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Thursday 2 July 2015

Coral Charge Outsiders - 14:05, Saturday, July 4th

The Coral Charge, registered as the Sprint Stakes and run over 5 furlongs at Sandown, has produced three winning favourites and just one winner at a double-figure price in the last ten years. However, with two strongly fancied contenders, Waady and Mecca’s Angel, at the head of the betting for this year’s renewal, we think there’s some room for manoeuvre further down the list.

Son Of Africa (20/1) is officially the lowest rated horse in the field, but recorded a career-best effort when beating Union Rose by 3 lengths in the Diamond Dash Handicap at Newmarket two weeks ago, despite being denied a clear run in the closing stages. The previous week, Union Rose had finished sixth of nine, beaten 6¾ lengths, behind Waady in the Listed Scurry Stakes over course and distance so, if the form is taken literally, Son Of Africa has over 6 lengths to find with John Gosden’s charge.

However, it’s reasonable to assume that Union Rose improved for his seasonal appearance in the Scurry Stakes, his first run since last September, and Son Of Africa was attempting the minimum trip for the first time in his career at Newmarket. His juvenile form over 6 furlongs was far from shabby – he beat last Saturday’s Criterion Stakes winner Markab by half a length, in receipt of just 2lb, in a nursery at Goodwood last August – but 5 furlongs could be the making of him.

Harry Bentley, who rode him at Newmarket, stated afterwards that the son of King’s Stand Stakes winner Equiano relished the drop back in distance and that a step up in class would be perfectly justified. Veteran trainer Henry Candy has achieved his best results in recent years with highly talented sprinters, including Airwave, Markab, Music Master and, of course, Limato, to name but a few, so it’s interesting that he’s decided to bypass Heritage Handicaps and Listed Races and go straight for a Group race with Son of Africa.

Dutch Masterpiece (66/1) is in danger of becoming the proverbial “forgotten” horse, having been restricted to just three runs in the last two seasons. However, it wasn’t that long ago that he was winning the Group 3 Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh and on his way to contest the Group 1 Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp. The Dutch Art gelding has clearly had his problems and his two starts this season have done little to inspire confidence in him, but connections deserve credit for their perseverance and, if anywhere near his best, he could give all of these a fright. Someone at Bet365 is frightened; the firm is offering just 25/1, half the price of anyone else!

Anyway, for richer for poorer – and we know which side our bread’s buttered, thank you – our two for a spot of wild speculation this week are Son Of Africa (20/1 with William Hill) and Dutch Masterpiece (66/1 with William Hill). You can even back ‘em each-way if you like! Good luck!!