John Gosden: has a good chance of winning the May Hill again
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By David Baxter 11:01AM 7 SEP 2016
Battaash, Conditions Stakes, Wednesday
Charlie Hills also gave Battaash entries in the valuable sales race and Group 2 Flying Childers this week, but decided to go for the opening race of the meeting. On both his previous starts Battaash was unruly in the stalls, and hopefully being gelded has calmed him down. His last run was when mid-division in the Windsor Castle at Royal Ascot, but if he is wound up after the break he is an interesting contender.
Blending, May Hill Stakes, Thursday
Kilmah sets a high form standard, and is nicely clear of the field on official ratings, but Blending has done nothing wrong in two starts, and created a nice impression when winning at Newmarket. That form is working out well with the runner-up and third both obliging next time. While this is a big step up in grade, she is bred to be smart and is a likely improver.
Hydroxide, Maiden, Thursday
This colt came close to overturning long odds-on shot D’bai on debut, who could be seen in the Champagne Stakes on Saturday. There are some potentially useful newcomers for Hugo Palmer’s runner to negotiate in this maiden, but the yard is having a great season with two-year-olds, and has a 33 per cent strike-rate (three from nine) with them here in the last five seasons.
Rodaini, Flying Scotsman Stakes, Friday
Connections have plotted a steadily progressive campaign for this colt, and he comes into the race unbeaten in three starts. With an official mark of 87, he will need to improve again to take a hand here, but I suspect he has more to offer. A bigger field and better pace could help him as he has faced only three rivals (total) in his last two starts, and Simon Crisford has had a fine season with his juveniles.
Majeste, Champagne Stakes, Saturday
This horse was flagged up for York’s Ebor meeting, but was ruled out on the eve of the Acomb after scoping unsatisfactorily. He is well regarded by trainer Richard Hannon, and given the way he won over 6f at Newbury last time, an extra furlong should be no problem.