HISTORY REPEATING (PART 1)?
There’s a tiny flaw somewhere in his make-up that has prevented BARSANTI becoming the horse he might have been, but, perhaps connected, he’s usually right on it when fresh, highlighted by his win in the listed Buckhounds Stakes at Ascot on his first start of 2018. And for his first start of 2019, he’s back for more, in the same race (2.50).
He’s up against only three rivals, one a no-hoper and one a mudlark, but the other is Salouen, who’s mercifully taken out of the Group 1 firing line for his return as a five-year-old. On ratings, off level weights here, Salouen has his measure, marginally, but he’s long since out of the winning habit, and Barsanti took care of him in this race last year, when both were reappearing. History repeating on Saturday? I think so.
HISTORY REPEATING (PART 2)?
Thirty-five minutes after the Buckhounds Stakes comes the valuable fillies’ handicap over a mile, won in 2018 by a filly starting out for William Haggas following a premium-price sale of over 400,000 guineas, carrying the green and red colours of Barnane Stud. Fast forward a year, and, in the same race, there’s a filly starting out for William Haggas, following a premium-price sale of over 400,000 guineas, carrying the green and red colours of Barnane Stad. Urban Fox went on to land the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes in Ireland, via a fourth in the Duke of Cambridge at Royal Ascot, and ADORABLE may be on a similar trajectory.
In her time with Mick Channon, Adorable sometimes kept Group 1 company, including the Coronation Stakes at the Royal meeting, but she hasn’t suffered with her mark the way that high-fliers often do, and, off 101, she may just be a cut above this lot, especially is recent history is any guide.
HORSES FOR COURSES
As many as eight in the 27-strong field for the Victoria Cup have recorded wins at Ascot, Ripp Orf chief amongst them, as he’s never been out of the first 3 in 4 crazily-competitive handicaps at the track, winning this very race in 2018, when he had 16 runs in a calendar year: that’s more than double the racing that BLUE MIST has had in his life.
Blue Mist’s best day – so far – came at Ascot, when winning a mile handicap in the style of a prospective Group horse. This will be his first ever go at 7f, but, a strong traveller, he’s likely to thrive for it, let alone cope, and though the race is high on numbers and therefore competition, there’s nothing in the line-up with his potential-packed profile. Stall 23 gives Jason Watson few options, but at least that puts him fairly close to Lake Volta (19) who’s liable to be at the tip of the arrowhead.
THE GREEN, GREEN GRASS OF HOME
CABARITA has raced only on the All-Weather in her 4-race career so far, which has felt – watching her struggle for speed – like an away fixture for her, hence switching, at last, to grass may be something of a homecoming for her. From the family of the same stable’s Cubanita, a Group winner on softish turf, Cabarita may be a different proposition under the conditions she faces at Ascot, not least the extra distance, and she has the benefit of one of the most experienced riders – Josephine Gordon – in this leg of the Silk Series. Cabarita looks the best bet of the day.