Our racing expert has latched on to three Salisbury runners for potential profit.
The 1m handicap sees the return to action of Godolphin’s Big Tour, who has been gelded since disappointing as favourite on his final start of 2017 when attempting to land a hat-trick. Put in as favourite for this race, I’m keen to take him on as he looked well suited by 7f and some cut in the ground last term and that’s not on the menu here. The stable form is another worry – just 1-38 in the last fortnight – and he has plenty of weight besides.
Marcus Tregoning’s POWER OF DARKNESS, who is getting 20lb, is more my idea of the winner and at a backable price too. He could have been called the winner a furlong out when confidently ridden by Hayley Turner (back on board here) to make a winning return over 7f here earlier this month and, given there were still signs of greenness, he’s fully entitled to come on again for that run. Certainly, an opening mark of 84 doesn’t look beyond him and on what we’ve seen so far going up to a mile could see him peak.
The feature Bibury Cup over 1m4f is very well contested indeed and it will take a good performance to stop Mark Johnston’s Burgonet from completing a four-timer as she was very game over 1m2f last time and will be suited by stepping back up in trip.
She’s not opposed lightly but this is competitive as mentioned and Sir Michael Stoute’s MEKONG is one of several potential improvers in the field. The son of Frankel looked to have done well from two to three when proving too strong for a better fancied stablemate over 1m2f at Leicester on his reappearance, when his stamina got him home on the heavy ground. A market drifter on his next start in the ultra competitive London Gold Cup, run on faster ground, he ran okay and was noted staying on well inside the final furlong, suggesting that today’s longer trip is what he needs. With his stable in flying form and off what looks a winnable mark, he’s given a chance to show that.
The final pick runs in the 1m6f handicap on the card with Owen Burrows’ OKOOL fancied to see off eight rivals now he steps up in trip. A progressive dual winner last season, he ran a creditable fourth in a 1m4f handicap on his return at York in May, when keeping on well behind three lower weighted rivals. He’s entitled to come on for that run and looks capable of bettering his current handicap mark. Indeed, his trainer Owen Burrows was sounding hopeful in a recent Stable Tour that he can pay his way over staying trips this season, with this race being earmarked as being “suitable’ for him.
All odds were correct at time of posting.