Mokaatil is speedy and drawn to attack in the opening listed race, but he doesn’t have the chance the market suggests, and looked a very hard ride on his return at York, leaning to his left almost throughout, and that display must make backers wary, especially as there is every chance he will get involved in a destructive war for the lead with Sound And Silence, who was held up in that York race, but disappointed as a result, and will surely be ridden more forcefully with more severe headgear deployed.
There is every chance the pair will negate their positive draws by over-racing, and that will set things up for the likes of Spoof and Koditime to swoop from off the pace.
Recommended: Lay Mokaatil for a place @ 2.4 or shorter
Island of Life looks to have plenty on her plate in the 5f sprint at 2:35, and has been put in plenty short enough on the tissue. I always respect the big stables with lightly-raced horses in handicaps, but the shorter the trip, the more important experience is in my view, and there is plenty to go wrong at Sandown’s sprint course, where track position is at a premium. A third to Socialites Red and Nuns Walk, both rated 67, at Nottingham last time is clearly not good enough to win this, and stall nine makes it hard for her, with racing wide an obvious negative and tucking in asking her to do something she’s not done before.
A tongue tie may or may not help, and she should do better in time, but this looks a pretty tough ask on balance, with several of her rivals very well treated on old form.
Recommended: Lay Island of Life for a place @ 2.8 or shorter
Chiefofchiefs won well enough over this C&D on Brigadier Gerard evening, but he’s facing very different conditions in a follow-up bid, and while a 3lb rise isn’t harsh on the face of it, he gives the impression that he’s a bit of a thinker, and I thought Richard Kingscote gave him a superb kid-gloves ride which made it look he had more in hand than might have been the case.
He benefited from an inside trip and getting plenty of cover last time, and bearing in mind he once almost ran off the track at Windsor, his draw in the widest stall has to be a worry.
A wide draw isn’t any bar to success over track and trip on the whole, but the temperament and run style of horses needs to be taken into consideration, and Chiefofchiefs strikes me as the type who will underperform if seeing too much daylight.
He ran poorly in the London Mile Final at Kempton from a wide draw last year when parked wide throughout, and James Doyle has quite a tough job to get him tucked in without conceding too much ground.
Recommended: Lay Chiefofchiefs for a place @ 2.3 or shorter