similarly unexposed sorts, but he looked to have the potential to rate higher again and coming back here could help. I like his draw (being very high or very low is a plus) and first-time blinkers could liven him up. Hopefully Dane O'Neill will let him jump and run, and we'll see his true worth.
Siskany has done next to nothing wrong in his four starts to date, needing the experience on debut at Sandown last September before winning two novices and a Sandown handicap on soft ground last month. Both of this season's wins have been quite impressive, including a comfortable defeat of Surefire at Windsor, and he never looked like getting troubled, never mind defeated, last time. The fact that he has been making all of the running in smaller fields means I'm not 100% certain what they're going to try to do from a tactical point of view but it's not impossible that he could take a lead and be better for it. We haven't seen his peak yet anyway and off 96 on ground he'll like, over a trip he should stay strongly, I like his claims.
It's edging towards a year since we've got to see Dance Fever on the track but he seems to be deemed quite ground dependent from what Clive Cox has said before (and has been pulled out of races on both soft and good ground), so hopefully has got fit at home. There are positives to not being seen, one being that the handicapper cannot get hold of you, and off a mark of 95 time should prove that he's well-handicapped. He ran a cracker behind Tsar over a mile here last July and with that trip seeming to stretch him a tad, it'll be very interesting to see how he does at 7f here. A rapid pace to sit off should suit and whilst a more middle draw isn't ideal, hopefully Adam Kirby can get a decent racing position. At 20/1, I'm happy to gamble.
Persuasion will also get the nod in the Buckingham Palace and having cost me a 22/1 winner earlier in the season when nudging his stablemate Dulas into second place at Haydock, he owes me a few quid! The draw Gods might have been kind as he's positioned very high up and he looks just the type to thrive in a hard run race on a straight track. He hasn't been overly burdened for his win either, going up just 3lbs to a rating of 96, and as a handicapper running on good ground, he's still very unexposed. 12/1 is worth a point.
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