Turf Talk: The Shunter can beat Pied Piper at Newmarket's 'Autumn Double'
Newmarket stages the second leg of the ‘Autumn Double’ on Saturday, the Club Godolphin Cesarewitch Handicap. This race is run over two miles and two furlongs and has been won in the last five years by horses trained in National Hunt stables.
Pied Piper, trained by Gordon Elliott, looks a worthy favourite, especially as Ryan Moore has been booked to take the ride. However I like his fellow Irish compatriot, The Shunter.
He is trained by Emmet Mullins, one of the shrewdest handlers around, and won at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival, picking up a handsome bonus in the process.
At ten years of age, The Shunter would be one of the oldest winners of the race, but could be a bit of value against the favourite.
James Doyle, who rides The Shunter, could follow up with Knight in the Darley Stakes. He has yet to win this season but has run well in defeat at both Sandown and Goodwood.
York holds its final meeting of 2023 on Friday and Saturday. The opening race on Saturday, the Rockingham Stakes, can fall to the Andrew Balding trained Purosangue.
He was second at the Ebor meeting finishing well and the extra furlong on Saturday should suit him well.
The Coral Sprint Trophy is as hard to solve as usual, but I am hoping for a big run from Albasheer.
He dead-heated with Summerghand over course and distance and has since run well when fourth in the Ayr Gold Cup. Hollie Doyle has forsaken some good at Newmarket to take the ride which is a tip in itself
As one great Yorkshire course closes for the year, another one opens with Wetherby kicking off their 2023/24 season on Wednesday, staging the Spinal Research Northern Race Day.
There are seven races starting at 1:53pm, with the feature event being the Bobby Renton Chase. There will be a raffle and other fund-raising activities in aid of this very worthwhile charity.
Garlick’s Goodies: Saturday Newmarket 2:40 – The Shunter; 3:50 - Knight; York 1:15 – Purosangue; 2:25 - Albasheer.