Alkaraama can add to strong track record of Sir Michael Stoute and Jim Crowley
Hills Prospect Number One Drinks Distributor Handicap | 6f 3yo+ | RTV
Why is it so interesting?
The race features a clash between some fairly unexposed three-year-olds and older sprinters with a number holding Unibet Stewards’ Cup entries at Goodwood next month.
Watchable, Woven and Embour have the Goodwood entry and are using this contest as a potential springboard to that valuable sprint handicap on August 3.
Of the three-year-olds, the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Alkaraama makes plenty of appeal as he boasts a course-and-distance success 17 days ago and is open to bags of improvement after just four career starts.
David O’Meara’s near veteran Watchable will have the assistance of Adam Kirby in the saddle and has been holding his form really well, but has to give weight away all round here.
What do the stats say?
Ruth Carr’s runners at the Essex track bear close scrutiny as the North Yorkshire trainer has a strike-rate of 30 per cent (three winners from ten runners), for a level stakes profit of 29 points.
Sir Michael Stoute and jockey Jim Crowley are something of a force to be reckoned with around Chelmsford as they have a 44 per cent strike-rate when combining.
Newmarket trainers have won all four previous runnings of this race. Jane Chapple-Hyam, Sir Michael Stoute, David Simcock and James Tate attempt to keep the prize in East Anglia.
What do connections say?
David O’Meara, trainer of Watchable
He’s been running pretty well all year and goes well on the all-weather. As long as he runs well again he will go to Goodwood for the Stewards’ Cup.
Richard Hannon, trainer of Embour
He’s in the form of his life and was not beaten far in a very hot contest at Ascot. I’m hopeful of a big run again as he’s as hard as nails.
David Simcock, trainer of Woven
Unfortunately the draw in ten of ten has done him no favours, but he likes the surface and we’ll take our chance. He didn’t get the breaks at Newmarket last time and we’re hoping for better luck.
Ruth Carr, trainer of Katheefa
He’s done well on the all-weather this year and seems to be holding his form nicely. We’ve booked 5lb claimer Harrison Shaw, so I hope we have an each-way chance.
Richard Hills, representing Hamdan Al Maktoum, owner of Alkaraam
He’s got a good draw and Sir Michael Stoute is happy with the horse. We hope he’s going the right way now as he got stuck in the mud at Thirsk two runs ago, but won well over course and distance 17 days ago.
Tim Easterby, trainer of Bossipop
He’s in good form and likes running round a bend so the course should suit. The race has good prize-money and it’s a good opportunity, but he’s got a poor draw in nine.
James Tate, trainer of Power Link and Intuitive
We’re on something of a fact-finding mission with Power Link as it's his first run since a stint in Dubai. He’s been working well and we’ll know where we are after this. Intuitive has been very consistent on the all-weather and is well drawn. He was beaten by Alkaraama last time but did not get the run of the race.
End of an era later
The card also features the swansong of St Leger-winning trainer Mark Tompkins as he will be sending out the last runners of a career which has spanned more than three decades.
The Newmarket trainer landed the season’s final Classic with Bob’s Return in 1993 and relies on a winning farewell with Prosecutor (5.50) along with Ness Of Brodgar and Velvet Vision in the finale at 8.50.
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