All the hot views from the trainers with Rock Eagle bidding to soar home
bet365 Old Rowley Cup Handicap | Class 2 | 1m4f | 3yo | ITV4/RUK
A strong-looking handicap – as you would expect for a race worth £120,000 – containing a plethora of progressive three-year-olds, including six last-time-out winners.
The Sir Michael Stoute-trained Baritone is likely to prove popular after romping his Pontefract maiden by eight lengths last month.
That was his first appearance since being gelded, and it’s possible a mark of 86 could underrate the son of Camelot.
However, there are many alternatives, headed by Rock Eagle, one of two Ralph Beckett runners in this Class 2 event.
Rock Eagle, winner of two of his four starts, brings a likeable unexposed profile into the race and was last seen when a strong-finishing fourth to Communique – who has since considerably boosted the form – at Glorious Goodwood.
Beckett said: “It was a good effort from Rock Eagle at Goodwood on his first run in a handicap. We feel he learned plenty that day.”
Stable companion Breath Caught carries a 6lb penalty after a fluent all-the-way win at Kempton last month.
“The penalty makes it a bit more difficult, but he’s won on the Rowley Mile and it looks like the step up in trip suited him last time,” Beckett said.
Jack Regan looks a hard nut to crack
Jack Regan warmed up for this valuable handicap by making an impressive winning debut over hurdles at Market Rasen last month.
He lowered the colours of the hitherto unbeaten Alan King-trained juvenile Cracker Factory that afternoon, powering up the run-in in tremendous style, and it would be no surprise if he produced a career-best Flat performance this time.
The Ian Williams-trained horse has won two of his last four races on the Flat, including a classified event at Doncaster’s St Leger meeting.
All those races were over ten furlongs, and the step up in trip is likely to see him to even greater effect.
What they say
Aidan O'Brien, trainer of Astronomer
He's been very progressive, winning four in a row. He's in good form and we're hoping he might extend his sequence.
John Gosden, trainer of Ben Vrackie
He’s a big unit who ran well for a long way in a Listed race there last time and should be suited by the drop back in trip. It’s nice prize-money and he's in good form at home.
Michael Bell, trainer of Artarmon
We had the choice of this race or one at York. I was keen for him to stay on quicker ground. He’s enjoyed a great year.
William Knight, trainer of Soto Sizzler
When he ran at Haydock last time it was horrible ground. I don’t really know if he stayed the mile and six that day either. I would hope the ground isn’t too firm this time – that’s my only reservation. He has a low weight and if he runs to his Goodwood form then he must have a good chance.
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