Trainer Richard Hannon, second on the Great Britain Flat Turf leaderboard behind Aidan P. O’Brien, will send the lukewarm Twinspires 7-2 morning line favorite Crown Dependency to the post in the $62,500 Bet365 Molecomb Stakes (Group 3) which is the fourth race on the opening-day card.
The field for the Molecomb Stakes appears to be wide open as Crown Dependency heads a field of 14 colts and fillies competing to earn to Group honors.
Crown Dependency comes into the race with a 2¼-length third-place finish to top-ranked Timeform Two-Year-Old Bapak Chinta in the 5-furlong Norfolk Stakes (Group 2) at the Royal Ascot meet on June 16. The ground that day was yielding and Crown Dependency may not have liked the track.
Prior to that race, Crown Dependency broke his maiden on firm ground by 2¼-lengths in the 6-furlong E.b.f. Goodwood Maiden Stakes at Goodwood Racecourse. If he repeats that Goodwood form, Crown Dependency should be competitive.
Crown Dependency is a descendent of the Northern Dancer sire line and since 1990 that line has produced 10 winners of the Molecomb Stakes: Zebedee (2010), Monsieur Chevalier (2009), Finjaan (2008), Fleeting Spirit (2007), Enticing (2006), Majestic Missile (2003), Lady Alexander (1997), Carmine Lake (1996), Almaty (1995) and Sahara Star (1991).
Acclamation, the sire of Crown Dependency, is ranked first on the Racing Post Top sires of two-year-olds list with 15 winners in 42 runners for a 36% strike rate. Acclamation also is the sire of Harbour Watch and Lilbourne Lad – both with a 111 Timeform rating on the Timeform top Two-Year-Olds list.
Royal Applause, the grandsire of Crown Dependency, also sired Molecomb Stakes winner Finjaan and Majestic Missile.
Three long shots I like in the Molecomb Stakes are Charles The Great (8-1), Stonefield Flyer (10-1) and Miss Work Of Art (15-1).
In his first attempt to earn Group honors, Charles The Great, lost a shoe and finished 10th – beaten 9-lengths by Bapak Chinta – in the Norfolk Stakes (Group 2) at Royal Ascot.
Charles The Great came back a month later after the Norfolk Stakes to win a 5-furlong sprint, while showing good speed, defeating a field of 25 two-year-olds in the Weatherbys Super Sprint at Newbury Racecourse.
The victory was the second for Charles The Great who, prior to the Norfolk, was an impressive 1½-length maiden winner in the 5-furlong E.b.f. Peter Pegg 80th Birthday Novice Stakes at Royal Windsor Racecourse on May 23.
Holy Roman Emperor, the sire of Charles The Great, is ranked fifth on the Racing Post sire list with 12 winners in 54 runners for a 22% strike rate. Holy Roman Emperor also is the sire of the promising two-year-old Roman Solder who has a 107 Timeform ranking.
One of the features that I look for in the pedigree is the presence of first-class champions and stallions on the tail-female line.
Barathea, the damsire of Charles The Great, was a champion three-year-old miler in England and France in 1993 and the Cartier Horse of the Year and top older horse in 1994.
Rainbow Quest, the sire of the second dam of Charles The Great, was the 1985 Champion Older Male in England and France and the winner of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Stonefield Flyer was an impressive 4-length winner in the Laurie Bolger Happy Birthday Memorial Novice Stakes at Doncaster Racecourse on July 14.
Prior to that, Stonefield Flyer was a 2¼-length runner up in the listed Windsor Castle Stakes to Frederick Engels who is ranked second on the Timeform top Two Year Old list with a 113 rating. In May, Stonefield Flyer was an impressive 6-length winner in the E.b.f. Median Auction Maiden Stakes at Newcastle Racecourse.
In five starts, Stonefield Flyer has never finished worse than second and he comes into the race with a 2-3-0 record. If Stonefield Flyer repeats the form of his last three races he will be competitive.
Kheleyf, the sire of Stonefield Flyer, is ranked 12th on the Racing Post Top sires of two-year-olds list with eight winners in 37 runners for a 22% strike rate.
Green Desert, the grandsire of Stonefield Flyer, is also the grandsire of 2007 Molecomb Stakes winner Fleeting Spirit. Royal Applause, the damsire of Stonefield Flyer, also sired Molecomb Stakes winners Finjaan and Majestic Missile.
With three wins in four starts, Miss Work Of Art is dropping back to 5-furlongs which should be more to her liking and I’m willing to throw out her ninth-place finish in the Cherry Hinton Stakes (Group 2) at the July Festival.
"She was a bit disappointing the other day but seems in good form and can hopefully bounce-back to her best," said trainer Richard Fahey in a Racing Post news article.
Dutch Art, the sire of Miss Work Of Art, is ranked sixth on the Racing Post sire list with 10 winners in 27 runners for a 27% strike rate.
Pivotal, the damsire of Miss Work Of Art, sired the 2006 Molecomb Stakes winner Enticing. Primo Dominie, the sire of the second dam Entwine, also sired the 1992 Molecomb Stakes winner Millyant. Sharpo, the sire of the third dam Splice, was the grandsire of Risky – winner of the 1993 Molecomb Stakes.
Good luck at Glorious Goodwood.