Sunday 18 March 2018

Watching Brief...

William Buick on Jack Hobbs after winning the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby last month
William Buick on Jack Hobbs after winning the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby last month
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Treve is as short as 2/1 to secure a historic third Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

She defied drying ground to overhaul Flintshire at Saint-cloud last Sunday, confirming the impression that she looks at least as good as ever this term.

Treve is an exceptional horse trained by an exceptional trainer in Criquette Head-Maarek and deserves to be ante-post favourite for the Longchamp Group One. Still, three months is a long time in racing, especially for three-year-olds, which can develop so much in a summer.

In 25 renewals since 1990, the Classic crop has won 18 Arcs, and nine of the last 13. Golden Horn could attempt to add to that record, but he also might go down a different route.

Jack Hobbs, though, is Arc-bound and is improving at a rate of knots. He was deeply impressive for William Buick in the Irish Derby, and might even appreciate a bit of slow autumn ground. There are worse 8/1 ante-post prospects.

Lay Of The Day

Richard Hannon’s Black Cherry is one to take on at odds of 5/2 in the Listed Distaff Stakes at Sandown.

The Mount Nelson filly took five goes to win, which she eventually did in style at Goodwood in May. On her handicap debut over this course and distance, she scampered five lengths clear off a mark of 84 and is now rated 99. That may be deserved, but it was a poor race and this isn’t.

Dark Horse

Amazing to think that 20 years have passed since Pat Fahy plundered a famous win in the Greenalls Gold Cup trial at Haydock with Nuaffe.

The Leighlinbridge, Co Carlow-based handler returns to the Liverpool venue for an altogether different assignment today, although a good slog in the mud suited Nuaffe then and now suits Ballybacka Queen.

Ballybacka Queen might not get quite that in the Lancashire Oaks, but the ground is turning in her favour. Placed in a 2014 Group Three, she has won two of her last three starts over this 12-furlong trip.

She is fourth best on ratings and looks overpriced at 8/1.

A Little Each-Way

Basem heads the market for Sandown’s Coral Challenge at 4/1, which makes the 12/1 that can be had about Jacob Black seem generous. When the pair met at the course last time, Basem shaded proceedings by a neck and he is a pound worse off with Jacob Black here. A winner at the Esher venue previously, Keith Dalgleish’s Jacob Black is four pounds higher now, but that only reflects his progress. He can make the frame again for Frankie Dettori.

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