Chasemore Farm Fortune Stakes (Listed) | 1m | 3yo+ | RTV
Quality rules over quantity in this Listed event with a number of improving four-year-olds set to fight out the majority share of a £32,000 prize fund.
Hamdan Al Maktoum's blue and white silks will be on show courtesy of Montatham and Motakhayyel, who are likely to head the market with five victories from seven starts between them this year.
The William Haggas-trained Montatham carries the first colours and is the choice of Jim Crowley, who rode him to victory in the Clipper Logistics Handicap at the York Ebor festival just under four weeks ago.
That success was clearly a career-best. He raced keenly and close to a strong pace but still managed to hold off Sir Busker's valiant late challenge to score off a mark of 104.
The runner-up and third-placed finisher have subsequently won at Group level and Montatham's Racing Post Rating of 114 for that performance makes him the one to beat in this field. The average winner of this race has achieved a performance worthy of a 112 rating in the last ten years.
Ownermate Motakhayyel represents trainer Richard Hannon, who has sent out the winner in two of the last three seasons. His representative has also beaten Sir Busker this year (Bunbury Cup in July) but needs to bounce back from a below-par effort at Salisbury last time.
Course-and-distance scorer Lavender's Blue rates the value option in the field as she receives a handy fillies' allowance, while quicker conditions and the form of trainers Simon and Ed Crisford makes the class-dropping Epic Hero hard to ignore.
Zaaki and Bless Him need to bounce back after some disappointing displays and are overlooked, while Posted may have bitten off more than she can chew against the boys.
What they say
David Simcock, trainer of Bless Him
He's finding races a bit too tough but seems happy and in good form. He'll need to step up on what he's done previously. The fast ground would be in his favour but it's a question of if he's good enough.
William Haggas, trainer of Montatham
He's got a good chance. I'm a little bit concerned about the ground but he deserves a step up in grade. He's been very consistent this season.
Richard Hannon, trainer of Motakhayyel and Posted
The ground wasn't ideal for Motakhayyel at Salisbury and I thought the pace was very strong. I think this race and going around a bend will suit him a bit more. He's been a very good horse all year, we know he's up to this level so hopefully he'll run a nice race. Posted ran really well last time and was staying on at the end. She's improving and hopefully she'll win one of these good races – she certainly deserves it.
Amanda Perrett, trainer of Lavender's Blue
She's in great form, she was a little bit unlucky there the other day. It's a tough race but she gets the fillies' allowance and we know she likes the track so we're hoping for a big run.