EVE JOHNSTON HOUGHTON
Chipotle can scoop the near £100,000 first prize in the Weatherbys Super Sprint at Newbury on Saturday.
There is an obvious temptation, of course, to look away from a potentially short-priced favourite in a 22-runner renewal of a race which has fallen to its fair share of long-priced winners over the years.
Equally, however, the 100-30 head of the market prevailed 12 months ago, and there is no question Chipotle has outstanding credentials.
Eve Johnston Houghton’s colt is a three-time winner, from his four starts, up to Listed level.
He began his career by proving himself a leading light among the early two-year-olds with victory in the Brocklesby at Doncaster – where the re-opposing Vintage Clarets was four lengths adrift in fourth.
Chipotle subsequently took a conditions race at Ascot and most recently overcame a slow start to rattle home in the Windsor Castle Stakes at the Royal meeting.
His only defeat has come at that same Listed level, when encountering soft ground at Sandown in the National Stakes.
Back on a sound surface this weekend and still at the minimum trip, Chipotle’s only comparable challenger on ratings is Coventry Stakes third and dual winner Vintage Clarets.
They are both vastly favoured at the weights, against fellow bargain buys under the race conditions.
A duel is therefore in prospect from their wide draws – and although the form book suggests precious little between them, Chipotle won last time in the manner of a classy juvenile who can continue to progress.
Lightly-raced Zeeband has looked a young stayer to watch, and he can prove the point by winning the Bahrain Turf Series Handicap.
The four-year-old, trained by Roger Varian, appreciated the step up to an extended two miles when winning the consolation race for the Northumberland Plate in smooth fashion.
He put his 18 rivals to the sword, winning by 2.50 lengths from Margaret Dumont thanks to a telling turn of foot in the final 200m.
Zeeband has gone up 4kg for that success – but on that display, he looks ahead of the handicapper.
Golden Pass can take the Listed spoils in the Ric And Nary Hambro Aphrodite Fillies’ Stakes at Newmarket.
Hugo Palmer’s four-year-old has been limited to just six runs so far but she looks to be in great form this season and capable of winning a race of this nature.
She overcame a seven-month absence when making a successful seasonal reappearance in a handicap at Thirsk in May and then was beaten just a neck by Katara at this level at Pontefract four weeks ago.
She was caught only in the closing stages that day and should be cherry ripe this time – with two runs under her belt.
Over jumps, Captain Tom Cat is the choice in the feature Betway Sumer Plate Handicap Chase at Market Rasen.
Dr Richard Newland’s six-year-old has had made a tremendous start to his career over fences, winning all his three starts so far this summer.
He had fair form over hurdles but looks to have gone to another level over the bigger obstacles.
Captain Tom Cat has perhaps not beaten much so far – but he has won with such authority on each occasion that it is highly likely he can step up to the plate.
Camprond looks the answer to a trappy contest for the Betway Summer Handicap Hurdle.
Philip Hobbs’ charge warmed up for this decent prize when beating three rivals with consummate ease as he landed the odds over this course and distance last month.
The five-year-old had earlier finished third to Copperless in the Swinton at Haydock, and that form gives him every chance.
Snowfall is the star of the show at the Curragh, where Aidan O’Brien’s filly has frightened away a lot of the opposition in the Juddmonte Irish Oaks.
The daughter of Deep Impact blew her rivals away when winning the Cazoo Oaks by a record 16 lengths at Epsom. She cannot be opposed.
A better betting proposition, however, is Logo Hunter in the Paddy Power Sapphire Stakes.
Michael Browne’s stable star has made giant strides this term – and after two Listed victories, can successfully step up to Group 2 company. – www.Sportinglife.com