TurfTalk: Water Hole has a thirst for victory

John Gosden
John Gosden
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Water Hole appears to have everything in her favour as she seeks a first Listed victory in the EBF At The Races John Musker Fillies’ Stakes at Yarmouth.

John Gosden’s charge looked pretty smart in winning two handicaps this season, scoring on good ground at Doncaster on her return to action in July before following up in soft conditions at Newmarket in August.

She beat a well-regarded rival that day, prompting a step up to Group Three company in the Atalanta Stakes at Sandown where she was unlucky to come up again Andre Fabre’s Fintry. Fabre does not send many runners to Britain and views Fintry as a Group One type, so Water Hole lost nothing in defeat as she finished a length and a half in arrears. The Oasis Dream filly was officially rated 22lb inferior to the winner so she was punching well above her weight with that effort and the handicapper has seen fit to elevate her to a mark of 103. That kind of rating puts her right in the mix for this and with her handy three-year-old allowance, Water Hole is a highly probable solution to a competitive event.

Red Aggressor may not be the most reliable type but his recent Yarmouth victory should have sent his confidence sky high ahead of the Stanley Threadwell Memorial Handicap.

Rated as high as 96 a couple of years ago, Clive Brittain’s runner had slid right down the handicap but ended a near three-year drought at this track last month with the reapplication of blinkers and is now on a mark of 78 and cannot be discounted.

One Minute, ridden by Pat Cosgrave to victory in the Irish EBF/ROA Racing Post Owners Jackpot Novice Stakes at the John Smith's Cup meeting at York last month. PIC: Richard Sellers/PA Wire

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