Key questions as Soldier's Call looks to state Nunthorpe case in Molecomb
Markel Insurance Molecomb Stakes | Group 3 | 2yo | 5f | ITV1/RUK
A test of raw speed for fast and precocious juveniles and won by the likes of Zebedee, Kachy and Havana Grey in recent years. Here's what you need to know.
Another big Watson winner?
Archie Watson is hoping Royal Ascot winner Solider's Call can build on his Windsor Castle victory before a possible tilt at the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes.
The colt made all to hand his trainer a first royal meeting victory and with his yard in fine form Watson is hopeful Soldier's Call, who is set to go off favourite, can continue his progress.
Watson said: "We've been very happy with him since Royal Ascot and we're hoping he can run another nice race."
Perhaps of more interest is the potential for an ambitious Group 1 bid at York's Ebor meeting should Soldier's Call continue to progress, as his trainer clearly hopes he will.
Only Lyric Fantasy (1992) and Kingsgate Native (2007) have won the Nunthorpe aged two, although US raider Acapulco also went close in 2015.
However, make no mistake, Lambourn-based Watson is not viewing the Nunthorpe entry as speculative.
He added: "We're hopeful he can take up the entry because I don't enter a horse just for the sake of it. We'll have a think about it after the Molecomb but it's definitely on our radar."
A case of like father like son?
Fourth in the Norfolk last time, Rumble Inthejungle would be emulating the win of his sire, Bungle Inthejungle, in this contest six years ago if he was to emerge on top for trainer Richard Spencer.
Spencer said: "It was a very good run in the Norfolk. It was only his second start and he was less exposed and less experienced than some of his rivals on the day.
"He showed a lot of speed, which he'd done on his Salisbury debut, and his inexperience just probably told a little bit. He’s come out of the race well and I’m looking forward to running him."
He added: "It looks an open race. He’s got a very good attitude. For a two-year-old to go to Royal Ascot on his second start, he behaved impeccably. It was like he’d done it all of his life, so hopefully that experience going forward will only help him."
Can Queen bounce back?
Queen Of Bermuda was sent off 11-2 favourite for the Windsor Castle, won by Soldier's Call, but failed to live up to her early promise, fading to finish a disappointing 17th.
She has an opportunity to turn around that poor effort here, with her trainer William Haggas fitting a first-time tongue-tie.
He said: "I couldn’t find a reason for her Windsor Castle disappointment. She did it all a bit back to front, she showed all the speed and faded. I don’t know why she did that but she did.
"She’s got a chance. Obviously the horse that won the Windsor Castle will be the one to beat, but she’s got a chance. We’re looking forward to it."
What the trainers say
Jack Channon, assistant and son of Mick Channon, trainer of Barbill
He ran well at Newbury last time when the ground looked a little bit too sharp for him and hopefully a return to a sounder surface will find a bit more improvement. He seems in great nick and I think the race will suit him. I think he’s got a solid each-way chance but he’s got to pull it all together.
Karl Burke, trainer of Life Of Riley
He ran very well at Sandown from a poor draw. We went forward and he stuck on to the line really well. It's a good race and we go there with a fighting chance. It's a step up in grade but he's very well. He's a nice colt and we hope he'll run a big race.
Stuart Williams, trainer of Street Parade
It was quite a weak race at Chepstow and it’s a long way from there to Goodwood, but there weren’t many very good alternatives for us in the near future. He has a very sporting owner and he said let’s roll the dice and throw him in the Molecomb. He’s a progressive horse and hopefully the progress hasn’t stopped. Whether he’s up to this class right now, I don’t know.
Tim Easterby, trainer of Vintage Brut
He looked awful in his coat coming home from Royal Ascot and I can't tell you why he did. He didn't run his normal race but he's in good form again and would ideally like a bit of juice in the ground. I think he's got a very good chance.
Richard Hannon, trainer of Well Done Fox
This race often produces some real good sprinters. He renews rivalry with Soldier’s Call but our horse is getting better all the time and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him get much closer to Archie Watson’s horse. He’s a big, strong animal who has a great turn of foot, which is exactly what you need on a track like this.
Aidan O'Brien, trainer of Fantasy
She's a very fast filly so coming back to five furlongs should suit her. The better the ground the more she'll like it.
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