Rain to help Smokey Lane

October 12th, 2018 | Ian Carnaby's Racing News

Projection made it a profitable weekend and did well to beat Dream Of Dreams in soft ground at Ascot. He is a funny horse and needed to be driven right out after travelling very easily for most of the way. It was his first win for three years and I’d started to wonder about his attitude but the form is there in the book and he would have had some sort of chance in the Champions Day Sprint next week but for the weather, which is all against him.

I’m working at Goodwood on Sunday and have been spending some time on the six-furlong handicap, where my friend George Materna’s Open Wide will not be asked to carry top weight in testing ground    heavy rain is forecast. Conditions should be ideal for Roger Charlton’s Smokey Lane, whose close second to Beyond Equal at Ffos Las looks even better following the winner’s follow-up at Salisbury. I rang Roger because I wanted to mention the horse in the RP column in Sunday. He was helpful and said Smokey Lane should go well but doubts that he is quite as good as before. He has not been at Beckhampton very long and was with Christian Williams before. I still think he’s something to bet on.

John Gosden has been waiting for things to come right for Monarchs Glen but he is a tricky horse to keep absolutely chipper and will not be trying to repeat last year’s win in the Darley Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday. It’s a tricky affair without him and my only thought is that it was a messy race that Gabr won at Goodwood. I’d be a little surprised to see the form stand up but this is a modest Group 3.

The Cesarewitch looks as intricate as always. Low Sun looks the best of the W P Mullins contenders and Silvestre de Sousa, successful last year, is an interesting booking for Vas A Vis, who is well handicapped with Just In Time.

I thought Cape Volta gave us a good run at a massive price in the big seven-furlong handicap at Ascot last week. He drops back to six furlongs again in the Coral Sprint at York and will go the pace. It’s the usual thing with Mark Johnston in that you can’t be sure it’s a ‘going’ day, though I certainly wouldn’t be put off by the horse turning out again seven days on. The forecast is for showers on the Knavesmire and if the word ‘soft’ is included in the going description I’d be happy enough with a low draw. Cape Volta may grab the stands’ rail from his single figure number.