Huntsmans Close a likely Wokingham sort

June 19th, 2015 | Ian Carnaby's Racing News

By Ian Carnaby

I am rarely pleasantly surprised by the SP of favourites in big races on Saturdays. The events have been well covered in the racing press for several days beforehand, the Morning Line plays its part and, of course, many people want to be with the big-name jockeys, who are invariably on horses towards the head of the market.

Maybe it was just the exception proving the rule but I must say I thought 4/1 about Red Baron in the Scottish Sprint Cup at Musselburgh was quite generous. He is a much-improved sprinter and ran a fine race at York the time before. Monsieur Joe finally got to him but that horse went on to finish runner-up in the Epsom “Dash” and the form-line was very sound. Red Baron has bags of early speed and was never going to be caught once he went on in the Musselburgh race. I thought he’d be about 11/4, so I was wrong.

Master Of Finance could never dominate in the Chester event won by his stable-companion Sennockian Star. I should think they will swing round again and Master Of Finance will be the one to watch at Glorious Goodwood. Looking ahead to that meeting, which is one of my favourites, Aidan O’Brien’s Found looks set for the Nassau if the trainer goes with his plan to step her up in trip, while the very speedy juvenile Waterloo Bridge will like the track and, on what we saw at Royal Ascot, may well crack the five-furlong record if the ground rides fast.

Callers to the line have had a profitable couple of days. Time Test was way too good for the opposition on Thursday and Arab Dawn followed up in the Duke of Edinburgh Handicap today. If form always worked out like this there would be no bookies because Arab Dawn was 4lb better with Astronereus for a beating of just over a length at Newmarket. They were first and third that day and finished first and third again, though the other way round. That Newmarket race has been very good to us because the runner-up that day, Quest For More, went in at Goodwood, just holding Oasis Fantasy, who should have won on Derby day but was left with rather a lot to do. Following a form-line like that can be very lucrative, then it fades away and you have to start again.

Saturday at Royal ascot looks very hard and the only two I’d look at are HUNTSMANS CLOSE in the Wokingham and TEAK in the closing Queen Alexandra Handicap.

Huntsmans Close won the Ayr Silver Cup last term and has improved again. He was only just pipped by Eastern Impact on his reappearance at Newmarket (the winner has since tried Listed company at Windsor) and Roger Charlton promptly put him away with the Wokingham in mind. The booking of William Buick is a massive bonus.

Teak is a good old plodder who may be more effective at Goodwood but he stays a distance of ground and is in very good heart at present. Everyone will want to be on Willie Mullins’ Wicklow Brave, especially with Ryan Moore on board, while the pundits will say Times Up has kept much better company, which is quite true. He is not the force of old, however, while Wicklow Brave will be an unrealistic price. Teak will be going on when many have had enough and warrants an each-way investment.