Racing: Quito to provide highlight of Chapman's long career
Saturday 02 September 2006
David Chapman's name will always be synonymous with sprinters and Quito can provide the highlight of the Yorkshire trainer's 39-year career in today's Group One Betfred Cup over six furlongs at Haydock.
Like Chapman's prolific winners Chaplins Club and Soba, who finished second in this race in 1983, Quito seems to have progressed with age and his three-quarter length second to Les Arcs at Redcar in March arguably represents the classiest form shown by any of today's 11 runners.
Two of the three Group One sprints in Britain open to older horses run this season have been won by Les Arcs and though Reverence, a short-head third at Redcar and 3lb worse off, will start favourite on the strength of last month's Nunthorpe success, he has never won over six furlongs. QUITO (nap 2.15), on the other hand, stays seven and his proven stamina will surely come into play on this testing ground. He loves to get his toe in nowadays, as he showed when landing the City of York Stakes last month. His latest effort, when eighth at Beverley last Saturday, can be ignored as Chapman explained: "His weight-cloth slipped and Robert [Winston] couldn't ride him out. I was pleased he had the speed to lie up in that five furlong race. I would rate him a better horse than Soba."
There have been some big-priced winners of the Be Friendly Handicap in the last few years, so ignore the more obvious candidates in favour of Kenmore (1.10), despite his far from encouraging form figures.
He gave the first sign that he might recoup some of the 28,000gns he cost when bought out of Barry Hills's yard last season when a close fifth to yesterday's Haydock winner Fullandby at Newmarket in July and is now 3lb lower than when winning over the Rowley Mile course in October. His most recent outing, when unplaced at Chester, can be discounted as he was badly drawn and the fifth, Ordnance Row, won there the following day.
The handicapper seems to have caught up with Soulacroix in the Betfred sponsored Old Borough Cup Handicap which can be left to Northumberland Plate runner-up River Alhaarth (1.45). He had too much use made of him when fifth in the Ebor and the first-time visor he wore then has been discarded.
Notable Guest appeals as a relatively short-priced favourite to take on in the September Stakes, one of four televised races from Kempton. Set some impossible tasks against the likes of Ouija Board and David Junior in the summer, he hung left when second to Mulaqat at Haydock last month and runs on the all-weather for the first time unlike Kandidate (3.10). Most consistent, Clive Brittain's colt revels on this artificial surface and won the Rosebery Stakes over 10 furlongs here in April with the subsequently much improved Young Mick in third.
A more puzzling event than the £100,000 Martin Collins Enterprises Handicap would be difficult to concoct. It is hard to justify supporting anything under a double-figure price and Dancing Guest (3.40), allowed 1lb for the half-length she was beaten by Mcnairobi over course and distance last month, is a tentative choice at 25-1.
Stratford's first September meeting used to herald the start of proper jump racing and was often graced by spectacular two-miler Tingle Creek in the 1970s. Another two-miler, Cheeky Lad (next best 5.15) is unlikely to be remembered in 30 years' time, but he broke the course record at Worcester last month and is on a lenient mark on his third run for Matt Sheppard.
There are Group One races tomorrow at Baden-Baden, where David Elsworth runs Norse Dancer in the Grosser Preis Von Baden, and at Longchamp. At the Paris course Godolphin's Librettist attempts to extend his unbeaten run to five under Frankie Dettori in the Prix du Moulin.
TODAY'S TOTE SCOOP6:
Leg 1: 2.05 Kempton; Leg 2: 2.20 Thirsk; Leg 3: 2.40 Kempton; Leg 4: 3.10 Kempton; Leg 5: 3.25 Thirsk; Leg 6: 3.40 Kempton. Bonus Fund: £153,805.
Nap: Excusez Moi (Haydock 2.15)
NB: Banknote (Kempton 3.40)
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