Betway Solario Stakes Preview 2019

By Samantha

The group three Solario Stakes often works out to be a good race. Last year, it was won by multiple group one winner Too Darn Hot and, in 2017, subsequent Derby winner Masar won this with group one winner Romanised in second.

Seven two year old colts go for this prize. Charlie Appleby has two runners – Al Sunail and Full Verse. Al Suhail was 10/3 on debut and only went down a neck but had John Gosden’s representative Eshaasy. Both horses won next time out with Al Suhail taking a four runner contest by four lengths. He’s a half brother to Telecaster and out of an Oaks second. Eshaasy won by a neck on his second start under today’s pilot however he should be better than this considering he’s a half brother to the 2000 Guineas winner Galileo Gold. He obviously has a lot to find with Al Suhail though. Full Verse is the likely outsider despite the fact that he’s by Kodiac and out of a Queen Mary winner. It took three tries for him to win and did so only by a nose. He was beaten a long way in a Nursery at Glorious Goodwood last time.

A horse who excelled at Glorious Goodwood was Positive. This Dutch Art colt was having just his second lifetime start when running on to claim second behind runaway winner Pinatubo in the Vintage Stakes. Since then, the third horse Lope Y Fernandez has won a group three at the Curragh and the fourth horse Platinum Star convincingly won the Two Year Old Trophy at Redcar this week. The Vintage was over seven furlongs but he’d previously won over six furlongs really easily. His pedigree links to more a staying type being out of a one mile four winner. He seems a really promising colt for Adam Kirby and Clive Cox, a combination who have combined to success with the likes of My Dream Boat and Harry Angel.

Visinari followed in Positive last time out and, since his debut there has been lots of talk about him because he set incredibly good times. He readily skipped clear of all rivals that day and he’s not quite lived up to those expectations though – he was third to Royal Lytham and Platinum Star in the July Stakes and then beaten thirteen lengths last time. He has Ryan Moore back on.

Andrew Balding has Kameko. He wok over course and distance on his only start beating subsequent Ffos Las winner It’s Good To Laugh. He has a Derby entry and has scope for the future. Hector Loza was third on debut but then was his last two by a combined three and three quarter lengths. He’s having his first try on turf.

SELECTION

It’s not very original as he’s the favourite but I really think POSITIVE will build on his extremely good effort last time. There’s lots of well bred horses in here and we probably haven’t seen the best of most of these just yet.

REST OF THE CARD

R1- Embour- He’s been running creditably all season and this may be his chance to win with Ryan Moore on.

R2- Migration- He won over course and distance on the last day. He’s up to 94 and his yard is in brilliant form.

R3- Jubiloso- She was third in the Coronation and also in the Oak Tree Stakes when meeting some trouble in running. This should be a good opportunity for her to win. Lavender’s Blue could run well after finishing last in the Oaks last time.

R5- Forbidden Land- Richard Hannon’s two year olds are going well and this guy is very consistent without winning. He’s a gelding already but is well related and stepping up in trip will help.

R6- Eligible- won over course and distance on his penultimate start and ran third last time, not beaten far.

R7- Chef De Troupe- he’s better known for jumping but ran twice on the flat in France to no success. He looks on a good mark as he’s been in great form all summer.

Ebor Handicap Preview 2019

By Samantha and Luke

Saturday is the final day of the ‘Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Meeting’. We’ve seen some scintillating performances all week – an excellent clash in the Juddmonte; Mums Tipple making a new meaning to the phrase ‘hosing up’; later on Enable rounding out her English career; Stradivarius became a million bonus winner for the second time and Battaash proved he’s the fastest horse in the world in the Nunthorpe.

The Ebor definitely won’t be as fast as the Nunthorpe but it has attracted an incredibly top class field due to the new incentive of a £1MILLION prize fund. Top weight is rated 113 and bottom weight is 105 so only 8lbs splits them on official ratings. £600,000 goes to the winner and twenty two take their chances.

The John Smiths Cup Stakes is a form line that links a few of the top-rated horses – Red Verdon won, Raheen House came third, Weekender fourth and Kelly’s Dino was fifth. Red Verdon was gelded before running this season and he won a handicap at Doncaster over one mile four before getting beaten in group races. He won over course and distance in that race on the last day and is an established group horse. Raheen House moved from the Brian Meehan yard to William Haggas. He’s ran creditably in good company all through his career and wasn’t beaten far at York last time. Weekender ran in this race last year and led the field at the two furlong pole but Muntahaa caught him entering the final furlong. Since then, he ran in the Irish St Leger and came third. That was a really good run but it took the son of Frankel three more tries to win, which came in a four runner contest at Chelmsford. Kelly’s Dino has a good record with runs-to-wins. He won each side of the York defeat in the Old Newton Cup and in a Handicap, beating a horse who was only beaten narrowly on day three of the meeting.

Frankie Dettori has abandoned Weekender for Ben Vrackie. That horse is lightly-raced but has followed in Baghdad and King’s Advice on the last two occasions. Baghdad won the Duke Of Edinburgh by a short head with him. Very little split them on that day – they were off level weights but in this Baghdad carries 1lbs more. He was a good third in a group three at Glorious Goodwood last time. King’s Advice has been a revelation since beginning his career in the UK in March 2019. He’s ran nine times, winning eight of them, and climbing up the weights from 71 to 108. 37lbs. That’s some training performance by Mark Johnston. On the last day, he had joint top weight with Desert Skyline hasn’t won since landing the Doncaster Cup in 2017 and followed in Stradivarius for the majority of last season. He’s 2lbs lower than that mark now but he has a total of nine lengths to make up with King’s Advice. Visored for the first time.

The Grand Visir and Cleonte won at Royal Ascot. The former won the Ascot Stakes over two and a half miles really well and he’s won at this trip before but it seems he likes further. Sandwiching this win was defeats behind Red Galileo at Newmarket and Withhold at Newbury. Also, in the latter contest was Making Miracles, who’s previously won the Chester Cup, in fourteenth. The Grand Visir gets weight from all of those rivals apart from Cleonte. They go off equals. Cleonte won the Queen Alexandra Stakes over two mileqs five, beating Max Dynamite. He won over this trip in France at three and won the Shergar Cup Stayers over two miles last season. Last time, he was behind the tailed off last Flacon Eight in the Lonsdale Cup and one of his rivals today Mekong. Ryan Moore rides this Frankel son. (Cleonte, The Grand Visir and Mekong are three of six Frankels). He was just under two lengths behind Dee Ex Bee on seasonal debut and ahead of Making Miracles. He was evens in a trail for this but finished last with Raheen House, Desert Skyline and Making Miracles ahead. That was a weird run.

Red Galileo won really well, going away, over this trip in June at Newmarket, with The Grand Visir behind. He ran in the Northumberland Plate last time with Making Miracles seventh and King’s Advice sixth. Desert Skyline was eleventh. He’s got a 5lbs claimer on again in the form of Cieran Fallon, who’s making a name for himself. Withhold is the top weight. He’s ran just three times since October 2017 and all three were winning ones in the Cesarewitch 2017, Northumberland Plate 2018 and the Marsh Cup at Newbury in July. He’s gone from 87 to 113 in that time but, because he hasn’t ran much, the handicapper may not have a hold of him. No horse has won off 9st9 or higher since Sea Pigeon in 1979.

Wells Farhh Go is really lightly raced having ran just eight times. He won on debut and in the Acomb. Three starts later, he won the Bahrain Trophy. He won on 2019 seasonal reappearance over one mile two, beating Barsanti. He completely blew out over two miles in the group one Goodwood Cup and ran off like a nutter. He will probably stay and has a good chance. Barsanti has won twice at this course in 2016 and won a listed race at Ascot in May 2018. That was the last time he won. He’s placed in high company the last few times. Slipping down the handicap from a peak 116 rating.

Raymond Tusk won a listed race in July last year but has been beaten on all starts since. His best run was finishing second in the Sagaro Stakes with Cleonte and Weekender behind. He’ll be a big price. Prince Of Arran was second to Withhold in the Northumberland Plate 2018 and then placed fourth in a group two at Meydan. Since then, he’s been well beaten. The only mare is Dramatic Queen. She won the Bronte Cup over course and distance in May. The second placed horse has since beat her twice and last time’s run was pretty bad. She could go well though.

IRISH RUNNER FOCUS WITH LUKE

Mustajeer is a rare runner for Ger Lyons in England and Colin Keane travels over to take the ride. He ran well in this race last year carrying nine stone and eight pounds. This year he carries nine stone and five pounds and comes into the race in good form. He was last seen finishing fifth in the Group 2 Curragh Cup in June. He finished a neck behind Southern France, who has since won the St Ledger Trial. Prior to that he finished third behind Magical in the Tattersalls Gold Cup over an inadequate trip. He sees out the trip well and I think he will go close at a double figure price.

Willie Mullins sends over two runners, True Self and Max Dynamite. Of the two I prefer Max Dynamite with Ronan Whelan in the saddle. This nine year son of Great Journey won easily last time out at Killarney in July. I think he could run into a place at 25/1.

Trends

8/10 finished top four last time.

Rules out- Wells Farhh Go, Raymond Tusk, Prince Of Arran, True Self, Red Galileo, Ben Vrackie, Mustajeer, Desert Skyline, Making Miracles, Dramatic Queen, The Grand Visir

8/10 5 or 6 years old

Rules out- Max Dynamite, Baghdad, Barsanti

7/10 12/1 or bigger

Withhold, King’s Advice, Raheen House

7/10 Drawn 15 or higher

Rules out Red Verdon, Mekong, Cleonte

LEAVES- Weekender and Kelly’s Dino

Selections

Luke and I are in agreement. We really like MUSTAJEER. He had an amazing chance last year and scraped into fourth at 33/1. He has a lower weight this time and has followed in some really good horses this year so my faith is in him. King’s Advice is the most amazing horse and will be there at the finish. Wells Farhh Go is still improving and Dramatic Queen could out-run her odds.
Lois fancies the chances of Baghdad.

REST OF THE CARD

Sky Bet and Symphony Group Strensall Stakes

Zaaki and Space Traveller ran against each other in the Lennox Stakes at Glorious Goodwood last time with the latter coming out on top. Zaaki is already a winner over this trip and Space Traveller is trying it for the first time. The latter is second highest rated to WISSAHICKON. He’s running off a 127 day absence but goes well fresh. He could be pigeon holed as an all weather horse but he’s won twice on this ground so should run very well. Bangkok finished one place better than Forest Ranger in the Sky Bet York Stakes and Bangkok seems to have more scope as he’s only three. Escobar is stepping up from handicaps. He’ll come late and fast.

Sky Bet Melrose Handicap

First In Line has won his last two and has Frankie on board so will have lots of market support. Land Of Oz is a typical Sir Mark Prescott horse and is looking for a five timer but I like the tried and tested EMINENCE . Luke explains his chances…

IRISH RUNNER FOCUS WITH LUKE

Eminence runs for Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore takes the ride. This son of Sea The Stars didn’t show much as a two year old, but since coming back this year he hasn’t been out of the placings. On seasonal debut he won at Leopardstown with King’s Vow back in fourth, who also turns up here. Eminence ran a good race at Royal Ascot to finish third in a competitive handicap. He has since been second at Fairyhouse and been third at Goodwood. I think he will run another good race here and at least be in the placing.

King’s Vow runs for Joseph O’Brien and Donnacha O’Brien gets the leg up. The son of Frankel has ran four good races this year with a blip last time out at Galway. He won at Leopardstown in May over one mile and a half easily. I think he will have to improve to reverse form with Eminence.

Sky Bet City Of York Stakes

LAURENS has her doubters but she truly is a special horse. She’s a six times group one winner and got back to winning form in the Prix Rothchild, putting aside two below par runs. The trip definitely won’t be a problem and I look forward to seeing how she runs. Sir Dancealot is turned around quickly after a defeat in the Hungerford just seven days ago. He was below par that day. Mr Lupton could snatch a place at his beloved York and Cape Byron flopped in the Queen Anne after winning a French group one. Eqtidaar hasn’t been seen for 119 days and he’s never quite recaptured the form of his Commonwealth Cup success last year. Shine So Bright hasn’t been seen for 112 days after coming sixth in the 2000 Guineas. He’s the unknown quantity.

IRISH RUNNER FOCUS WITH LUKE

Speak In Colours represent Joseph O’Brien with brother Donnacha O’Brien in the saddle. This son of Excelebration was very unlucky at Goodwood last time out when finishing fourth. He ran into traffic before running on well into fourth. That was his first start over seven furlongs and he seemed to see it out well. He has some very good form beside his name. He was fourth in the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot. I think he will run well and he is one of the best chance of an Irish winner on the day.

In the same race Le Brivido, Gordon Lord Byron and Servalan run. Le Brivido has been somewhat disappointing this season. As a three year old he won the Jersey and since hasn’t won. He returns to seven which may bring him back to his best but he has questions to answer. Gordon Lord Byron makes his trip over for a run. He has competed in more races than the first seven in the market put together. He has run some good races this year but I think he may struggle to get close to these on the quick ground. Serverlan runs for Jessica Harrington and would seem to have plenty to find on ratings to get involved here.

Julia Grace’s Rose Stakes

I really hope Mighty Spirit can break her maiden today as shes ran so creditably in all starts to date but she’s getting frustrating to follow. She’s ran well at this track in class one company before. He’s A Laddie and Streamline are interesting having won both their outings and Wonderwork is one from one. Dream Shot followed in Liberty Beach at Sandown in July and could run well but ALLIGATOR ALLEY got within a length of her at Goodwood…

IRISH RUNNER FOCUS WITH LUKE

Alligator Alley was an unlucky loser at Goodwood last time out. This Joseph O’Brien trained colt met interference in running and only went down by a length. The winner has since been placed in a Group 2 earlier this week. Prior to that he won his Maiden very impressively at Naas in July. I think he can return to winning ways here.

Sky Bet Handicap

FOREST OF DEAN looks well-in judging by him being joint highest rated but only carrying 9st3 on his back. He won by two and a half lengths last time and is an interesting prospect. Mikmak and Cockalorum could go well at each way prices but the former would want a lot of rain.

IRISH RUNNER FOCUS WITH LUKE

The Galway Hurdle winner, Tudor City returns to the flat for trainer Tony Martin. He finished strongly on that occasion to get his head in front close home . Prior to that he was fifth in a handicap at Leopardstown on the flat over one mile and two furlongs. I think he is on a mark that he can win off and will go close.

Sky Bet Apprentice Handicap

Top weight Recon Mission ran well in the Shergar Cup last time but he’s got a giant weight to carry – even with Cieran Fallon taking off three. However, I’m hoping PASS THE VINO can end this run of seconds. He’s dropping to five furlongs for the first time but I think should be suited to it.

IRISH RUNNER FOCUS WITH LUKE

Mild Winster makes the trip over to York for the final race of the meeting. This daughter of Burwaaz is trained by Andrew Slattery and ridden by Ben Coen. She ran a decent race in a Listed contest last time out at Naas. Prior to that she won a handicap at Fairyhouse off a mark of 82. I think she will run well and get into the placings at a double figure price.

York Ebor Meeting Day 3 Preview

By Luke and Samantha

Today has everything a flat racing fan could wish for – a big field handicap; a superstar in Stradivarius trying to get that £1million bonus over the marathon trip; an intriguing two year old group two and the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it five furlong group one Nunthorpe.

Here’s our preview…

Sky Bet Handicap

Mandarin and Indianopolis ran in the Shergar Cup challenge and the latter prevailed by half a length. MANDARIN only has to carry 8st12 in comparison to 9st3. If he gets sent to win a little bit earlier, he’ll go close. Genetics split that pair and goes off equal weights to Mandarin. Corelli got within a short head of Kelly’s Dino, who beat Indianopolis four lengths a few starts back and will probably be well supported. Top weight Gibbs Hill was pulled up in the Northumberland Plate when well-fancied after a 724 day break. He could run better than then. Caradoc and Jazeel could go well.

Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup Stakes

By winning this race, STRADIVARIUS will win himself an extra £1million to go with the £127,598 prize. His trainer-jockey combination won with Enable in the Yorkshire Oaks so the yard is most definitely in form. He’s won his last eight and won the £1million bonus last year. He’s proved time and time again that he’s the best horse at this trip running at the minute and in the past few years. Dee Ex Bee has tried to get to Stradivarius on his past two outings but has never looked like he could pass him. He’s a nice horse though and a winner over two miles before. Magic Circle is now seven. He won last season’s Chester Cup and the Henry II Stakes. Stamina is no issue but he’s been beaten on both outings this season.

IRISH RUNNER FOCUS WITH LUKE

Falcon Eights runs for Dermot Weld and Oisin Murphy takes the ride. This relatively unexposed four year son of Galileo is having his sixth start of his career. He has won three of his five races to date. The highlight of those came last time out when he won a Listed race at Sandown. He is officially rated ten pounds inferior to Stradivarius and will have to improve to be involved here.

Il Paradiso runs for Aidan O’Brien and Wayne Lordan takes the ride. This son of Galileo runs off a feather weight of eight stone and five pounds. He enjoyed the step up in trip to two miles last time out and was an impressive winner. He has a bit to find on ratings but I think he will prove to be useful over staying distances in time.

Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Gimcrack Stakes

Clipper Logistics won the two year old group race on day two of this meeting and have SPARTAN FIGHTER. He beat subsequent Norfolk and Prix Robert Papin winner A’Ali when breaking his maiden and then won a novice race last time out. At about 7/1, he could be brilliant value. His main rival is Threat. He was a good maiden winner and has since been second in the Coventry and the Richmond Stakes. He’s rated 111,distinctly ahead of the rest. Abstemias and Byline came good on their second tries. Dubai Station has Frankie on. He was beaten three lengths by A’Ali so has something to find with Spartan Fighter. Malotru has won both of his starts. Repartee and Royal Commando could go well.

IRISH RUNNER FOCUS WITH LUKE

Pistoletto is trained by Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore takes the ride. This son of War Front was a very impressive winner on debut when winning at Tipperary. He was not so impressive next time out, he scrambled home at Naas to win by half a length. Things did not work out for him on that occasion and still won. He got upset in the stalls and was taken out before being reloaded back into the stalls. He was last seen finishing sixth at the Curragh in July. That was after a small break and was about having a positive experience. He was very weak in the market on the day. I think he is better than he has shown and can run into the placings at a double figure price.

Nunthorpe Stakes

The Nunthorpe has been won by many good horses like Pivotal, Kyllachy, Oasis Dream, Kingsgate Native, who’s teaching the next generation at the British Racing School, Sole Power on two occasions and Alpha Delphini last year. The girls have done well in this recently, winning three of the past four renewals. One of this year’s fillies is Mabs Cross. She was only be a nose, running on from the back, last year with Battaash in fourth. After that, she won the Abbaye at Longchamp, with Soldier’s Call and Battaash, again, in behind. She kicked off her five year old campaign with a victory at Newmarket. Since then she’s been third to Battaash and fourth to Blue Point, Battaash and Soldier’s Call in the King’s Stand with Fairyland fifth. The form line between Battaash and Mabs Cross is a confusing one and it seems as though the horse who has the best run through and handles conditions comes out on top.

The other Michael Dods filly is Intense Romance. She completed a treble in September/October 2018 made up of a class two and two listed races, all on heavy ground. She’s ran in two races in 2019 but was sixth on both occasions. She’s the 100/1 outsider. Another largely priced shot is Rumble Inthejungle. He was a good two year old, coming fourth at Royal Ascot and then winning the Molecombe, beating Soldier’s Call. He was third in the Middle Park behind Ten Sovereigns. So has a bit to find. With the leading contenders. He’s ran in high company on the last three times but was out of his depth.

Copper Knight, Ornate and El Astronaute do a lot of their running in big-field handicaps. Admittedly, El Astronaute has been running in good company this term having won a listed at Cork, a premier handicap at the Curragh, second in a group three and fifth to Battaash at Glorious Goodwood. Ornate was third on the latter occasion and, at the beginning of the season, he won the Dash at Epsom. He’ll break quickly and probably take them along along with El Astronaute. Copper Knight will probably sit behind those two and try and run to the peak of his ability to go close. All three have place claims at most.

Soldier’s Call is a name that’s cropped up quite a bit during this. This three year old son of Showcasing has won four times, including victories at Royal Ascot in the Windsor Castle, in a group three at Chantilly and in the Flying Childers at Doncaster, all at the age of two. Since his last victory, he’s been beaten only the narrowest of margins in the Abbaye, ahead of Battaash and behind Mabs Cross. He concluded his two year old season in America and began this season with a third to Garrus over course and distance, once again by a small margin. He out-ran his odds to be third in an ultra competitive King’s Stand, behind Battaash and ahead of Mabs Cross and Fairyland. He’s each way value at about 12/1.

Charlie Hills has two runners – Garrus and Battaash. There’s the saying ‘save the best until last’ so I’ll chat about Garrus first. This three year old grey colt has ran nine times and won four of them. His biggest win was a short head victory over Shades Of Blue and Soldier’s Call over course and distance in May. Since then, he’s placed in two group twos. He’s definitely an exciting sprinter in the making from a yard whose successfully handled top sprinters like Dark Angel. His winning course form is a boost.

That’s something Battaash, a son of Dark Angel, doesn’t have. He’s tried to win at this course twice – and came fourth on both tries. Both times in this race. He’s won at Goodwood, Haydock, Chantilly, Sandown and Bath in the past. He’s won five group twos and one group one (the 2017 Abbaye by four lengths). He is one of the fastest horses in the world – no doubt. There’s often a lot of press attention about how quirky and difficult he can be. That’s true- he is quirky. But now you’d hope connections have him worked out by now. I think they do and know the necessary precautions that need to be taken to keep him as chill as possible. After all, he’s a sprinter. He has matured with racing and should definitely put up a bold bid.

His main rival is Ten Sovereigns as Luke explains below…

IRISH RUNNER FOCUS WITH LUKE

The final three to mention are the Irish representatives on the day all run in this race. The standard of those is set by July Cup winner, Ten Sovereigns. This son of No Nay Never was impressive when winning the July Cup beating Advertise, who has since won a Group 1 in France. He drops to five furlongs for the first time but he does show plenty of speed. This race looks to be one of the best clashes of the week with Ten Sovereigns and Battaash.

The next best of the Irish is Fairyland trained by Aidan O’Brien and ridden by Donnacha O’Brien. This daughter of Kodiac has shown plenty of ability. She was last seen finishing third behind Ten Sovereigns in the July Cup. Prior to that she finished fifth in the King’s Stand, with Battaash in second. She has a bit to find to get involved with them two, but I think she could run a good race and possibly get a place at a double figure price.

So Perfect also runs for Aidan O’Brien with Wayne Lordan in the saddle. This daughter of Scat Daddy ran a good race in the July Cup to finish fifth behind Ten Sovereigns and Fairyland. She then ran in France in the race won by Advertise and finished midfield. I think she will have to improve to get involved with the other two Irish horses.

SELECTIONS

SAMANTHA– I think the BATTAASH will win. They should ride him as to get a lead off something as they don’t want to get into a battle with Ten Sovereigns too early on as he has stamina on his side. The younger horse always tends to break well and supporters of Battaash will be hoping that Ten Sovereigns will get into a battle early and tire himself out.

LUKE– I think TEN SOVEREIGNS may have enough speed and ability to get his head infront here and is the best chance of an Irish winner on the day.

LOIS– Battaash

MAX– Battaash

British Stallion Studs EBF Convivial Maiden

FOX DUTY FREE was a 280,000 purchase and was novicey on debut. He bucked leaving the stalls and was hampered but at the end he finished very strongly to be denied half a length. The winner has since won a very hot nursery earlier in the week.

Nationwide Accident Repair Services Handicap

Seductive Moment and Edaraat have won their last two but the former has gone up a great deal to 94 so EDARAAT just tips it as the horse who came second to him last time has won.

York Ebor Meeting Day 2 Preview

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By Samantha and Luke

Sky Bet Lowther Stakes

This looks a tidy little race and there’s polar opposites in this. Some have ran five times; one has run once. One of the exposed fillies are LIBERTY BEACH. She’s only raced over five furlongs and won her first two before a creditable race in the Queen Mary. She showed how good she really was when beating the boys in the Molecomb, proving she’s a serious horse. Under The Stars won the Princess Margret Keenland Stakes at Royal Ascot on her second run. That was over six furlongs so she has an edge over Liberty Beach but I still prefer the latter. Living In The Past and Good Vibes have been beaten by Under The Stars. Wejdan ran smartly on debut at Newbury. This is an increase in class. James Tate has Nasaiym. She was an narrow second on debut and won by a neck next time out. Moon Of Love was behind Liberty Beach and Flippa The Strippa won a listed in May but has a bit to find.

IRISH RUNNER FOCUS WITH LUKE

Precious Moments runs for the Juddmonte International winning combination of Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore. This daughter of Gleneagles has some good form to her name. She started off at the Curragh and finished third behind some good fillies over six furlongs. She then ran at the Royal meeting finishing fifth, but second in her group. On her penultimate start she finished second in the Group 2 Airlie Stud Stakes. She was last seen finishing in midfield over seven furlongs at Leopardstown in July. Returning to six furlongs is a plus and I think she can run well at 9/1.

Also running in the race is Ken Condon’s Celtic Beauty. This daughter of No Nay Never has had five runs with one win to her name. That win came at Naas when winning her Maiden over five furlongs. She has one standout performance and that came in the Albany at Royal Ascot. She finished second behind Daahyeh. If she can return to that form she will outrun her odds.

Goffs UK Premier Yearling Stakes

Spygate is a similar price to when stablemate Red Balloons won this last year. This guy is less exposed though. That yard have four other runners- SHOW ME SHOW ME, Corndavon Lad, National League and Three Coins. The first mentioned is rated 102 and drops in class after very good placed efforts in class twos and a group three. Corndavon Lad has a visor on for the first time; National League won at Chester last time and Three Coins won last time but struggled in class twos. Richard Fahey, Kevin Ryan, William Haggas and Richard Hannon have farmed this race in the last ten years. Kevin Ryan has Barbarella who’s definitely improving. William Haggas has St Ives who won last at Doncaster in July but was beaten only a tiny margin last time. Richard Hannon has top weight and penalised Mums Tipple. He won well at Ascot on debut to acrew the penalty. Also, the yard has Cheat. He’s been well beaten on all tries. Love Destiny won on debut so is one to look out for.

IRISH RUNNER FOCUS WITH LUKE

Piece Of Paradise makes the trip over to York for Fozzy Stakes and the inform Frankie Dettori takes the ride. This daughter of Holy Roman Emperor was sent off favourite for her first two starts and could only manage to finish midfield on both occasions. She has since came out and won at Tipperary. If she can improve further, she should get involved in the latter stages of the race.

Latin Five runs for Jospeh O’Brien and Seamie Heffernan takes the ride. Who he was disappointing last time out, he does have some decent form to his name. This son of Camacho won a Nursery Handicap at the Curragh over six furlongs off a mark of 84. He is now rated 94 which leaves him a few pounds to make up on some of his rivals.

Clipper Logistics Handicap

Vale Of Kent’s team won this last year and he was only beaten a length by the smart Beat Le Bon at Goodwood. Also in that race was Baltic Baron, What’s The Story and History Writer. The form won’t be reversed I don’t think. Wafy has ran well to be second the last twice so has Kynren. David Barron’s horse ran a blinder to be fifth in the Royal Hunt Cup and he’ll be winning a big handicap very soon. However, I’m going to take a chance on CLUB WEXFORD to place. I liked him the last day and he struggled to get himself together in heavy Haydock ground. Drawn well in five. Petrus finished third to Mojito in early July but he’s still 2lbs higher than his last winning mark. Silver Line has talented claimer Cieran Fallon on, taking off 5lbs. Thrave and Firmament could go well.

Darley Yorkshire Oaks

This race is a clash between the two most powerful trainers in the world – John Gosden and Aidan O’Brien. Two representatives apiece. Frankie Dettori vs Ryan Moore. Two of the best jockeys around. Another edition in the Enable Vs Magical saga. Will Magical finally reverse the tried and tested form line with the People’s Filly and spoil our beloved heroine’s last British hurrah ahead of her Arc tilt? Well, we’ll have to turn our attention to the Knavesmire at just before 3:35pm to see…..

To me, this race looks simple- ENABLE will jump out of the stalls and cross the line the winner. That would be the fairytale. The form suggests that will happen – she’s unbeaten in her past eleven races; won an Oaks; two Arcs; the Breeders Cup Turf, beating Magical, and came out victorious in the captivating, ding-dong battle with Crystal Ocean last time. That would’ve been a tough race and Crystal Ocean proved there’s no such thing as a racing certainty in the Juddmonte. But Enable is as close as you can be to getting one.

She’s accompanied by her stablemate Lah Ti Dar. Her biggest wins have come here at York- in the Galtres Stakes by ten lengths in 2017 and a group two earlier this month. She’s got a lot to find with her older rival.

It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. The Aidan O’Brien team are tactical geniuses. Magical has the defensive support of South Sea Pearl to boost her chance which Luke explains below…

IRISH RUNNER FOCUS WITH LUKE

Magical is set to take on Enable once again. To date she hasn’t beat her. This daughter of Galileo steps up to one mile and a half for the first time this year. This season she has been kept busy, she has run five time winning three times including a Group 1. She has since been second twice in Group 1’s, once behind Enable. The last twice she has raced against Enable she has been beaten three quarters of a lenght. She has had a break after her last run. The step back up in trip will need to bring out more improvement for her to beat Enable but I wouldn’t rule it out.

South Sea Pearl also runs for Aidan O’Brien and Seamie Heffernan takes the ride. She would have to improve plenty to get involved at the finish. Possible pace angle in the race.

Galtres Stakes

(Luke)

I think the best chance of an Irish winner on day two is the Dermot Weld trained SEARCH FOR A SONG. This daughter of Galileo is a sister Falcon Eight and is also related to Free Eagle. She was last seen finishing fourth in the Irish Oaks. That was only her third start and she still showed signs of greenness. She won on Racecourse debut at Fairyhouse, winning impressively over one mile and two furlongs. I think she is still improving and is the one to beat.

Aidan O’Brien runs the well named Frosty in this contest. This daughter of Galileo is a sister to Winter. She made her seasonal reappearance last Tuesday at Gowran and finished fourth. She made her racecourses debut at Dundalk last year and was an impressive winner. I think she will be decent horse but may be playing second fiddle to Search For A Song on this occasion.

Samantha’s Selection- Bella Vita

British Stallions Studs EBF Handicap

CRAFTY MADAM has done well in Ireland for Ken Condon since changing hands from Clive Cox’s yard. She started her career in Ireland at Leopardstown when finishing second to Beckwith Place who was second at Galway. She then bet Surrounding at the Curragh by a short head over seven furlongs. She was second last time out at the Curragh over a mile beating subsequent winner Leagan Gaeilge. I think she will run well at a double figure price back over seven furlongs.

Samantha’s Selection- Salayel

Juddmonte International Preview 2019

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By Samantha (@sam_angelina22) and Luke (@Lukekeena1)

The Juddmonte International Stakes is the centre piece of day one of the ‘Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival’ from York Races. This one mile two group one race has been won in the past by Australia, Frankel, Sea The Stars, Authorized and Giants Causeway.

Nine top-class racehorses are declared to run for the £602,544 first prize. It looks a really exciting race! Crystal Ocean sets the standard. He will go down in history as being part of the epic duel with Enable in the King George. They were neck and neck, nose to nose from the furlong pole, bound in a thrilling ding-dong battle. Enable prevailed – but only narrowly. Previously to that, he won the Prince Of Wales at Royal Ascot over this kind of trip. He’s rated 127, which is 7lbs higher than any rival. This will be the first time that he’s raced at York and James Doyle keeps the ride.

His stablemate is Regal Reality. He’s the second highest rated and has the aid of Richard Kingscote. He ran in the Sky Bet York Stakes last time but finished fourth to Elarqam, beaten five and a quarter lengths. He’s a dual group three winner and performs to his best on good ground, which he didn’t get at York when 11/4 second favourite. He was stepping up to a mile two that day and was found to be one-paced when push came to shove. He’s drifted in the market.

Since then, Elarqam has been supplemented into this race. He handled the trip well last time and being a course and distance winner is a plus for him. He isn’t ground dependant because he’s won on good to firm and soft. He’s a smart four year old and is definitely on-the-up.

Elarqam was beaten by Thundering Blue when the former was trying out this trip for the first time in last year’s Sky Bet York Stakes. David Menuisier’s loveable grey won that day and since then he’s com third in this race last season, finishing fast; won the Stockholm Cup in Sweden; second in the group one Canadian International and tenth in the Japan Cup. Things haven’t gone as well this season- he was last of seven in April in a group three, third in a listed behind Elarqam and last in a group one at Saint Cloud last time. He’s way better than the 2019 form suggests and his yard tasted group one victory with Danceteria recently. He was behind the Japanese raider, Cheval Grand, who came fourth, in the Japan Cup. The latter finished sixth behind second placed Crystal Ocean at Ascot. He won the Japan Cup in 2017 and has since placed in four group ones in Japan since. His jockey Oisin Murphy won with Japanese horse Deidre at Goodwood so Japan will be hoping to keep the ball rolling with this guy.

King Of Comedy runs for top pair John Gosden and Frankie Dettori. This five times raced Kingman colt was finishing extremely quickly under the typically effective Adam Kirby drive when he was only a neck behind Circus Maximus in the St James Palace. That was over seven furlongs but he’s won over a mile before, in the Heron Stakes. This is a new kind of trip but his brother won over one mile two.

Lord Glitters is more known as a miler as he won this year’s Queen Anne at Royal Ascot but David O’Meara’s talented grey has won at this trip before when he was back in France on heavy ground by three lengths. Despite this, it was a low grade race so it’s unknown how effective he is at the top level over one mile two. Last time out he ran in the Sussex Stakes but was fifth, two and a half lengths behind Circus Maximus, who runs in this.

IRISH RUNNER FOCUS WITH LUKE

Japan runs for Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore takes the ride. He runs over one mile and two furlongs for the second time. He was last seen over course and distance in the  Dante when needing the run. He has since finished a fast finishing third in the Derby. Recently, he has won twice over one mile and a half at Royal Ascot and at Longchamp. He looks to be one of the best three years olds in training and, if the trip isn’t a inconvenience, he can run well. It will be hard for any horse in the field to beat Crystal Ocean.

Circus Maximus returns to one mile and two furlongs after winning and being place in Group 1’s over one mile. He has won over the distance at Chester. He was last seen finishing second behind Too Darn Hot at Goodwood when he battled on well after being passed by the winner to be beaten half a length. Prior to that, he won the St James Palace at Royal Ascot beating King Of Comedy. He showed great determination to win that day when looking like being passed, he dug deep and won. I think he can run another good race without challenging Crystal Ocean and Japan.

SELECTIONS

I don’t think CRYSTAL OCEAN can be beaten in this. He’s <controversially> the highest rated horse in the world and I don’t think these three year olds are up to the calibre of beating him. Elarqam is the interesting runner and I hope Thundering Blue runs as well as last year.

Luke- Crystal Ocean

Lois- Regal Reality

Niamh- Elarqam

Race 1- Sky Bet And Symphony Group Handicap

Dakota Gold won the Great St Wilfrid at Ripon but has to carry joint top weight despite his current 99 rating for his efforts. He’s the probable favourite and you can’t say whether his good run will continue. However, I quite fancy FINAL VENTURE. He’s came second on all four starts this year and the most he’s been beaten was a length and a half. He hasn’t won since the Achilles Stakes at Haydock in 2017 but is 6lbs lower. Jabbarockie won incredibly well at Musselburgh last time under his 5lbs claimer Harrison Shaw. He’s on a career high mark but 16/1 could be value. Justanotherbottle returned to form last time when he wasn’t beaten far at in the Stewards Cup. Fool For You and Orvar could go well.

Selection- Final Venture/Jabbarockie EW

Race 2- Tattersalls Acomb Stakes

A lot of exciting youngsters take their chances here in a race previously won by Phoenix Of Spain, Dutch Connection and Rule Of Law. The former are both trained by Charlie Hills who has the once-raced Persuasion. He made his debut at a Glorious Goodwood, winning by half a length. I can’t really see what the fuss is about with him but like a lot of these, particularly the once-raced-once-ran Vitalogy and Yorkshire Gold, could be anything. The top two in the field COBRA EYE and Ethic could be smart. The former is owned by Phoenix Thoroughbreds and was second on debut before battling to victory at Glorious Goodwood. The second and fourth have since won. I really like Ethic as I was very taken with his debut effort. He was all over the place for the whole race but stuck to the task well to be second to an odds on shot. Since then, he won nicely beating a horse called Stoweman, who has subsequently been second to a horse called Impressor who was fourth to Cobra Eye on debut. Kingbrook and Morisco won last time and Ropey Guest is highest rated of the two rated runners. Valdermoro won well at Doncaster but the form hasn’t worked out well.

IRISH RUNNER FOCUS BY LUKE

Vitalogy comes into the race with an unbeaten record after winning on debut. This son of No Nay Never won at Naas back in July. He settled at the back of the field and made up late ground to to get on top close home. He enjoyed the stiff finish over six furlongs at Naas and will have no problem stepping up in trip to seven furlongs. He is trained by Jospeh O’Brien and Donnacha O’Brien takes the ride. With the improvement for the run and the experience he should run well for the connections.

Aidan O’Brien is represented by Harpocrates and Ryan Moore takes the ride. This son of Invincible Spirit has six runs under his belt. He has been been in the first three home on all but one occasion when finishing fifth behind Pinatubo at Royal Ascot. On his fourth start he finished third behind Vitalogy at Naas. Harpocrates gave the winner five  pounds and was beaten by just over half a length. Harpocrates has since enjoyed stepping back up in trip and finished second behind Justifier in a Listed race at Tipperary. He had to be pushed along three furlongs out when not traveling well, possibly because of the bad ground or he was racing lazily. He now runs with blinkers which should help him. I think he is the pick of the two and can go close at 10/1.

Selection- Cobra Eye / Ethic EW

Race 3- Sky Bet Great Voltiger

A small but select field runs in this race. LOGICIANs form figures of ‘111’ instantly attracts attention and he’s won his three races by a combined eight lengths. In time, hell definitely stay further with the St Leger a possible target for this son of Frankel. Nayef Road won the Qatar Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood with Constantinople a neck behind. He earned his space in this field that day and is tough as old boots. The Johnston in mate had Jalmoud behind that day. The Godolphin colt won a listed race in France in May but has a lot to find with this field.

IRISH RUNNER FOCUS WITH LUKE

Two Irish raiders are declared to run making it a field of five heading to post. Both runner coming from Ballydoyle and Ryan Moore takes the ride on Constantinople. This son of Galileo is the highest rated horse in the race and was last seen finishing second at Goodwood in the Gordon Stakes over one mile and a half. He seemed to lose his concentration when hanging left and is still learning his trade. He has improved this year starting off a mark of 97 and is currently rated 110. He is a Group 3 winner, he won the Gallimnule over one mile and two beating the subsequent Royal Whip Stakes winner, Buckhurst. I think he could be the one to beat at 9/4.

Norway also runs for the same connections and Donnacha O’Brien takes the ride. He has been seen this season setting the pace for other stablemates. He ran at Royal Ascot on soft ground which he didn’t enjoy, he was the stables leading contender for the race and never got into the race. Last year I thought he was going to turn into a St Ledger horse but I know have my doubts. I imagine he will be taking up the pacemaking duty.

Selection- Logician

Race 5- Sky Bet Handicap

DUBAWI FIFTY is a horse that I adore. He very nearly won at Royal Ascot last year but got injured afterwards and we didn’t see him until he was a good second in the Northumberland Place. Last time at Goodwood, he ran terribly but hopefully he can put that behind him and win this with Frankie on board.

Sky Bet Nursery

Very open race but OTI MA BOATI has won each of her three starts, doing just enough, for Richard Fahey and is now in the capable hands of William Haggas. Place claims for definite!

Three selections for racing at Tramore

By Luke

Racing at Tramore gets underway on Sunday with the Comeragh Veterinary Maiden Hurdle over two miles and five furlongs. Fourteen runners have been declared to go to post. The horse I like is Ballymacaw. This son of Stowaway was last seen winning at Kilbeggan in June. He finished strongly to win by two lengths. Prior to that he finished runner up at Punchestown. The form of that races seems to be working out well with the third and  fifth since winning. I think he will enjoy the step up in trip and with Rachael Blackmore in the saddle, he can go close at 11/4.

Race four is the Eurocar Mares Beginners Chase over two miles and five furlongs. Tell Me Annie showed a return to form after a few below par runs. This daughter of Shantou finished second behind Pravalaguna at Cork earlier this month. This ten year old mare has the assistence of Darragh O’Keeffe who has been in great form and claims five pounds. I think if she can bring the form of her last run over hurdles, she will go close at 10/3.

Race five is the McCarthys Irish Bar Handicap Chase over two miles and five furlongs. From Eden has been very consistent in Beginners Chases this season not finishing out of the first three home in his four runs to date. He was last seen finishing third at Galway behind two smart horse. Prior to that he was second behind Mega Mindy at Limerick. His two runs prior to that he was second and the form has been boosted by the winner winning again. I think he has a stiff task off a mark of 125 but he comes into the race in good form and I think he will go close at 5/1.

Preview of Racing at Cork

By Luke

Racing gets underway with the Matchbook Irish EBF Maiden over six furlongs. Arranmore runs for Jim Bolger with Kevin Manning in the saddle. I think this son of Oasis Dream is likely to bounce out of the stalls and make all. He has two good runs under his belt. He was last seen finishing second at Naas over six furlongs. The third, Harpocrates has since boosted the form by winning and being placed in a Listed Race at Tipperary. On Racecourse debut he ran a fantastic race to finish second behind Armory who has since won a Group 3 at Leopardstown. I think this is a good opportunity for him to win his Maiden at 1/1.

Race two is the Matchbook Betting Exchange App Handicap over six furlongs. I like two in this race, the first being Noirvento trained by Tracey Collins with Ronan Whelan in the saddle. Since making her seasonal reappearance and finishing fifth, she hasn’t been out of the first three home. This daughter of Le Cadre Noir was last seen finishing second at the Curragh behind Miss Jabeam who has since won again at Leopardstown. On her second start this season she won at Sligo, running on strongly to get her head infront at the line. I think she can return to winning ways here at 6/1.

In the same race I think A Likely Story could outrun his odds of 33/1. His last two runs have not been promising but I think he will win a race this season. Three starts back he showed promise when finishing a close third at Limerick. The first two from that race have since been placed. He won last year off a mark of 57 at the Curragh over six furlongs. He now runs off a mark of 48. I think with Andrew Slattery claiming five pounds he can run well off a low weight.

Race five is the Barry’s Tea Supporting Marymount Hospice Handicap over seven furlongs. Beckwith Place went down as one of the unluckiest losers of the Galway Festival when trapped before making up ground and was only bet by a nose. He now runs off a five pound higher mark but if he had a clear run the last day he would have won with the extra weight. The winner has since won twice, he won on the Saturday of Galway as well as at the Curragh on Friday night. I think with a clear run he will be very hard to beat at 15/8.

 

Hungerford Day ITV Preview

By Samantha

The feature race of the day is the group two Hungerford Stakes from Newbury and it is part of a seven race programme on ITV, accompanied by three from Newbury, two from Ripon and one from Newmarket.

13:50 Newbury – Denford Stakes

This is a nice little race to kick things off. There are two Frankel offspring in the field—Juan Elcano and Frankel’s Storm. The former was a neck winner on heavy ground on debut and connections must think a lot of him as he ran in the Superlative Stakes next time out, coming second. Frankel’s Storm has ran three and got off the mark just four days ago at Carlisle by eight lengths in a three runner affair. This is a big step up in grade but she gets weight from the boys. Her stablemate is Thunderous. The Night Of Thunder colt has won both of his two starts by two lengths each time and the 70,000gns purchase has an entry in the Derby. Last year’s winning trainer Richard Hannon has two in the race. The team won it with a Middleham Park horse last year and they have the Gregorian filly Sesame Birah. A two times winner, she won over course and distance last time after being beaten about three lengths in a group three at Deauville.

Her stable mate SUN POWER looks distinctly above these as he’s rated 102 in comparison to Thunderous and Sesame Birah’s 91 rating. The former has only won once but did it nicely on his second start. Subsequently, he was fourth in the Chesham behind Pinatubo and a neck second in a Listed race. This looks up to his capabilities. Lastly is Pyledriver. The form of this horses first run (which was a win) has worked out well. He was 50/1 on that day. His dam ended up going hurdling and handled soft so today may not be his day but he’s a nice long-term prospect.

14:05 Ripon – William Hill Silver Trophy Handicap

This is the Great St Wilfrid consolation race. Ruth Carr has a good chance with course specialists Pipers Note and Marks Choice. They’re on opposite ends of the spectrum as far as age is concerned as Pipers Note is nine and Marks Choice is only four. Eight of PIPERS NOTE’s twelve victories have come at this track. He hasn’t won for over a year but is running of an 11lbs lower mark than then. Looks chucked in based on that. Marks Choice has won twice at this track and hasn’t been beaten far on all four starts since winning over course and distance in June. Bossipop is a three times course and distance winnerand won here in July but he’s been last of 8 on his past 2 starts.

Julie Camacho’s pair – Dalton and Royal Prospect – are in decent form, especially the latter. He’s only four and relatively unexposed. He’s either hit or miss but is four from nine. Dalton wasn’t beaten far last time and is dropping to an appealing mark. Goes on any ground. Alaadel is one of the favourites. The joint top weight hasn’t been seen for sixty five days and he was very pate to racing having made his debut at 4. The fact he’s will related is on his side but needs cut in the ground. Growl runs off 9st9 as well and he’s running off his lowest mark since winning at Windsor in June 2016. A listed winner, it would be incredible for him to win this as a victory is well due.

14:25 Newbury – Unibet Geoffrey Freer Stakes

MORANDO is the oldest horse in the field and is looking to recapture his sparkle from the start of the season when he won a group three at Chester by eight lengths, beating St Leger winner Kew Gardens. That was over this trip and his other starts this year were over shorter and in group ones and twos. This is easier. He is penalised but rated 8lbs higher that his nearest rival. With the ground likely to come up soft, he is my selection. Technician also ran at that Chester meeting and flopped after good runs in a Leicester novice and the Classic Trial at Sandown. He won a listed race at Paris Longchamp on his penultimate start and he looked to be getting better but was sixth of nine last time at Glorious Goodwood. He’s a tough horse to work out. Sameem and Durston are also three. The former has won his last two, one of them was a listed race, beating a smart Mark Johnston horse. Durston is quite unexposed and won over one mile six in June and won at Chester next time. He was second over a shorter trip at Goodwood last time and both of them are progressive handicappers. The four year old Sextant is four from seven and three of those wins came this year. He’s stepping up in trip and that shouldn’t be an issue as he won his maiden over this trip. If the ground firms up, he will run well.

14:45 Unibet Grey Horse Handicap

This race is exclusively for grey horses and sixteen runners will stampede their way down the Newmarket straight in a sea of silver. One of the darker greys will be Global Tango. He’s absolutely gorgeous and was one of the horses I met at Charlie Hills’ yard. Since then he’s been sold and is making his debut for a new yard. He has won three times but still looks a bit high in the handicap. Cieran Fallon takes odd 5lbs. CASE KEY won this is 2017 and he has won since. That was off a mark of 69 and he runs off 66 today and carries the second lowest weight. He could be well treated. At the opposite end of the handicap, Glen Coco was third last year and this gelding completed a four timer in January through to May. He’s gone up 17lbs since and it looks tough for him off top weight.

Revolutionise won three starts ago but has been beaten since, including over course and distance last time. Headgear is on to try and eek out some improvement. Lethal Angel is extremely consistent and placed at the other course at Newmarket before. She’s been either second or third in her past six outings and will have become frustrating for connections as no type of headgear has given her the last push to victory. Chatham House finally broke his maiden over seven furlongs last time and has been third over this trip twice. Harbour Vision had a visor on for the first time and ran well last time. My Style has scope to improve.

15:00 Newbury – Unibet Handicap

Ripp Orf is a really good horse and has given lots of fun to connections. His last win came in September 2018 and he is 1lbs lower than then. He ran well in a handicap at Ascot last time out. You can never say he won’t win. George William showed a welcome return to form when second, albeit beaten four lengths. Love Dreams won well round Beverley in June but he’s been well beaten in all runs since. Despite carrying top weight, he goes off a winnable mark and will probably make the running. Piece of History won his first two, at Leicester and Chelmsford, but hasn’t won since. His effort last time doesn’t give much hope.

The fillies Pattie and Toy Theatre are big prices and their form ties in together. They raced against each other at Kempton in February when Toy Theatre won and Pattie was one and a quarter lengths behind in third. Both fillies have a lot to find with the boys. GRAPHITE STORM took advantage of a nice opportunity to win at Newmarket last time after a good second at Leicester. A course and distance winner, this is a higher graded task but has a good shout. Sanaadh won at Kempton in March, beating Love Dreams, in this grade but his last runs haven’t been great.

15:15 Ripon – William Hill Great St Wilfrid

I keep fancying Summerghand for races like this but he keeps on coming up short. He was a really good fourth at Glorious Goodwood in the Stewards Cup and he’s been consistently on 100 all season. He needs to drop a few lbs though. Vintage Brut was a good second and would have top weight if not for his three year old age allowance. Top weight is last year’s winner Gunmetal. He’s a bit high in the weights and was well beaten last time. I mentioned Ruth Carr’s runners at Ripon earlier and she has a good chance here with Reputationis and Poyle Vinnie. The former is a dual winner here including by three lengths in April but I prefer the other representative. Poyle Vinnie was a fast finishing second at Glorious Goodwood in a handicap but tasted victory later in the week in the Stewards Sprint. He’s an old boy and should run well.

However, my idea of the winner is RICHENZA. She’s four and in training with Hugo Palmer. Lightly raced, she should cope and will appreciate cut in the ground. Belated Breath has been third on his last two starts and not beaten far at all. Citron Major is a course and distance winner but his mark is a bit high. David O’meara’s Muscika followed in Dakota Gold at York on his penultimate start and was second to Lahore, who’d be a big winner for young trainer Philip Makin, last time out. O’meara’s gelding gets 7lbs from the former and 1lbs from the latter so a reverse could be on the cards.

15:35 Unibet Hungerford Stakes

SIR DANCEALOT won the Qatar Lennox Stakes at Glorious Goodwood last year and then came and won this. He’s followed the same path as last year and comes here of the back of a nice victory eighteen days ago but he has a penalty for that. On that occasion, he had Hey Gaman in second, Flaming Spear in fifth, Space Traveller in sixth and Donjuan Triumphant in eighth. Hey Gaman was a well fancied favourite that day after easily winning a listed at Leicester and a group three at Paris Longchamp at the beginning of the season. He was second at the Curragh, beating Safe Voyage ten days before the Goodwood race and has a bit to find with Sir Dancealot based on that.

Flaming Spear was having his seasonal debut at Goodwood and won a listed race at Kempton in November the seven year old is rated 109 so has 6lbs to make up with the top horse. Labrisa Breeze is Flaming Spear’s stable companion and hasn’t been seen for 280 days. His last win was the Champion Sprint in 2017 when he was rated 112. He’s down to 105 now and his best run since was fourth in a French group one but he’s not the horse of two years ago. Space Traveller won the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot, against his own age group, but couldn’t put up with this level of horses last time. Donjuan Triumphant raced like a nutter last time. He fully ran off with Silvestre De Sousa and got hampered badly in the final furlong. He set the race up but couldn’t figure in the finish. Andrew Balding’s six year old is a listed and group two winner so he’s up to this standard. Has each way claims but was beaten six lengths by Hey Gaman at Leicester.

Collateral form gives Safe Voyage a couple of lengths to find with Sir Dancealot and, when he was behind Hey Gaman at the Curragh, it ended a winning run of three. He’s a credit to connections and has been climbing the ratings encouragingly. Glorious Journey was eighth in the July Cup last time and, previous to that, had been beaten in group three and listed company by good horses. Bit to find on ratings.

Shergar Cup 2019 Guide

By Samantha

The Shergar Cup is a team competition held annually at Ascot. There are six races on the card all sponsored by Dubai Duty Free. Named after 1981 Derby winner Shergar, it was originally sponsored by the Aga Khan, his owner. It has been held every year from 1996, apart from 2005 when Ascot was redeveloped. The unusual qualities of this meeting attract a different group of people than what you would stereotypically associate with horse racing. It’s a good family day out with Jessie J and Tinie Tempah playing after racing.

How It Works

There are four teams – Girls, Great Britain and Ireland, Europe and Rest Of The World. There are three jockeys per team and one of them is the captain. Each jockey rides in five of the six races and they gain points for their team depending where they finish –

1st 15 points
2nd 10 points
3rd 7 points
4th 5 points
5th 3 points

The points are all added together and the team with the most points wins. Also, the rider with the most points wins the ‘Silver Saddle’. It was won last year by the Girls team captain Hayley Turner and also Europe team member Gerald Mosse has won this award in 2013.

Previous Winners

Shergar Cup
2018 Girls
2017 Great Britain And Ireland
2016 Rest Of The World
2015 Girls
2014 Europe

Silver Saddle
2018 Hayley Turner
2017 Fran Berry
2016 Thierry Jarnet
2015 Sammy Jo Bell
2014 Olivier Peslier

Meet The Teams

Girls
The girls team, who won this last year when Hayley Turner was accompanied by Josephine Gordon and Hollie Doyle, has more of an international theme this year with Japanese rider Nanako Fujita and Australian rider Jamie Kah in the pink silks. Hayley Turner is the captain and rides often on this card. She was the first female rider to win at Royal Ascot in thirty two years a few weeks ago when partnering Thanks Be to victory in the Sandringham she is the most successful female jockey in British history. Jamie Kah recently broke the record for the lost wins in for a female in a season in Australia. She has won one group one race in her native country. Nanako Fujita is the winning-most jockey in Japan with over sixty wins to her name and she was the first female to ride in a grade one in Japan. Because she is yet to ride a sufficient number of winners, she has a 3lbs apprentice allowance in the UK.

Great Britain and Ireland
The Great Britain and Ireland team, who will be wearing green, is made up of captain Tadgh O’Shea, Danny Tudhope and Jamie Spencer. O’Shea is a seven times champion jockey in the UAE and based in Dubai. He’s won at Royal Ascot in 2009 in the Jersey Stakes on Quqba. Danny Tudhope is a Scottish born jockey who really hit the headlines this season by leading the jockey championships in a close battle with Oisin Murphy. He won the group one Queen Anne at Royal Ascot 2019 and had three more winners that week. Jamie Spencer’s biggest win of the season was in the Irish 2000 Guineas on Phoenix Of Spain and recently won a group one in Sweden on the David Menusier trained Danceteria.

Europe
The European teams three members are Filip Minarik, Gerald Mosse and Adrie De Vries and they’ll be in blue. The most well-known of these in England is Gerald Mosse. The globe-trotting Frenchman has won the Arc, French Derby, Oaks and the Melbourne Cup. He’s currently based in England and is being particularly successful. Team captain is Filip Minarik. The Czech jockey is a fourteen times group one winner and is a four time German Champion Jockey. The final member is Adrie De Vries who is based in Germany and has had thousands of winners. He won here at Royal Ascot in 2012 and has won the Dutch Derby five times.

Rest Of The World
Rest Of The World, who will be in yellow, is Yuga Kawada. He won the Japanese Derby in 2016 and is currently the leader of the Japanese Jockeys championship. He was successful in a quick spell here last year. He’s accompanied by Mark Zahra. The Australian has won thirteen group ones and has ridden over 1100 winners. Vincent Ho is the last team member and has been riding in the UK for the past month, mainly for Mark Johnston, and he’s had three winners. He was champion apprentice in Hong-Kong in 2011.

Race Previews

Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Dash

DANZENO looks the horse with the strongest latest form, having won at Nottingham by six lengths at the start of June then was third in the Wokingham. The second has subsequently won well. Now on 105, the former won last time. Three year old Recon Mission was very good at York on his penultimate run but was well-beaten at Newbury so needs to improve. The other three year old is Street Parade who’s struggled in handicaps since winning at Windsor in May. He’s a speedy horse. Another horse on a retrieval mission is Lancelot Du Lac. The nine year old is a Glorious Goodwood and listed level winner but he has been well beaten since his last win. Last time was an improvement though. Final Venture, the ten year old, has been very consistent of late but hasn’t won since 2017. Stone Of Destiny and Encore D’or’s form figures aren’t great lately. Foolaad won a handicap off 95 at Doncaster but is 4lbs higher. Corinthia Knight was well behind Danzeno at Royal Ascot but won last time. Old boy Caspian Prince was fifth in a group two, which he’d previously won, last time.

Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Stayers

Eddystone Rock, What A Welcome and Time To Study ran against each other last time out and were well beaten behind the smart King’s Advice. Eddystone Rock is stepping up in trip from his victory at one mile five. What A Welcome is a course and distance winner. Time To Study was a good third, staying on at Royal Ascot, but has been well-beaten since. The four year olds are Aircraft Carrier, Billy Ray and Blue Laureate. The former was behind Stradivarius on his penultimate start and fourteenth in the Northumberland Plate. He’s top weight. Billy Ray was a really good second on his first try at this trip behind Withhold so that’s good form. He’s a horse on the up and is partnered by Danny Tudhope. Blue Laureate gets 3lbs off his back and was third, staying on, over this trip so has a good chance. Theglasgowwarrior was fifth over this trip last time and has ran well over two miles two before. Lorolina is a mare who like the mud and is stepping up in trip. Alfredo completes the field but hasn’t been seen for 208 days. He’s a winner over this trip before but seems an all-weather specialist. Each way claims.

Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Challenge

Ian Williams trains three of these—Reshoun for Great Britain and Ireland and Restorer and Mandarin for the Europe team. Reshoun was eighth over two miles last time but his first of two wins came over this trip. He’s 5lbs higher that his most recent win but has joint top weight with stablemate Restorer and Indianopolis. Restorer has three 0s as his lost recent form figures and will need to improve significantly. Indianopolis is ex-Aidan O’Brien and won at Dundalk for him. He’s yet to win for new connections in five runs but he ran well last time out beating Koeman, Melting Dew and Restorer. Koeman has an apprentice allowance and placed on his first two starts this year but was second the next twice. Melting Dew has been ninth on his last three starts. A smart horse on his day, he has form to make up. MANDARIN has won his last two by a combined five and a half lengths. Considering he has bottom weight, he shouldn’t have an issue with the 6lbs rise in the Handicap. Genetics won this last year but hasn’t won since. He’s been beaten in class twos since and goes off an 8lbs higher mark than last year. Temple Cloth has been well beaten over this trip and two miles on the last three occasions so will need to dramatically step up. Teammate Badenscloth is six from twenty four and is stepping up to twelve furlongs for the first time. Big Kitten has only ever won on the All-Weather and looked the winner for a long way in the John Smiths Cup.

Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Mile

Via Serendipity won this last year with Hayley Turner but Tadgh O’Shea takes over. The horse won at Chelmsford in June nicely. Original Choice and Zhui Feng were eighth and seventeenth in the Stewards Cup eight days ago. The former’s last win was in December and Zhui Feng’s was last June. Another Batt won in Meydan in January and has done a lot of racing since and not placed. Breden won at Newbury on his penultimate start but was beaten by the smart Mojito last time. Zwayyan beat Breden in the Lincoln Trial but hasn’t shown anything since. Waarif beat War Glory three starts ago but is another on a retrieval mission. War Glory was last that day and has since been beaten about seven lengths on both starts. Power Of Darkness is three from seven and won nicely last time. His jockey has been successful in the UK before. NICHOLAS T has won three of his last four starts and is on a career high mark but he defied a penalty last time out and is in the best form.

Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Classic

Mark Johnston has three of the runners – Vivid Diamond, Sapa Inca and Asian Angel. The former was thought good enough to run in the Cheshire Oaks, where she came eighth, on her fourth start and since then hasn’t been beaten far on each occasion. Sapa Inca is ultra consistent but needs softer ground to do her winning on. Steadily climbing the handicap. Asian Angel was last seen running at Glorious Goodwood when Sapa Inca came second. Yellow Tiger finished ninth in that race on his debut for Ian Williams after previously winning for Mark Johnston on his only run for that yard. Zuba won five days ago but his penalty is cancelled out. Boerhan has 10st to carry after finishing seventh in the Bahrain Trophy last time. Very classy horse. NEVER DO NOTHING has never been out of the top 3 and ran well over course and distance last time out. He stayed on that day and he has a good Rest Of The World pilot. The other yellow runner is Aspire Tower who has come third on his last three starts, once behind Never Do Nothing. Amber Spark wants cut in the ground and Sophosc completed a treble around this time last year.

Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Sprint

Victory Day and Hero Hero are quite unexposed. The former won on three year old debut then was only beaten a head in a very competitive handicap at York. That makes him a leading player. Hero Hero won by eight lengths at Chester when breaking his maiden then finished tenth in the Britannia and there could be more to come from him. Kinks won for the first time in over a year last time and he was previously eleventh behind Pass The Vino when he won a good handicap at Newmarket but when Kinks won in late July, Pass The Vino was a neck behind. PASS THE VINO has 1lbs more to carry but is preferred to Kinks. Jack’s Point was two places behind Kinks when they got beat by Pass The Vino so has to reverse the form off level weights with Kinks. Junius Brutus was kept in high company last year and into this one but ran well in a class three last time. Magical Wish ran at the Galway festival six days ago and he filled the gap between Kinks and Jack’s Point, who’d previously beat him, at Newmarket. Barbill was ahead of them in fifth but has never recaptured the form of when he won valuable races at the Curragh and Chantilly. It’s a monster task for The Cruising Lord off top weight and Woven needs to improve a lot.

Shergar Cup Prediction

1st Europe
2nd Girls
3rd GB and Ireland
4th Rest Of The World

Silver Saddle Prediction

Between Hayley Turner and Jamie Spencer

Six selections for racing at the Curragh

By Luke

The feature race of the evening is the Group 1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes over six furlongs for two year olds. The current ground is good, but with heavy rain forecast we may be racing on slower ground. Ger Lyons was asked on twitter if Siskin will run if the rain comes and he said yes. Siskin is the only horse in the field that remains unbeaten. He has won three times including two wins over course and distance.

This son of First Defence was last seen winning the Group 2 Gain Railway Stakes over course and distance. He bet the second favourite, Monarch Of Egypt on that occasion. Siskin is now a bigger price then when he won last time out and Monarch Of Egypt is now a lot shorter in the market than he was last time out. I think Siskin will confirm the form from that race and win again giving Ger Lyons and Colin Keane their first Group 1 victory in Ireland at 10/11.

Race two is the Irish Stallions Farms EBF Maiden over five furlongs. Castletownshend looks to have a good opportunity to finally shed his maiden tag. This son of Equiano drops to five furlongs for the first time and I think it will suit him. He travels well through his races but has struggled to get his head infront. He was last seen finishing second at Naas beaten a short head. Prior to that he finished fourth in a competitive handicap at the Curragh over six furlongs over Derby weekend. I think he will go close with Billy Lee in the saddle at 11/4.

Race three is the Loder Irish EBF Fillies Race over seven furlongs. Know It All runs for Johhny Murtagh with Shane Foley in the saddle. This daughter Lord Kanaloa made a promising debut finishing fourth against the colts over course and distance back in July. The second from the race, Jungle Cove was previously seen finishing third behind the promising Armory. The seventh and eight have both been placed at Galway in decent Maidens. I think with the natural progression for the run I think she will go close at 9/2.

Race five is the Group 3 Qatar Racing And Equestrian Club Phoenix Sprint Stakes over six furlongs. Gordon Lord Byron runs for Tom Hogan and Billy Lee takes the ride. The last time he won was back in 2017 at the Curragh on yielding to soft. The ground will possibly be on slow side with the rain forecasted which could bring him into contention. This lovable eleven year old was last seen finishing fourth in the Minstrel Stakes behind Romanised. Prior to that he finished sixth behind a few of these over course and distance. I think with the return to slow ground he can reverse the form with a few of these and run well at 8/1.

Race six is the TRM Equine Nutrition Handicap over five furlongs. Little Clarinet has a good record at the track,she has ran here eight times and only been out of the first four once and that was on her last run. This daughter of Requinto ran over five furlongs on her penultimate start and finished second behind Early Call beaten half a length. I think she will enjoy the slower ground and if she can bounce back from a disappointing run last time, she can go close at 12/1.

The final race on the card is the Curragh Supporting Kildare GAA Handicap over one mile. Aussie Valentine runs for Ado McGuinness with seven pound claimer Stephen Mooney in the saddle. This son of Aussie Rules won a Premier Handicap back in May over course and distance, he races off a pound higher mark of 86. Innamorare was second on that occasion and has since been second twice including the Colm Quinn BMW Handicap at Galway. I think if he can return to that form he will run well at 9/1.