Previews11 July 2024

Can Hamish continue to make hay and keep connections content during this remarkably wet summer?

There aren't many better horses in training than Hamish when soft appears in the going description and this remarkably wet summer has probably left connections cock-a-hoop.

Hamish made it five wins on the spin when landing the John Porter at Newbury on good to soft in April and even got his ground on Oaks day at Epsom when second to Luxembourg in the Coronation Cup. That was the second time he has finished runner-up at the highest level on easy ground. 

He drops a rung in class into a Group 2 contest here, has his ground once again, and sets a fearsome standard for which the others must aim, but that's not to say their task is insurmountable.

Giavellotto is on the fringe of being a Group 1 horse himself and, while Hamish beat Al Qareem by only a neck in the John Porter, Giavellotto had that rival nine and a half lengths behind in the Yorkshire Cup in May. However, that was on much faster conditions than this.

Most of Giavellotto's best form has come on better going and he also has to concede 3lb to Hamish, so maybe the bigger danger is another mudlark in Arrest, who isn't penalised here.

Arrest was six lengths behind Hamish in the John Porter and also disappointed when a similar distance behind Point Lonsdale at Chester last time, but he was second to the top-class Continuous on soft ground in the St Leger at Doncaster last season and if he brings that form to the table then Hamish will have to be right at his best to make it six wins in his last seven.

Time Lock is the other serious contender, but she is by no means certain to beat Outbox given she was two and a half lengths behind that rival in the Jockey Club Stakes on the Rowley Mile in May. She also had a huge off day when 23 lengths behind Hamish at Epsom last time.

If she shows her best she is no forlorn hope, but there is little doubt she now has lots to prove and isn't a certain starter either, according to her trainer Harry Charlton.
Analysis by Graeme Rodway

Haggas hopes it's soft enough for Hamish

William Haggas hopes enough rain has arrived in time for Hamish as the popular eight-year-old bids for the biggest victory of his career with success in this Group 2 highlight.

A total of 29mm of rain hit the July course on Tuesday, which eased conditions, and Hamish exclusively races on slower ground, having not encountered anything quicker than good to soft on turf since August 2019.

An eight-time Group 3 winner, the son of Motivator showed he is not regressing with age when making a winning return at Newbury in April before running a joint-career-best effort on Racing Post Ratings when runner-up in the Coronation Cup.

Luxembourg (right) won the Coronation Cup under Ryan Moore ahead of Hamish
Hamish (left) runner-up behind Luxembourg in the Coronation Cup last timeCredit: Edward Whitaker

Hamish was beaten only a length by Luxembourg at the highest level at Epsom last month, and Haggas hopes conditions will be in his favour as he seeks a breakthrough Group 2 triumph. 

"He seems fine," Haggas said. "It's just about whether the ground will still be soft enough for him to be seen at his best after all the rain, but it will be safe ground at least. We were very pleased with his last run and he seems to be in good form."

Giavellotto geared up for drop in trip

Marco Botti has no qualms about his dual Yorkshire Cup hero Giavellotto dropping back in trip and believes it can be the perfect stepping-stone towards this season's Irish St Leger.

The five-year-old has not raced over a trip shorter than a mile and six furlongs in over two years, but Botti hopes it could lead to more big-race targets through the year, as well as at the Curragh in September.

Giavellotto: Yorkshire Cup winner for Marco Botti
Giavellotto: two-time winner of the Yorkshire CupCredit: Edward Whitaker

"The going will be a little different from when he won at York, but we hope it'll be a dry day on Wednesday," he said. "The stiff course will suit and we've been thinking for a while about trying him over a mile and a half. It looks like the right opportunity and he's in great form.

"The Irish St Leger is our main target, but we felt two miles was stretching him too much. It was always the plan to come here and it could open up more options in the future. He looks a lot stronger as a five-year-old too."

What they say

John Gosden, joint-trainer of Arrest
It's a small but select field and with all the rain we had on Tuesday it looks as though the ground will be in his favour. We had him in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud in France but the conditions were too quick there. He's trained well into the race, although we respect the chances of Hamish as well.

Harry Charlton, trainer of Time Lock
She's well, but I'm pretty worried about the relentless rain they had in Newmarket and it could be soft. I'd be dubious of running her on that. We'll have to see on raceday.
Reporting by Matt Rennie

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