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Acomb Stakes preview

The juveniles have been my focus for most of this year so time to knock up a preview of the opening day's 2yo feature. I don't think this one is as simple as it may appear. Quirky conditions, it's only for horses who had not won a race before July 13. So at the very least, we have 11 horses in form, and few horses that can truly be ruled out.

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Tattersalls Acomb Stakes
Group 3 for 2yo, 7f, £90k
1425 local, 2325 AEST


Beatbox Rhythm - off the mark last start at Pontefract, beating Chief Justice by four lengths but in a horrible time on a soft track (which may have been worse than declared). Topspeed figure quite low in both runs to date. Suited by step up to 7f, does he prefer wet tracks or was that just a coincidence improving from his first run? Trainer is flying with his juveniles (1-2 in the G1 Prix Morny on Sunday) but class rise may find him wanting.

Chief Justice - missed start, settled last and ran wide when running second to the aforementioned Beatbox Rhythm on debut. Can make a case for him overturning that result with better gate manners and natural improvement. Dry track may or may not improve him. Top trainer & jockey combination in this part of the world, wouldn't be afraid of backing him at a sily price.

Danzan - destroyed a moderate field at Pontefract on his turf debut, but the form behind him hasn't enhanced his rating. That was a drop back to 6f after two AW runs over seven. Think he needs another significant step to measure up here.

Dee Ex Bee - very impressive winner at Goodwood on debut, surging away when challenged and third place was a long way back. It was only a maiden but two of the three to have run since have won, boosting the form. York's a great track for a horse to make all the running at, deserved favourite.

Fleet Review - has progressed with each of his four runs, fought on very well to win last start at the Curragh although it wasn't a high-class race. Should have no problem extending that to 7f on a dry track, being by War Front out of a sister to Rip Van Winkle. Ryan Moore aboard for the first time is a key plus, watch for any strong interest in the market.

James Garfield - third in the Windsor Castle at Royal Ascot, didn't raise a sweat winning a maiden at Doncaster, then fourth at Glorious Goodwood behind the very impressive Expert Eye. That's a strong formline and if he was in a larger stable, you'd be hearing more about his chances. Dettori aboard for the first time, strong argument can be made that he's over the odds.

Jazeel - won a low rating race at Lingfield recently. Trainer Mick Channon loves giving his horses a chance in bigger races but he's a long way off these.

Lansky - went for 300k at the breeze-ups earlier in the season and won on debut last week at Windsor. Will come on for the run but it's a big ask in a field like this.

Ulshaw Bridge - got back at Chester last start and winners from back there are as rare as 'good people' marching with neo-Nazis. Hated the track, was being scrubbed along the whole way, then stormed home late when he had a chnce to balance up. Won down the straight here on previous start and did that comfortably. By High Chaparral so should relish the extra furlong. Right in this.

Wells Farhh Go - won very impressively on debut, striding away from the field in the latter stages. Every right to expect him to go on from that, but data has to overrule the eye.

Zaaki - still a maiden after two outings but ran a close up fifth in the G2 Superlative Stakes at Newmarket five weeks ago, and the winner, Gustav Klimt would be odds-on in this race. Trainer is yet to have a winner but he recorded a higher RPR than Dee Ex Bee and Lansky last time out. Do not dismiss him.

Summary

Tricky little race this. Dee Bee Ex could just kick on and street these but I'm not going to dive in at the price. The one I'm most taken with at a juicy price is Ulshaw Bridge. He has made big steps forward with each run, he'll be ignored by many for 'just' running third at Chester and jockey Daniel Tudhope is in fine form.

Ulshaw Bridge
James Garfield
Zaaki
Dee Ex Bee
Wells Farhh Go

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Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Gimcrack Stakes
Group 2, 6f, 2yo C&G
£220,000
1510 local 0010 AEST


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Villiers StakesRandwick, G2, 1600m
1615 local time, 0515 GMT

Form link

Website
Twitter: @weekndkngracing
Facebook: /weekendking


The most reliable guide to the Gr2 Villiers has always been the Festival Stakes.

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5 [1.7] Sir Moments (56) 11-2
6 [2.5] Multilateral (54) 60-1
7 [3.8] Scream Machine (56) 20-1
8 [4.3] Aomen (58.5) 30-1
11 [6.8] Monton (60) 16-1
12 [8.0] Keep Cool (54) 80-1

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