By Matt Williams – In-play expert and ATR contributor
3.05 Kensington Palace Fillies’ handicap
Typically competitive, and there’s bound to be a warm pace up front, potentially setting this up for a closer. YERWANTHERE, lost her unbeaten record over an inadequate 7f on her reappearnace at Naas last month, knocking my head off in the process. Crikey, if ever there was a readying run, you won’t get a better example. James McDonald is a great booking, and with cool heads needed, he comes out top of the class. A clean passage is by no means guaranteed, she’s a buyer beware bet, but that’s part of her charm from an in-running angle, and I’m invested every which way, Clyde!
Win, place, back in-running, and keep backing in running until it’s impossible to see her not winning. These are the ones that get me going, because if you’re right you get the lot, and if it doesn’t go to plan (big odds on it won’t, by the way), it’s easy to take and move on.
3.40 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes
Lay JUMBLY (up to 3.3). She cost a packet out of Roger Charlton’s yard, and lots to like about her comeback run in the Lanwades at the Curragh last month. I haven’t got it a problem with her ability, run style or attitude, I just think she’s too short for a race like this. We have enough running for us to justify a stake equalling lay to pay for the bet on her owner-mate, Grande Dame – the old double-whammy.
I watched Grande Dame win at Sandown last season, and looking at her in the paddock, she was certainly a sight to behold, giving the impression she might be really good this season. She likes to race on or near the pace, making the most of her stride, and I like the back to lay route.
She is big enough pre-race, around the 9-mark at the time of writing, and I think 4 is the way I’d go, safe in the knowledge we’re giving too much of the win stake back. Off for 263 days, we are trusting the Gosden’s are gunning for glory and not prepping for something down the line.
5.00 Royal Hunt Cup
PEROTTO has come in for sustained support, but why stop now, there’s still juice in his odds at around 8-1 and while all the fancy place terms with most bookmakers will be too hard to resist, rightly so, the in-running action will allow us to make certain decisions. For example, we can react to any draw bias, if there is one. Explaining the narrative bores the life out of me, long drawn out logic has never been my game, so I’ll keep it punchy.
Won the Britannia in 2021 off a 3lb lower mark and shot up the weights after, making it hard for him to win, until now. 1m at this venue, on this strip, is his gig. The switch from Tregoning to Varian, with respect to the former, is a strong pull. That’s the case for, there’s no serious case against.
He can miss a beat at the gates, as he did in the Britannia when he won, but with a guaranteed pace up front to pull him into the race, he could reward in-running punters with some fancy odds, before coming home strong.
A good tactic in these races is to try and maintain focus on the horses you fancy, don’t force anything, and if it doesn’t happen for us with Perotto’s moves, don’t panic bet late on, looking for alternatives, because you can be sure the ones you are drawn to, the value will have disappeared. In the big handicaps and staying races, you can get too involved with the action, sometimes leading to a miserable result.