Another ok day yesterday. Le Brivido won very impressively at 7/2 to get us off to a good start, but with only place money from Decorated Knight afterwards, we only ended in slight profit. I’ve not had much time today though, so this blog won’t be as in depth as the first 2. Maybe getting straight to the point might bring about a few more winners anyway!
2.30 – Norfolk Stakes (Group 2) – 5f
I had a few on my shortlist for this, including Consequences and Santry, but I’ve settled on one who ran in the same race as those 2 up at York in It Don’t Come Easy. He was beaten far enough by those 2 that day, but he stayed on well enough for a respectable 4th. He improved leaps and bounds next time out however, when getting the better of the odds-on Rebel Assault (herself an 8l maiden winner) in what was a course record time. They were absolutely miles clear of the 3rd, and that was a huge run from the son of Kyllachy. He’s proven on the ground too, and a big run is expected.
Selection: It Don’t Come Easy 9/1 EW (Bet365)
3.05 – Hampton Court Stakes (Group 3) – 1m 1f 212y
I could be proven very wrong but I was happy enough to take on Mirage Dancer here. I’ve watched that Chester run back and wasn’t as enthusiastic about it as I was originally. I don’t think he’s certain to overturn form with Bay of Poets as he’s a short price for what he’s actually achieved. Instead, I like Tamleek, who also ran at Chester. He was going well at Chester 2f out behind the Ballydoyle trio of Venice Beach, Wings of Eagles and The Anvil, but he simply didn’t stay the 12f. Back down to 10f on fast ground, he has his ideal conditions, is very lightly raced and I hope Godolphin could be tasting some more success here, but is by no means a confident selection.
Selection: Tamleek 15/2 EW (SkyBet)
3.40 – Ribblesdale Stakes (Group 2) – 1m 3f 211y
I don’t have a strong opinion on this, but I have no problem taking on the 2 that ran in the Oaks: Alluringly and Coronet. They were well, well beaten and I don’t think they’re good enough. Mori is obviously going to be popular but she’s short enough for what she’s actually done. I’ll take a chance on Naughty or Nice for John Oxx. She won on debut beating the now 102 rated Bean Feasa (who had already had the advantage of 4 runs) very well. She won going away by 2 1/2 lengths and followed that up with a narrow win in a Listed race at Navan last month. The 2nd that day, Grandee, has since won a Listed race herself too. So the form of her wins is decent enough, she’s got plenty of scope for progress, has won on fast ground and definitely stays, so there’s a fair bit to like about her. I’m not over the moon about the blinkers going on but in what looks a tricky race, I’m willing to take a chance.
Selection: Naughty Or Nice 8/1 EW (Betfair/Paddy Power)
4.20 – Gold Cup (Group 1) – 2m 3f 210y
Of course, Order of St George is the clear standout. He’ll probably win but I just can’t trust him at odds on. Instead, I’ll take 2 against him. The first is Sheikhzayedroad, and I’m not going to lie I back him every time he runs. He did reward me twice last season though having backed him for the Doncaster Cup, and then at 18/1 here on Champions Day. He was 3rd in this race last year so clearly stays, and that was on ground much softer than he prefers. He ran well enough out in Meydan this winter. He owes me absolutely nothing, but maybe he can reward me again. The other is Harbour Law, who I think is an insulting price. He is of course a classic winner, having won last year’s St Leger, where he showed he stays all day long and ran well at this meeting last year too, having been 2nd in the Queen’s Vase behind Sword Fighter. The clear negative is his reappearance in the Sagaro, where he finished last. He desperately needed the run that day though, and the way the race panned out will not have suited him at all. It was ran at a crawl and turned into a sprint turning for home. For a horse that all he does is stay, he had no chance. This will be run at a much quicker pace, and hopefully he can swoop late on like he did in the St Leger. We can all dream. But one thing is for sure, if he was trained by Aidan O’Brien he’d be well under half the price he is.
Selections: Sheikhzayedroad 12/1 EW (Betfair/Paddy Power) and Harbour Law 25/1 EW (General)
5.00 – Britannia Stakes (Heritage Handicap) – 1m
Absolute minefield. The one I’d end up with is Lightening Fast. The Frankel colt won on handicap debut at Navan in April, and his mark has been protected ever since. He beat a progressive horse that day in Gino Severini, and Ger Lyons and his team think he’s a stakes horse in the making, which he will need be, mind. He’s drawn ok in 9. Yes, there was a big draw bias to the high numbers on Day 2 but the winner of the Sandringham came from 11 with the 4th breaking from 13. The pace in this race looks to be in the middle as well, so 9 should be ok. I’m not having a bet currently, but if I were to do so, he’d be my pick.
Selection: No bet
5.35 – King George V Stakes (Handicap) – 1m 3f 211y
Good luck again in this one. Worth noting though that in the last 7 years, every single winner has been drawn in double figures, as have 75% of the places horses. So I chucked out those drawn 1-9 to start with, which slashes the field in half. After that, well fuck knows. I might have play on something just before the off but for now, no bet.
Selection: No bet