Two third placed finishers for Alan yesterday, today he is back at the same tracks (Ayr and Newbury) to find try and find one that will find its way to the winners enclosure...
"There is a line of form through a horse called Juliet Capulet, that suggests Tajaanus has the beating of current favourite Gavota"
Back Tajaanus @ 4/1 in the 14:35 Newbury
The Fred Darling Stakes is a Group 3 race open to three-year-old fillies, run over seven furlongs and is often referred to as a trial for various Classics across Europe. I am not sure this is the best renewal of the race, but I think the weather has not helped preparations for anyone, so they are all probably slightly behind where the should be. However, they do look a field of fillies open to improvement, just not sure there is a 1000 Guineas winner in there.
There is an interesting line of form through a horse called Juliet Capulet, where Tajaanus beat her in a Group 3 in August and today's current favourite Gavota was beaten by Jauliet Capulet in a Group 2 at Newmarket in September - on that line of form alone you have to think Tajaanus has the beating of the favourite.
I guess the market is looking at her latest run at Doncaster over a mile where she finished second last, I think there are valid reasons though for that performance, none more than she is a daughter of Arcano, so there are doubts about her staying a mile anyway but it was also at the end of a good first season and was maybe one race too many. I feel there are more positives than negatives about the Richard Hannon filly who will be making her sixth racecourse appearance. She has won on 50% of her outings, two of which were with today's jockey on board Jim Crowley, two wins over today's trip and all three of her wins to date have come on good to soft ground, which she will encounter again today.
Just the five runners go to post for this Grade 2 Novice Chase but it looks an interesting contest and I am keen to take on the current favourite Mia's Storm, Alan King's eight-year-old was unbeaten over fences when she fell last time out at Kempton in the Kauto Star at Christmas. This is her first run since that fall and is dropping in distance, which isn't sure to suit. It will be interesting to see how she feels about jumping again and The King yard are not exactly firing on all cylinders at present either with just two winners from their last 31 runners. I think there are just too many questions to be answered about the favourite and prefer to take her on.
The one I like most is the Irish challenger, Peregrine Run who gained a third chasing success with an eye catching easy win at Killarney in August. He wasn't given a hard ride that day, pushed out hands and heels to win and he's been given a break since, waiting for better ground. He gets that ground today and despite being off the course for some time he goes well fresh. I am sure Peter Fahey wouldn't run him here unless he thought he was fit enough, he is a winner of three of his five chase starts (placed in the other two) and he has to have a good chance here against what I consider to be a weak favorite.