In this week’s column, I highlight the claims of a colt for the St Leger and a value bet in the Irish Oaks. As well as looking back at last weeks horse racing action.
We heard some disappointing news yesterday. It was announced that Derby winner Masar has been ruled out for the rest of the season. Connections have said he will stay in training as 4-year-old which is good news.
Newmarket July Festival Highlights
Well that’s another flat summer festival over. The Newmarket July Festival isn’t traditionally the best of the summer festivals. Well compared to Royal Ascot and the Ebor Festival it's not. But there were still some good performances over the three days.
Alpha Centauri’s easy win in the Group 1 Falmouth Stakes was my personal favourite. This was the filly’s third Group 1 on the trot, following on from her wins in the Irish 1,000 Guineas and the Coronation Stakes. She’s a genuine a superstar filly who just floats across a sound surface and is joy to watch.
The runner-up Altyn Orda couldn’t match the winners speed and was beaten 4 ½ lengths by the winner. Her trainer Roger Varian sees his filly as a possible for the Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket in the Autumn. The daughter of Kyllachy goes well on the Rowley Mile and she should be noted for that race.
The meeting opened with the Bahrain Trophy which was won by the Tim Easterby trained Wells Farhh Go. The going was officially described as good to firm but the track had been heavily watered and the race times suggested it was perfect good ground.
The 3-year-old relished the 1m 5f and made sure the race was run at true gallop by making all. The new front running tactics clearly worked a treat as he galloped his rivals into the ground.
A possible tilt at the Great Voltigeur at York could be on the horse’s agenda next. Despite the drop back to 1m 4f, his front running style is suited to York and he did win twice there as a juvenile.
The trainer has made no secret that the St Leger is the target for which Wells Farhh Go. He's now a best priced 10/1 for the final Classic of the season.
Given he will probably be an even better horse with more ease in the ground. Those 10/1 odds look attractive to me.
U S Navy Flag had been expected to be suited by the drop back to sprinting. So it proved. As the colt made all to give his trainer Aidan O’Brien a fourth win in the July Cup. It was also another success for the use of a crossover and tongue tie. Something that the trainer has used to good effect on plenty of his other horses in the past. I find it rather surprising that more trainers don’t use this combination given how effective it seems to be.
The time of the race shows U S Navy Flag got an easy lead out in front. The runner up Brando may well have won had he been drawn on the right side. He’s a big stamp of a horse who always gives his all but the effort just took its toll in the final 100yds.
Blue Point was sent off the well backed 5/2 favourite after his win King Stand Stakes. He was ultimately well beaten into 7th. For me he doesn’t see out 6f strongly enough in Group 1 company. He’s also yet to prove he can put up two back to back Group 1 performances.
Newmarket July Festival Eyecatcher
This week’s tracker horse is the Kevin Ryan trained Stormbringer. The 3-year-old just lost out by a nose to Foxtrot Lady in a driving finish. The pair pulled 3 lengths clear of the 3rd so the form looks solid. There was plenty to like about the Ryan horse’s attitude in the finish.
The colt had run with credit in handicaps over 7f but was well suited by the drop to 6f. He will go up in the weights for this performance but he looks the sort to go well in races like the Ayr Gold Cup. There are more races in him whatever his targets later in the season.
More Group 1 Success To Come For Aidan O’Brien
Ryan Moore followed his win on U S Navy Flag by flying over to France to win the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris on Kew Gardens. Aidan O’Brien had mentioned early in the year that Kew Gardens would get better as the season goes. It looks like he will be proved right.
At the start of the season I had Kew Gardens down as likely St Leger contender. If connections go down that route, it’s a race he must have a great chance of winning. Before the Leger the colt could go for the King George VI, for which he’s a best priced 6/1.
There could be more success for Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore this weekend in the Irish Oaks with Magic Wand. It's likely that the Curragh won’t see much rain and if the ground remains on the quick side the filly will take all the beating. The 11/4 available with Coral looks a good bet to me, as she won’t be that price on Saturday.
Sultan Baybars, hasn’t won since his juvenile racecourse debut for previous trainer Roger Varian and David O’Meara will be disappointed that he hasn’t managed to get a win out of the 4-year-old this season. Sultan Baybars is now 11lb lower than he started the season and can now race in a Class 5 handicap for the first time.
He clearly comes with risks attached but there’s no doubt he’s a well handicapped on his best handicap form of 12 months ago and hopefully the drop down in Class can make all the difference today.
4:40 – Sultan Baybars
All that’s left now is to wish you a profitable weeks punting.
You can benefit from Victor Value expertise and tips every day when you take a trial of his service for just £1 – Click Here