Horse Racing

Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup Preview

1.45 NEWBURY – DUBAI DUTY FREE LEGACY CUP
(Registered As The Arc Trial) (Group 3)
(CLASS 1) (3yo+)
Saturday 19 September 2015

This Group 3 contest is run over 1m 3f and the going is currently described as soft. With showers forecast before racing it is unlikely to change significantly. Michael Stoute and Roger Charlton have been the trainers to follow in recent years with two wins apiece, and they are both represented in this year’s edition.

Only three favourites have won since 2005, but there has only been one double figure priced winner in that time, Compton Bolter at 25/1 back in 2005 for Gerard Butler. Below is a look at the runners and riders and their respective prospects.

SKY HUNTER (BIN SUROOR/DOYLE)

5yo son of Motivator that has been a model of consistency since his two defeats in Spring 2014. He has been first past the post on three runs since, including a listed race as well as a couple of Group races. The hood has worked wonders since its application. He was disqualified after winning on his penultimate run of last season at Ayr for testing positive for a banned substance.

He followed that up with a commanding win on soft ground in a Group 3 here on soft over 12f, before taking a Group 2 on good at Meydan, again over 12f. He is versatile regarding ground, and he is he 3rd highest rated in the field at 115. The extra furlong will be fine (half brother Highest 2nd in St Leger) and he looks way too big a price at 10/1. It is his first run in over 6 months, but he has run well and won well fresh before.

BATTALION (HAGGAS/COSGRAVE)

Represents same connections of Storm the Stars, who must have traded at a short price in running in the St Leger last weekend. His stamina ran out though, and they will be hoping for compensation with Battalion here.

This son of Authorized has a fair chunk to find on the ratings at 108. He is rated 13lb inferior to likely favourite Eagle Top, and it is difficult to see him troubling that horse. Sky Hunter also had his measure when they met last year though judging by his running style it is likely that dropping back to 11f will suit. Too many doubts about him though, and he is overlooked on this occasion at 16/1.

EAGLE TOP (GOSDEN/DETTORI)

Represents a trainer jockey combination that have had an outstanding year with Golden Horn, among others, and they have the odds on favourite here in Eagle Top. He went agonisingly close in Group 1 company last time out, missing out by a nose to Postponed at Ascot (12f soft).

This son of Pivotal has already tasted success at Group 2 level (12f good to firm), also at Ascot, and he has been knocking on the door on his last couple of runs. His penultimate run behind Snow Sky was decent too and he will be fancied by many to continue the exceptional run of Frankie and Gosden. 5/6 is the biggest price available and he should be thereabouts.

HILLSTAR (STOUTE/FORTUNE)

This 5yo son of Danehill Dancer looked set for big things this year. He won this last season and went on to taste success at Woodbine in a Group 1 subsequently. However things haven’t gone to plan at all this year, and Michael Stoute will be scratching his head wondering why it has all gone wrong.

He has been beaten by a combined total of 18.5 lengths on his three starts so far this term, and form figures of 556 don’t do justice to how disappointing he has been. Perhaps Mr. Stoute has earmarked this race as his target all along, and he is being trained to peak for a return trip to Woodbine. However, he is impossible to fancy on what he has shown so far, and the return to this venue on soft ground needs to prompt an amazing turnaround. He is a risky wager at 12/1.

THE CORSICAN (SIMCOCK/SPENCER)

This horse finished off last year on a high with successive handicap and Listed wins over 10f and 10.5f respectively at Goodwood and Doncaster. He returned to action in May and looked as good as ever in landing a listed heat at Goodwood. He has since run with credit at Ascot in a Group 1, and his run last time at Goodwood was excellent in a Group 3.

He finished just behind Dubday over 12f on good ground, but he has shown he handles a slight ease before so once it is not bottomless he should be fine. Jamie Spencer is booked and he has been riding out of his skin. He should announce his retirement more often! The only slight worry is the drop back to 11f, but he should cope. He is priced up at 7/2 and is definitely a threat.

OOTY HILL (CHARLTON/ATZENI)

Andrea Atzeni was devastated after losing the big race on Simple Verse last week, and he will be hoping to make up for it on Ooty Hill today. This gelding is the unknown quantity of the race, and he is having just his third start. His owner has had a ball with Golden Horn this year, and will be hoping for more of the same from this grey 3yo son of Dubawi.

He won his maiden easily under Atzeni over 7f at the tail end of last season on soft at Newmarket, and he has only been seen once since. That was back in May when he was beaten comfortably by Star of Seville, form that the winner has gone on to frank. That was over 12f on quick ground, so perhaps he was put away until the rains came and softened up the ground. His dam was listed placed over today’s trip so there should be no worries on that front, but it takes a big leap of faith to back this horse in this race against proven Group 1 and 2 performers. 6/1 looks short on what he has achieved and he is best watched for the moment.

CONCLUSION

Eagle Top is the current odds on favourite, and seeing as he went desperately close at a higher level last time it is no surprise. He is the highest rated in the race, has proved he handles cut and he is a worthy favourite. He had a hard race though, and that could tell here.

Hillstar has been badly out of form, but it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see a better horse in this race. However, it is difficult to forget his last couple of efforts, and he won’t see any of my hard earned. Ooty Hill is unexposed, but also unproven, and 6/1 looks skinny. The Corsican should run a sound race and is respected.

However, the one that stands out as being overpriced is the Saeed Bin Suroor horse Sky Hunter, and at 10/1 he looks well worth taking a chance on. He has looked a different animal since the application of the hood, handles soft ground, goes well fresh and his trainer is absolutely flying. He is the selection at 10/1 to lower the colours of The Corsican and Eagle Top.

STEVOS’ SELECTIONS:
1. SKY HUNTER 10/1
2. THE CORSICAN 7/2
3. EAGLE TOP 5/6

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