Rory Delargy: King can lay down Guineas claim for ‘Little Napoleon’

6 min


14:25 Autumn Stakes

I’m surprised that Persian King isn’t much shorter for the Autumn Stakes given how impressive he’s been in two wins at Chantilly, and Andre Fabre has stated his desire to run the colt at Newmarket with a view to next year’s 2000 Guineas. He also needs fast ground according to the maestro, and conditions should be ideal for him on the Rowley Mile. He went forward to chase the pacemaker last time, and that ability to take a good position will help given he’s drawn next to the rail, which ought to be a positive.

He really is a most striking individual, and while it’s hard to tell if he’s bound for the very top, he is not pitched in too deep in this Group 3 and should get the job done.

Kadar is respected, but has plenty to find on form, and missed the Royal Lodge over C&D last month, presumably due to fast ground. Conditions must be a concern for Karl Burke’s colt again.

Recommended: Back Persian King @ 2.80 or better (3pts)

15:00 Dewhurst Stakes

The front pair in the Dewhurst don’t have the form claims that the market suggests, and I’ve gone with Anthony Van Dyck elsewhere, which is the obvious play given how strong his National Stakes form looks. I wonder if there is an angle in backing stablemate Mohawk for a place at a big price. It’s true that he was over six lengths behind his stablemate at the Curragh, but he clearly improved markedly on that effort when winning the Royal Lodge over 1m here on fast ground, and he looks overpriced given he’s shown he can handle this tricky track on the forecast ground.

The return to 7f isn’t really in his favour, but he’s going the right way, and with Too Darn Hot unraced on a fast surface, and Sangarius overrated on the strict form of his listed win, Mohawk looks worth a small bet in the place market at what will be a big price, with only two spots available.

That sort of market isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but you get what you pay for, and I feel Mohawk would be a much shorter price if his Royal Lodge win didn’t come on the back of a run behind Anthony Van Dyck. That shouldn’t really be relevant if you believe the Newmarket form is solid, and it certainly looks that way.

Recommended: Back Mohawk to be placed @ 8.5 or bigger (1pt)

15:40 Cesarewitch Handicap

The ante-post markets for these big handicaps tend to be misleading, with the prices compiled on a “which of these have you heard of” basis. So it is that Stratum has been favourite for this since the market opened, and while he had no luck in running in the Ebor, that is not to say he ought to have won with a clear passage, and his win in the JLT Handicap at Newbury has been fully considered by the assessor. There are others in this contest who are better handicapped, including at least two others from his own yard, and when you consider that the horse who was a close second to him at Newbury has a 6lb pull and is trading at almost ten times his price, it just shows what poor value the current favourite represents.

I’d normally expect him to drift in the face of support for Southern France and Low Sun, but his price may be kept artificially short as layers recall what happened with the same owner’s Withhold a year ago. The bottom line is that Stratum is not only inferior to Withhold, but he’s also carrying almost a stone more than that horse did a year ago when landing a well-orchestrated coup.

This is not a similar scenario, and those getting a whiff of a Tony Bloom bonanza are likely to be disappointed.

Recommended: Lay Stratum for a place @ 3.15 or shorter (4.3pts liability)