Vincentti set to deny Moviesta hat-trick bid
This afternoon's cross-channel programme lacks a marquee race owing to its proximity to Royal Ascot, but York's Macmillan Charity Sprint is a typically competitive showpiece Saturday handicap.
Bryan Smart's hat-trick-seeking Moviesta vies for favouritism in the six-furlong three-year-old heat, having won here over five furlongs in May. Still, he just held on by a nose from the fast-finishing Vincentti then, so he has little appeal now that he returns to six furlongs off a six-pound higher mark on his fourth run of the year.
In contrast, Vincentti has bundles of appeal. Ron Harris' son of Invincible Spirit progressed to win twice over five furlongs at Ffos Las last autumn, latterly off a mark of 78. He subsequently failed to make an impact in Group company at Ascot, but his effort in going down so narrowly on his Knavesmire reappearance was encouraging.
Crucially, unlike his conqueror, he has far more scope to improve on just his second start of the campaign, and the manner in which he chased down Moviesta to the line suggests that he is crying out for this extra furlong. Indeed, as a half-brother to the former top-class miler Hurricane Alan and dual Cesarewitch hero Aaim To Prosper, he is bred to get further, so this step up to six is a big move in the right direction.
Having never run on ground quicker than good in seven previous outings, the going description of good to firm means that the underfoot conditions are the chief imponderable for Vincentti. However, there is significant rainfall forecast to hit the area today and, should that materialise, he would be an even more attractive option.
Understandably, the handicapper acknowledged Steve Drowne's mount's laudable defeat last month by adding five pounds to his official rating, which sees him get in off 91 for 8st 7lbs. Nonetheless, he is a pound better off with Moviesta for a nose loss.
When you take everything into account, then, a discrepancy that sees Vincentti trade at around five points longer than Moviesta at up to 12/1 demands exploiting.
Of the 20-strong field, the other to keep on side in the each-way market is Body And Soul. Tim Easterby's Duran Fentiman-ridden filly would also appreciate rain, having completed a treble on heavy ground in the valuable super sprint at Newbury last July.
She then signed off with another lucrative coup by bursting nearly three lengths clear on soft in the Two-year-old Trophy at Redcar, before being beaten just a couple of lengths on her handicap debut at Ripon first time out last month. Available at up to 14/1, she should strip much fitter off the same mark this time.
Earlier, David Pipe's booking of Jane Mangan on War Singer in the lady riders' race is of note. On the only previous occasion that Pipe secured the services of the top-class Cork jockey, it resulted in The Liquidator's Grade One triumph at Punchestown.
There is less at stake in this 12-furlong handicap, but War Singer still appeals as a decent prospect. The six-year-old hasn't really excelled since switching from France, with just a Kelso hurdle win on his penultimate start in October to show so far.
Still, he showed up well in three starts over a mile and 10 furlongs last summer, finishing third at Newbury on the most recent of those off a mark of 87. Off 86 here, he has a serious chance now that he reverts to the trip over which he scored four times in France, with the likelihood of a cut in the ground also a plus.
In the mile Listed race, the Lady Cecil-trained Stipulate is worth opposing with Baltic Knight. Although no match for the smart Remote in handicap company last time, Richard Hannon's colt remains progressive, and, as a three-year-old against mostly older rivals, he gets in here off favourable terms under Richard Hughes.
Best Bet: Vincentti