As some British racing professionals head across the Channel for Arc weekend, a French raider coming the other way is sailing under the bookmakers’ radar. Half Light, trained for Godolphin by Henri-Alex Pantall, was beaten less than a length on her only previous tilt at a Group One and looks overpriced at 11-1 for Newmarket’s Sun Chariot Stakes.
This race has been won by French runners five times in the past 11 years. Unexposed and with a lovely action for soft ground, Half Light will be ridden for the first time by William Buick, taking over from her regular French rider who is not having his best year. Champers Elysees is the one to beat in view of her Matron Stakes success but Half Light (2.45) should make her work.
1.40 Newmarket A chance is taken at big odds on Faustus, who showed real promise in scoring at Wolverhampton. His pedigree suggests this ground could be up his street.
1.55 Ascot Specialist mud-lovers will surely be to the fore at the Berkshire venue. Aljady is unbeaten in two runs in soft and impressed on it at Sandown in August. He has improved enormously for the move to Robert Cowell.
2.10 Newmarket Ralph Beckett’s 13 winners in the past fortnight makes his yard of great interest. From the foot of the weights, his Affable appeals after an easy win on the July course.
2.30 Ascot Morando would have been of interest on the form he showed last year but he has not looked himself this term. Logician has never raced on anything like this surface but he looks a cut above these rivals and has a brother who relished soft.
3.05 Ascot A first run over six furlongs in the Ayr Gold Cup was an unorthodox prep for this but Kynren did really well to be fifth. He comes here on a mark just 4lb higher than when he was a well-backed winner of this race a year ago. Young Fire appeals at each-way odds.
3.25 Redcar A daughter of Belardo, Lullaby Moon is ideally bred for this kind of weather and showed it by scoring on heavy in August. Her third to Umm Kulthum reads well in the context of this Two-Year-Old Trophy and she comes from the in-form Beckett yard.
3.40 Ascot Cape Byron is the best of these but could be vulnerable on this belated reappearance. The value could lie with Brad The Brief, a progressive three-year-old who sprang a surprise in a Listed contest at Newmarket last time, when soft ground seemed to help.
Chris Cook’s Saturday tips
1.05 Bolshoi Ballet 1.40 Faustus 2.10 Affable 2.45 Half Light 3.20 Stagiaire 3.55 Wise Judgement 4.30 Nehaall
1.10 Baradar 1.45 Ours Puissant 2.15 Rum Runner 2.50 My Oberon 3.25 Lullaby Moon 4.00 Nikolayeva 4.35 John Locke 5.05 Abate
1.20 Daaheyh 1.55 Aljady 2.30 Logician 3.05 Kynren 3.40 Brad The Brief 4.15 Mighty Spirit (nb)
2.19 King Cool 2.54 Now Look At Me (nap) 3.29 Collooney 4.04 Little Light 4.39 Beyond The Pale 5.10 Battleofthesomme 5.40 The Longest Day
4.50 Double Reflection 5.25 Mister Allegro 5.55 Shalanez 6.30 Messalina 7.00 Thowq 7.30 Clareyblue 8.00 Lezardrieux 8.30 Chairman Power