David Simcock’s Caspar Netscher hungers for victory in the Group Two Hungerford Stakes at Newbury this afternoon
Caspar Netscher came back with a bang from retirement to stud by running the useful Garswood a close second in the Lennox stakes at Glorious Goodwood last month. David Simcock’s four-year-old looked to be back at his best at Goodwood and a returns to a track today where he has had success in the past. His main rival will be the unbeaten Soft Falling Rain for De Kock. The South African horse showed great potential and form when running in the Dubai Carnival, but questions remain on whether or not that form will translate on to the English turf. With rain falling so are the chances of Soft Falling Rain maintaining his unbeaten status. Man of the moment Johnny Murtagh will take the ride on the Glorious Goodwood second Tawhid with Libranno and Gregorian completing the list in this small but select field.
The French trainer De Royer-Dupre is confident of the chances of his raider – I’m Your Man – in the Group Three Geoffrey Freer Stakes at (2.40). If Aiken is anywhere near his best he will have strong claims, but his trainer appeared to warn caution on his chances today when speaking to ATR last night. The value in the race may come from Model Pupil who is back down in trip and will appreciate the softening conditions. He has the additional bonus of Murtagh up too.
The Great St Wilfred (3.30) at Ripon looks a furiously competitive race where the ability to handle the course may be the key factor. Pearl Ice appears to be racing off a good weight and coming back to form. The classy Borderlescott, Captain Ramius and Hoof It should not be overlooked either.
Crockford’s Dead Cert – Ninjago (Newmarket 2.55)
Fifth last time out in the Stewards Cup at Goodwood, this three year has some excellent form in the book. Connections fancied his chances in the Cup and will do so again today in what is a much weaker contest. Expect this to be the fifth win of his career.
Crockford’s Whisper – Chooseday e/w (Ripon 2.50)
Chooseday ran on to finish third in the consolation race for the Stewards Cup and races again today in the consolation contest at Ripon. The race at at the Glorious Goodwood meeting looked more competitive than this and with him coming into form he has outstanding claims of at least a place.
Archer’s Selection – Lyn Valley (Newmarket 3.25)
Archer would have known how highly regarded this two-year-old is and would have been impressed by his run at Glorious Goodwood. The shrewd master horseman would have been booked for this winner.
Crockford’s gambles across the courses:
Newbury – Speedy Approach e/w (2.05), I’m Your Man and Model Pupil e/w (2.40), Caspar Netscher (3.15), Glen Moss (3.50) and St Ignatius (4.55)
Newmarket – Autumn Lily (1.50), Majesty (2.20), Ninjago (2.55) and Lyn Valley (3.25)
Ripon – Chooseday e/w (2.50), Pearl Ice e/w, Captain Ramius e/w and Borderlescott e/w (3.30) and I Say (5.10)
Doncaster – Psiloveyou (2.30), Pearl Style (3.05), Smarty Socks (3.40), Tax Free e/w (4.15) and Breakheart (5.20)
Chester – Gown (2.00), Heavy Metal e/w (3.10), Disco Inferno (4.20) and Salutation (4.50)
Perth – Bescot Springs (4.40) and Shadow Catcher (5.15)
(Featured Photograph – Lennox Stakes 2013 by Stuart Rice)
(Photograph – Lyn Valley at Glorious Goodwood by Stuart Rice)