Racing: Bear to reign supreme in Sovereign Stakes

Clive Cox: Saddles Kodi Bear. Picture: Getty
Clive Cox: Saddles Kodi Bear. Picture: Getty
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KODI Bear can remind racegoers he can still be a force this season by winning the totepool Sovereign Stakes at Salisbury.

It has not been smooth sailing for Clive Cox’s three-year-old colt, but he is a deeply talented animal on his day and has enough about him to win a race like this.

The son of Kodiac made quite a splash as a juvenile, winning well at Ascot before finishing second in the Dewhurst, but he was a sick horse in the spring and did not surface until June.

Kodi Bear capably made up for lost time, though, as he 
defeated Short Squeeze by nearly a length in a good Listed race over an extended mile.

Next up was the Prix Jean Prat in France, and while the general consensus seemed to be that he was not quite at his best, it was a rough old race and he ended up travelling too freely to get seriously competitive.

Cox has given him a nice few weeks of recuperation, which should have done him the power of good with this assignment in mind – especially as he is in receipt of healthy chunk of weight from several older, possibly more exposed, horses.

He will also enjoy himself if the ground stays on the brisk side, which cannot be said for a few of his rivals in this Group Three over a mile.

Irish Hawke looks an ideal sort for the Kevin Hall & Pat Boakes Memorial Handicap. Luca Cumani’s three-year-old, a stoutly-bred son of Montjeu, made his debut over a mile and a quarter at Salisbury in June, when a staying-on fourth. He was, predictably, quickly shunted up in trip and it gained instant rewards with a length-and-a-half verdict over tPrescience at Lingfield last month.

Irish Hawke was doing all of his best work late on at the Surrey circuit, so Cumani’s decision to go up to a mile and three-quarters must be viewed upon as being a calculated risk. Progressive and tough, he could have the tools to win a few nice races this season.

Miss Inga Sock should be nicely suited by Beverley’s 
uphill climb in the Bet And Watch With Racinguk’s App Handicap. The three-year-old filly could not force the issue quite as trainer Eve Johnson Houghton would have liked at Newmarket last month, but this slightly longer trip should see her in a favourable light.

Shifting Moon is an eyecatching declaration in the near-two-mile Hickstead Show Ground Handicap at Lingfield, with narrow Wolverhampton runner-up Saffire Song of note in the Pembrey Handicap at Ffos Las.

Knockyoursocksoff, subject of a monster gamble at Fontwell in June, can finally have his moment in the sunshine when he returns to West Sussex for the Maureen Sturt Ladies Day Novices’ Handicap Chase.