Go Bears Go is worth chancing as an each-way proposition, price-wise, for a compelling group one Dewhurst Stakes over seven furlongs of ‘good to soft’ Newmarket this afternoon and I’ve two reasons for ’tilting at windmills!’
Rossa Ryan, a raging ‘favourite’ of this column, will be aboard Go Bears Go and I’m convinced thrice-raced, unbeaten odds-on chance, Godolphin-owned Native Trail, has been vastly over-rated judged on his latest effort in Ireland where Charlie Appleby’s charge beat the Aidan O’Brien-trained Point Lonsdale (8/13!) three and a half lengths in the group one ‘National’ over a similar distance at THe Curragh.
Previously Point Lonsdale had carried all before him and was rated 115; the BHA rating of 122 for Native Trail is obviously based on this performance but the latter was way short of that mark under Willam Buick when a short-head winner of a group two race at Newmarket, which I’ve focused on explicitly. Irish handicapping has long been subjective both on the flat and over jumps, I’ll say no more!
On my time-handicap Go Bears Go is a pound or two better and crying out for this trip judging by the way the Kodi Bear colt finished strongly into fourth over six in the ‘Middle Park’ at HQ a fortnight ago under Rossa, beaten only a length by Perfect Power. It represented colossal improvement.
Dual-winner Bayside comes out similarly to Go Bears Go based on his defeat of Reach For The Moon in the four-runner group two ‘Champagne’ on a soft Doncaster surface last month, when third home, Twilight Jet, pulled wildly and seemed totally unsuited by seven furlongs; I’m wary of the Town Moor form.
It’s so easy to talk oneself into siding with a fallacious scenario but Go Bears Go is certainly progressive and my enterprising selection, based on solid form data!
Earlier consistent hitherto somewhat luckless Unconquerable is similarly-rated to likely Buick-ridden favourite, Hafit, in the group three Zetland Stakes over ten furlongs (a marathon for juveniles at this level!) and the Churchill colt, trained by Donnacha O’Brien in Ireland, shaped like a real staying type when beaten only three lengths in the group two ‘Royal Lodge’ on this course recently; what beats Frankie Dettori’s mount will win!
A tremendous seven-race programme, dominated by two-year-olds, kicks off with an intriguing nine-runner Nursery Handicap over seven furlongs which includes Point Lynas, a maiden after eight starts but leniently-weighted and mount of Buick. This Iffraaj colt ‘owes me one’ and I’m ready to finally cash in my chips.
Ground conditions promise perfection, given this mini-heatwave, which I’m relishing!
Selections, Newmarket, 1.10 Point Lynas (e.w); 1.45 Unconquerable (e.w); 3.35 Go Bears Go (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