Chipotle returns to the scene of his sensational course and distance debut triumph today; Eve Johnson Houghton’s charge contests the eleven-runner group two Flying Childers Stakes over five furlongs of ‘good to firm’ Doncaster under stable jockey Charles Bishop who partnered this somewhat ubiquitous Havana Gold colt back in March 27th, first day of the 2021 flat-racing season. Seems like yesterday!
You couldn’t help but be impressed by Chipotle as he burst clear in the ‘Brocklesby’ and he confirmed my time-handicap assessment with two further victories at Ascot where, during the Royal meeting in June, he landed the ‘Windsor Castle’ beating twenty-six rivals at odds of 22/1!
His odds were ultra-generous because of defeat on very soft Sandown ground three weeks earlier and it was by far my biggest mistake of the current campaign; I’ve never stopped kicking myself since!
The wheels came off Chipotle in the ‘Newbury Sales’ race under David Probert and the downward trend continued at Goodwood but then Eve threw caution to the wind, booked Hollie Doyle and declared for the group one ‘aged’ Nunthorpe over the minimum trip at York last month.
Although ninth (of fourteen!) doesn’t resonate form-wise it represented a ‘career-best’ effort, beaten only seven lengths by Winter Power.
Realistically Chipotle is up against it to overturn Goodwood form with Armour but find another to beat him, I can’t and so we have an outstanding each-way proposition.
Earlier twice-raced Galiac and Hollie look set to kick-off a cracking seven-race programme successfully in the Maiden Stakes over seven furlongs and I’ll also be punting this Kodiac colt, which improved considerably when second to Dora Penny over a furlong less on Wolverhampton tapeta last month.
Galiac, 8/1 in a seven-runner dash around Dunstall Park, despite an advantageous draw, showed the benefit of his ‘first day at school’ over seven of Newbury a fortnight earlier, running on strongly to be beaten only a half length by the heavily-backed favourite.
There are several which achieved useful ‘first-up’ time-handicap marks and will doubtless improve but Galiac, drawn thirteen, is a solid choice, based on median requirement for this class 3 race, under the dependable ‘pocket rocket’ whose judgement of pace is superb.
Stable companion Making Music is expected to get closer to twice-raced, penalised, Natasha in a six-runner Fillies’ Novice Stakes over a mile of ‘good to firm’ Sandown; John Gosden’s charge beat William Muir’s debutant seven lengths three weeks ago but I’ll bet the Mastercraftsman filly improves considerably.
Selections, Doncaster, 1.10 Galiac (nap-e.w); 2.10 Chipotle (e.w); Sandown, 2.00 Making Music (e.w).
Jeffrey Ross, horse-racing correspondent for WMN since 1983 when winning the most prestigious racing journalist award, Sporting Life Naps Table, before winning it a record number of six times collectively in the Racing Post, the current ‘trade’ paper, including 2019