Our racing expert has landed on some value selections for the afternoon fare at Salisbury.
Elarqam is the form horse in the Group 3 Sovereign Stakes over a mile having finished fourth in the 2000 Guineas and third in a York Group 2 (1m2f) last time, when just run out of it close home. Dropping back to a mile should suit, assuming he’s again ridden positively, and this is easier.
But whether he’s a horse I want to take a short price about, I don’t know, and French raider PLUMATIC, a clear-cut winner over this trip last month, might just have the superior toe at the finish.
The forecast rain is very much in his favour too as both his wins have come on ground with plenty of cut in it and Andre Fabre wouldn’t be travelling over with him if he didn’t think he was capable of winning.
Charlie Hills has his horses running much better after a quiet spell with seven winners coming in the last fortnight (at good prices too) and it therefore wouldn’t surprise if his LIFEBOAT proved to be the answer to the class 6 1m handicap.
The three-year-old has been making the running over further this season without much success, but he was held up when dropped back to a mile last time and that saw him finish a lot closer (albeit fifth of nine).
On that evidence, he can win off his current mark, which is 13lb lower than when he started the season, and further encouragement can be taken from his last and only visit here, when beaten just half a length on good to soft ground (which could prevail come race time if the forecast is correct) and under today’s rider Jim Crowley.
COPILOT is worth a check in the market for the 6f fillies’ handicap as she could prove well treated off a mark of 62. Patrick Chaming’s filly is unexposed after just three starts and while she hasn’t finished closer than fifth in those, she wasn’t beaten far on her debut here (7f) and at Windsor (1m) two starts back.
Her most recent well beaten effort at Lingfield is better than it looks too as she was prominent for most of the way and only weakened close home.
She has to be of interest now dropping back to 6f for her handicap debut and her breeding backs that up as her dam Perfect Flight was a fair sprinter (rated as high as 91 in her prime). That she liked to get her toe in – three of her four career wins came on soft ground – is also worth mentioning with the track set for a morning drenching and a likely going change from the current ‘good’.
All odds were correct at time of posting.