Mark Van Deventer’s Analysis Has Charles Dickens Running Considerably Below His Previous Performance
Al Muthana (speed score 107) stunned odds on favourite Charles Dickens by a nose to win the 2023 King’s Plate at odds of 80/1. Upsets are rare in this historic WFA contest, but Ricky Maingard’s runner provided a massive boil-over when hurtling through against the grandstand rail under the vigorous exhortations of jockey, Bernard Fay’d Herbe.
Charles Dickens appears to have peaked in his Cape Guineas tour-de-force where he merited a speed figure of 120. Horses can regress after a draining race (or “bounce” as American handicappers are apt to say) and they may have led to CD running 13 points off that last huge effort.
Brett Crawford’s rapidly progressive Dynasty filly, Make it Snappy (s/s 95 + has run 100 +) put her hand up for a possible tilt at the Met when following up on her recent Fillies Guineas victory with another G1 success in the Paddock Stakes. She proved too good for sprint/miler champ Captain’s Ransom who found 1800m at the outer limit of her stamina range.
Rascallion won the Premier Trophy in a blanket finish, which is often the case when the early pace is slow. Only Warrior made up significant ground, so he is perhaps the horse to take out of the race for future betting purposes, but it was an exceptionally gutsy performance by Rascallion to ward off all challenges.
Earlier on the card, good speed figures were recorded down the straight course by Mr Cobbs (s/s 108) and Princess Calla (s/s 104 +). The former dashed past the entire field in a career best whilst “the Princess” sustained a strong gallop throughout to clinch the G2 Sceptre Stakes.
Isivunguvungu, Resonate and We’re Jamming all merited 107’s when just denied by Mr Cobbs and have potential to win strong sprint races.
Desert Miracle (s/s 102+) is another worth following as she did well to get as close as she did to Princess Calla after a tardy start.