Ground the key factor for Mecca’s Angel

October 2nd, 2015 | Ian Carnaby's Racing News

It was another good day for the column last week with Man Of Harlech taking fourth in the Cambridgeshire at 20/1 and Maljaa winning another Haydock sprint handicap. He is a bonny sprinter but they were right on his heels at the finish and I’m not sure I subscribe to the view that he can step up to Listed class.

The line did well because of those tips, with Cannock Chase also obliging at Newmarket last Friday. He is a very good horse and will win again, especially now that a mile and a half is clearly within his compass. The line has merely ticked over this week with very small bets, including an unsuccessful one on Rocket Rob, who has not won for a long time but did well to hunt up the leaders at Nottingham from a very poor draw. If anyone can place him successfully Willie Musson can, though we are running out of Sandown meetings, which is a problem.

I shall be in Paris for the Arc, which is one of my favourite meetings. Sometimes it’s a very hard race to analyse but, quite frankly, if Treve is as well as her trainer says, and there is no reason to doubt that, she may well justify very short odds and rewrite the history books in the process. She is a brilliant mare and requires only normal luck in running, though it can be a very rough race and the value is highly questionable. I think New Bay may be more of a danger than Golden Horn, who strikes me as a very good Derby winner but certainly not a great one. The Juddmonte International form is questionable and he veered sharply under pressure last time. Golden Horn has had quite a hard season and I’d step back on this occasion. Treve has laughed at Flintshire in the past but that was in a very small field and he may prove more of a thorn in her side this time. He would not mind the ground drying out and that is the key factor on Sunday because the mare would dearly like to get her toe in.

It is important for MECCA’S ANGEL as well, of course, as she bids to spreadeagle the Prix de l’Abbaye field. It is all of Lombard Street to the proverbial china orange that she is the best horse in the race but she wants some give and I can imagine Michael Dods and Paul Mulrennan anxiously pacing the course. She has been a great friend to this column and I shall not desert her now but 9/4 is very skinny in the absence of rain and bets should be kept on the modest side.

Looking for a back-up or saver bet, Steps could hardly be in better form and is tough enough to handle the hurly-burly of the race. Move In Time won it last year and looks well at present, while Goldream also appeals on his Royal Ascot form. At a massive price, I have no idea why Monsieur Joe ran so poorly last time unless connections were already thinking about Sunday, of course. I hope Mecca’s Angel wins and I shall save a few euros for Monsieur Joe each-way.

The Cadran is all about stamina, stamina, stamina and for that reason I can see Simenon running one of his better races. Two-mile form is of little relevance in this and you want a horse that gallops on for ever. He is not as good as he was but this is his type of race. The jockey bookings will be interesting and whatever Ryan Moore rides (he rode them to sleep on High Jinx last year) should be noted.

The only other point to make at this stage  –  I shall be updating on the line on Saturday and Sunday morning  –  is that Henry Candy’s LIMATO may be good enough in the Prix de la Foret. He is still improving and this is a slightly sub-standard Group 1. I must say the Sunday card looks markedly superior to Saturday’s, when the fields are quite small.

At home on Saturday, the unstoppable Richard Fahey runs four in the Totescoop6 Challenge Cup at Ascot and even choosing from that quartet is not easy. But RENE MATHIS mixes impressive handicap wins with less distinguished efforts and his mark does not go up appreciably. He will be happier over this seven furlongs than the six of the Ayr Gold cup. Old Barnet Fair ought to win a sprint handicap before the end and has a good chance in the last at 4.55, though I just prefer ELUSIVITY. Peter Crate knows how to train sprinters, this one was only just denied last time and Jamie Spencer is a good booking.