Upstaging has the right credentials

October 14th, 2017 | Ian Carnaby's Racing News

Roger Charlton did us proud last week with Cribbs Causeway winning at Newmarket and Projection chasing up Blue Point in a Group 3 at Ascot. He wasn’t unlucky and the Godolphin horse will always have that mid-race speed over him, though I must say I think Projection would have won the Stewards’ Cup or the Ayr Gold Cup if conditions had been remotely in his favour – and if Ayr had gone ahead. He will be hard to place now.

I don’t move over to the jumps until the turf Flat season is done and dusted so Chepstow does not attract me this early in the new campaign At Newmarket, I hope to see EXPERT EYE win the Dewhurst but there has to be a slight worry about the setback and whether it will have left him a gallop or two short. Sir Michael Stoute is such a good trainer that I doubt he would risk Expert Eye if nursing any doubts so I shall stay with him. He was very impressive at Glorious Goodwood.

Newmarket is hard otherwise and when the Cesarewitch throws up a 33/1 or 50/1 winner I am the least surprised person on earth, but I am happy to wait and have a little on SPARK PLUG in the last. The nine furlongs here is perfect for him, as he showed in last year’s Cambridgeshire, and I believe he can land a Group 3 to go with it.

I see DARK RED sports blinkers for the first time after showing little interest at Chelmsford recently. Horses have a way of hurting you when you turn your back so I shall have a very small investment. He was unlucky to be stood down at Goodwood and is much better than that last effort suggests.

Everything about UPSTAGING appeals to me in the Coral Sprint Trophy – the placed efforts at Goodwood and Windsor, the time between races and the likely value in the market. Trying to concede Ice Age 7lb in the valuable Windsor event was a tall order in the light of the latter’s subsequent performances and I think Upstaging can trouble the best of these. Given the maximum twenty-strong field, I advise betting each-way.

The mare STELLARTA likes a fast-run race at Goodwood and the field should be big enough for her in the six-furlong handicap on Sunday. When John Spearing gets a sprinter right they can win two or three quite quickly and I’d be tempted to save on CLEAR SPRING.