Fast ground should not worry Chicago Doll at Newmarket
Alan felt the ground would be too firm for Coeur de Lion in Saturday’s Cesarewitch Trial, but we are still represented at Newmarket in the mile and a quarter fillies handicap by Chicago Doll, who has been a model of consistency this season so has to shoulder topweight.
Placed in three of her four races, two at Newbury and one at Haydock, Chicago Doll ought to be able to handle these quicker underfoot conditions, having finished second on similar ground on the July Course last season.
The ground has been well watered at Newbury, so, hopefully, there should be a little more ease in their going, which would suit veteran Chatez, who enjoyed his finest hour when winning the Spring Cup on the Berkshire course 17 months ago.
Chatez can now race off a 9lb lower mark, but that is to be expected in view of his relatively moderate efforts this season, though the nine-year-old still looks in good order on the Barbury gallops. Indeed, those increasing years might mean that Chatez will enjoy going back up to 10 furlongs in the Dubai Duty Free Handicap, a distance he last ran on the Flat when runner-up here two years ago.
Over jumps we have Karastani making her hurdling debut down at Newton Abbot, having shown promise in three bumpers. This Dalakhani mare worked nicely on the carpet gallop with Coeur de Lion when I was down at Barbury on Wednesday. Also heading down the M5 is Royal Pretender, who makes his debut in the Newton Abbot bumper.