Sovereign Stakes preview: Mojito looks mint in Salisbury showpiece

Published on: August 14, 2019
Author: David Metcalf
2019 Sovereign Stakes preview from Salisbury says Mojito appeals

The lightly-raced Mojito looks decent value at 9/2 with Betway to land the feature race at Salisbury on Thursday, the 1m Group 3 Sovereign Stakes (15.50).

This Hugo Palmer trained five-year-old progressed into a really useful sort in 2017 when winning three times.

He then got injured on his final start of the campaign when a 36-length last of 18 to Accidental Agent and subsequently spent 637 days on the sidelines.

However, connections persevered with Mojito and that patience paid off when he landed the Coral Challenge at Sandown last month.

The son of Requinto made virtually all in the hands of Frankie Dettori, asserting inside the final furlong and scoring decisively from Escobar.

Mojito tanked along for most of the 1m contest and the way in which he got the job done suggested he could be a pattern performer in the making.

That most taking performance saw him sent off a heavily backed 100/30 favourite for the ultra-competitive Golden Mile Handicap at Glorious Goodwood where he finished a 3 1/2 length sixth of 20 to Beat Le Bon.

Mojito raced far too keenly in the early stages and paid the price late on when unable to find any extra near the finish.

The winner is a progressive sort landing a hat-trick and considered a group horse by his handler Richard Hannon. It was a fine effort by Mojito who was attempting to give Beat Le Bon 7lb.

There’s also every chance that he’ll get a soft lead in this eight-runner line-up. If settling early doors, Mojito could be very difficult to catch in the hands of in-form James Doyle.

Accidental Agent feared in Sovereign Stakes now eased in grade

Accidental Agent is a winner at the highest level, so now eased in grade looks a big player on the pick of his form.

That success came in last year’s renewal of the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot where the Eve Johnson Houghton trained five-year-old sprang a 33/1 shock when swooping late from off the pace to beat Lord Glitters by half-a-length.

The form of that race reads very well in relation to this, as does Accidental Agent’s reappearance run this season when a three-length third of 14 to Mustashry in the Lockinge at Newbury.

However, he then blotted his copybook when lining up to defend his crown in the Queen Anne. Accidental Agent planted himself as the stalls opened and refused to race.

That makes him a risky betting proposition, but the son of Delegator has consented to start in two subsequent outings, so it may well have been a blip.

After finishing a solid three-length fourth of eight to Beat The Bank in an Ascot Group 2, Accidental Agent was only beaten 5 1/2 lengths when last of eight to Too Darn Hot in the Group 1 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.

This is far less taxing and represents by far the easiest assignment that Accidental Agent has faced for some time.

It commands him the utmost respect and he can be backed at 6/1 with Coral to get back to winning ways and notch a sixth career success.

Flashcard and Kick On not discounted

The Andrew Balding trained Flashcard scored in terrific style last time out, so despite now stepping up in grade is another with claims in a wide-open renewal.

This three-year-old colt landed his first two starts as a juvenile at this venue in taking fashion, showing a smart turn of foot on each occasion to win cosily.​ He went on to round off the campaign with a cracking second of 18 to Barbill in a valuable 6f sales race at The Curragh.​

Flashcard looked the type to do better this season and, after shaping with promise in his first three starts, he got back to winning ways in no uncertain fashion in a class 2 handicap at Ascot.

After being steadied at the start, the son of Fast Company was held-up in touch and raced strongly in the hands of Oisin Murphy.

He then cruised into the lead two from home and showed a smart turn of foot to shoot clear and win easily by four lengths from Prince Of Hearts.

The way in which Flashcard put the race to be instantly when asked was visually very impressive and it was a career-best performance.

This obviously demands more, but he looks open to further progress and well worth a crack at this level. At 7/2 with William Hill, Flashcard looks another solid contender.

Kick On also has an each-way shout judged on his fine 5 3/4 lengths seventh of 19 to Magna Grecia the the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket back in May.

Before that the John Gosden trained, Qatar Racing owned colt won a Listed affair at the same venue.

Although not at his best in his last two starts, it’d be no surprise to see him bounce back. Kick On is a 10/1 chance with Bethard in the Sovereign Stakes.