For a midweek spectacle, Salisbury’s seven-race card on Wednesday 16 August is well above average.
I’ve got a tip for each of the two Listed races – including an expensive juvenile who has shown plenty of ability in his first two starts.
3.20 – Arabian Crown @ 5/2
The first of two Listed races at Salisbury on Wednesday afternoon is the Stonehenge Stakes, which sees seven two-year-olds compete over 1m.
Some will bill this as a match between Arabic Legend and Arabian Crown, but that would be doing a discredit to Richard Hannon’s 99-rated Son and Spanish Poet, who has one run, one win to his name, for Ralph Beckett.
That being said, it is ARABIAN CROWN for Charlie Appleby & William Buick that takes my fancy.
The two-year-old son of Dubawi, who cost Godolphin a cool €600,000, has shown plenty of ability in his two starts to date – firstly when an eye-catching third in a hot novice event at Sandown before comfortably breaking his duck in another warm looking heat over C&D just under three weeks ago.
For me, that’s better form than Arabic Legend’s earlier success at Newmarket. It’s not quite up to the standard set by Son, but I expect him to improve again, especially as he shapes like he’ll relish this step up to a mile and should appreciate a return to better ground.
4.30 – Ameynah @ 9/2
I fancied Roger Varian’s AMENYAH – a four-year-old daughter of Exceed And Excel – for last year’s 1000 Guineas and in hindsight she ran a blinder to finish sixth, beaten just over 3L despite taking a keen hold early on, on just her third ever start.
She’s clearly had her issues since as it took 454 days for her to make her return to the track. A solid return it was, though, when a staying-on fourth, beaten by just a length, in the G3 Valiant Stakes at Ascot 18 days ago.
On the evidence of her Guineas run and that reappearance at Ascot, she should love this step up to 1m2f for the first time. Ground, which is expected to be officially ‘good’, is no bother.
I’m wary of the dreaded bounce factor and a couple of her rivals – mainly John & Thady Gosden’s Running Lion, who I fancied for Betfred Oaks glory, bouncing back from a bitterly disappointing run in France – but that aside she ought to make a bold bid here for a team in decent form.