With seven meetings across the UK & Ireland on Saturday, there’s no shortage of options for the NAP of the Day. An Array of them, you could say…
Andrew Balding’s ARRAY is a horse I’ve followed very closely this season, and I think he’s well up to winning the G3 Sirenia Stakes at Kempton on Saturday.
I made the two-year-old my NAP for the opening day of this year’s Glorious Goodwood Festival but, despite sustained support that saw him go off as short as 4/6f, he was narrowly beaten by Brazilian trainer Diego Dias’ 20/1 shot Mansa Musa.
I must admit, my immediate reaction to that performance was a negative one. However, the form has been franked many times since, with the winner just missing out at this level at The Curragh, the third-placed Alaskan Gold winning at Carlisle last week and Havanagreattime, who finished fourth, bolting up at Windsor just the other day.
The selection then went to Newmarket and won a six-runner novice event in a canter. His SP was 2/13, so of course he was entitled to win like he did, but the form isn’t bad at all.
The runner-up Robbo, who was beaten over 4L, was only a neck behind William Haggas’ odds-on shot Elmonjed at Haydock on Thursday – while Rogue Enforcer, who trailed the former by just a head, occupied the same finishing position with the rest of the field over 7L in his wake at Ripon on Tuesday.
I think Array’s form is as good as anything boasted by his eight rivals – and that includes Starlust, who beat him on debut at Newbury in July. I expect that form to be reversed, as I suspect the selection has since improved past him.
There are other dangers, including John & Thady Gosden’s Eben Shaddad who must be feared (although the form of his sole win looks modest at best), but ultimately none that put me off my pick.
Balding is mustard around Kempton too, operating at a 24% strike rate this season with 18 winners from 75 runners. Array is his only runner there on Saturday.