NEWMARKET trainer John Gosden has a scorching chance of landing back-to-back Solario Stakes at Sandown this weekend.
His exciting colt ENCIPHER could prove to be the codebreaker in this Group 3 contest. He is a gorgeous big stamp of a horse and Gosden, who has won the Solario with Too Darn Hot, Kingman and Raven’s Pass in recent years, doesn’t usually target this race unless he has a smart one on his hands.
The 425,000gns colt made an eye-catching debut when second in a hot race on debut at Haydock. Despite a fair degree of greenness, he showed great promise and the third and fourth have shown smart form since.
That is particularly true of the latter, Boomer, who won her next two starts including a Group 3 in impressive style at Goodwood on Saturday.
ENCIPHER, a son of Siyouni who is from the family of Group 1 winner Ervedya, then shed his maiden tag at the second attempt when winning easily at Newbury over 7f.
Gosden also saddles ESHASSY, a twice-raced Oasis Dream colt that made his debut at Newmarket during their July meeting and ran with plenty of promise on debut despite also showing signs of inexperience.
He finished midfield but very much caught the eye as a horse capable of winning a minor event and did just that on his next start at Kempton. He didn’t have to improve to win on that occasion but left the impression he still has a bit of growing up to do and is the type that will go on improving for a while yet. Jim Crowley takes the ride for Sheikh Hamdan and the 16/1 with Carrigill’s is sure to attract each way punters.
The second home in the Vintage Stakes behind Pinatubo was Clive Cox’s POSITIVE, the 2/1 market leader with Carrigill’s, who looked a smart colt in the making on debut.
He was a well-backed favourite at Salisbury when making light work of a minor event and subsequently was aimed at Glorious Goodwood. He pulled clear of the rest that day but was no match for the highest rated two-year-old this season and a repeat of that performance would make him of strong interest.
Mark Johnston has the unbeaten THUNDEROUS entered, who completed a hat-trick up in class when winning a Listed event at Newbury last time. He faced soft ground for the first time that day, travelling through the race well before finding extra, with stamina looking his strong point. He looks ready for pattern company now and the stiff finish will suit.
Cox is responsible for Carrigill’s market leader for the Beverley Bullet, TIS MARVELLOUS, who goes to The Westwood off the back of a win in a big-field heritage handicap at Ascot, which followed his second place in the Wokingham.
The form is strong and he’s a worthy favourite, but the Charlie Hills-trained EQUILATERAL could end his losing streak.
As Battaash demonstrated last week at York, Hills knows a thing or two about sprinters. He adores the four-year-old who drops in class having contested Group races on his last four outings, including the King’s Stand (when seventh). He hasn’t won for almost a year, but this is the type of race that could bring out the best in him with a favourable draw.
Also dropping down in grade is John Quinn’s EL ASTRONAUTE, who is looking for a 13th career win. John Quinn’s six-year-old has found Group 1 and Group 2 company too strong in his last three starts but is a formidable contender at this level and hosed up twice in Ireland earlier this summer.