One more chance for Projection

October 6th, 2018 | Ian Carnaby's Racing News

I admit to a certain bias where Roger Charlton and Henry Candy are concerned and I smiled to myself on Friday morning when I saw Blue Surf and Ortiz both entered for the one-mile conditions race at Ascot. Both trainers turn to Ryan Moore when the former champion’s commitments permit and I imagine both wanted him here. Blue Surf ran very well behind the subsequent runaway Cambridgeshire winner at Chelmsford and I just favoured him but Ortiz’s form has worked out well. It’s hard to make reversed forecasts work but they did strike me as the only two likely to go on improving.

It may be worth staying with Charlton as the season draws to a close. He is keeping quite a few on the go and Blakeney Point did us a good turn at Chester, though I think the Cumberland Lodge on Saturday will be harder. He also runs Projection in the Bengough Stakes on that card and one would have to say the horse has been disappointing overall. I think he’s genuine and his second to Blue Point in this race last year looks good enough twelve months on. He wouldn’t mind a drop of rain, whereas Limato wants it to stay away altogether. Charlton tried cheekpieces on Projection last time    not a good sign at this stage of his career    but leaves them off now.

Finally on the subject of R Charlton, I liked his Smokey Lane in the sprint handicap at Salisbury on Wednesday. Roger took him out because the ground had firmed up a bit too much but there was still an interesting outcome with the in-form Beyond Equal making most of the running against the far rail and holding on quite impressively. Beyond Equal had beaten Smokey Lane at Ffos Las the time before when both missed the kick and came through late. Smokey Lane would have been a couple of pounds better off but I’m not saying he would have won. For Ffos Las the form is quite strong, though, and with rain in the air again Smokey Lane may be something to bet on next time.

My wife and I used to be invited to the Arc with Horse Racing Abroad but these things cannot go on for ever, so I shall miss the morning coffee with a drop of cognac and the Paris-Turf (if you can find one) this year. I’d have gone for Crystal Ocean each-way but he misses the party and Enable looks very hard to beat. It’s all a question of value and I think a lot of people will hesitate over even money. You need luck in running and there is quite a bit of elbow work going on in the false straight if you’re not ideally placed. Drawn six she should be all right and Frankie Dettori will no doubt want her out and away to miss trouble. I think I’d probably wait to see her out and clear early on and accept an even shorter price in running than risk evens before the stalls fly open.

Back at Ascot, Cape Byron may go close in the impossible-looking seven-furlong handicap, having made his run at much the same time as Rip Orff last time, only to go down by a narrow margin. I am not the person to come to where Mark Johnston’s handicappers are concerned, though I would just say that Cape Volta is not a no-hoper at 25/1. Previously running well at this trip, he was well below his best at Doncaster last time but if I had a fiver for every time a Johnston horse bounced back at a big rice after a poor effort I could pay for us both to go to Paris anyway.

(An outright lie, of course, with Southampton playing Chelsea, but you know what I mean.) Be lucky.