Integral is a solid shout to take gold in the TBA Atalanta Stakes at Sandown this afternoon.
The Sir Michael Stoute-trained filly takes a significant dip in class following her unlucky run in the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood at the beginning of the month, and should be well up to the task.
Stoute’s daughter of Dalakhani was seldom given an opportunity in which to sparkle at Goodwood as her path was cruelly blocked a furlong from home. But once daylight appeared, Integral showed she got this mile-and-a-quarter trip without too much fuss as she only went down by five and a half lengths in a rough old race.
Before being hurled into the Nassau, the Cheveley Park-owned three-year-old looked most accomplished at Goodwood on debut, after which she showed a liking for Sandown with a Listed success over a mile. It should also be remembered that Stoute has won this Group 3 three times in recent years, while horses in Integral’s age bracket have struck for the last seven seasons. It would be mightily surprising if we have seen the best of a horse who is clearly still in the ascendancy.
The name on everyone’s lips at Sandown is, of course, Kingman, who runs in the Betfred Mobile Solario Stakes. John Gosden’s colt is already favourite for the 2000 Guineas next season after winning a strong-looking maiden by upwards of six lengths.
Although the son of Invincible Spirit is unlikely to be much of a betting proposition here, he should still prove a cut above.
Caledonia Lady is a potentially worthy ally in Beverley’s big race of the season.
The Betfred Beverley Bullet has developed a good reputation in recent years, with Jo Hughes’ inmate this year taken to shine on the Westwood.
Although there are doubts about the Firebreak filly’s ability to handle a quick surface, not to mention a difficult wide draw, her recent effort in the Nunthorpe did not go unnoticed by several good judges.
Caledonia Lady’s challenge was halted inside the final furlong, but she flew at the death to finish just over five lengths adrift of Jwala.
The four-year-old has won a Group 3 before and is in receipt of a good bit of weight from most of these rivals on the Westwood.
Sun Central missed the Betfred Ebor last weekend due to the soft ground, but he should be in a far happier place at Chester.
Trainer William Haggas thinks the world of this tough young stayer, who showed plenty of grit to win a big prize at York in July.
Haggas’ plans were then foiled by heavy showers in the build-up to the Ebor, but compensation awaits in the Golden Square Shopping Centre Chester. Sun Central will again have plenty of weight in this Listed encounter, but he looks the class act in the line-up and will find conditions far more palatable on the Roodee.
This race can be seen as a logical stepping-stone before a possible assault at the Long Distance Cup on Champions Day at Ascot in October.
Bold Cross should again go well at Bath in the Osprey London Handicap.
The Edward Bevan-trained veteran has won three times at the Somerset venue and was only undone by the useful Spanish Plume here a week and a half ago. His best days are behind him, but he can still win off his current mark – especially with Thomas Brown’s appointment taking off a handy 3lb.
Market Rasen racegoers are advised to support Ittirad from the John Ferguson operation. The five-year-old gelding looks a typical Ferguson improver and will not be too far away back over a slightly shorter trip in the Novices’ Hurdle.