Good morning all,
Inside today’s main piece. I look ahead to Saturday’s Weatherbys Super Sprint Stakes at Newbury. Plus. I have cast my eye over a handful of races at today’s meetings at Leopardstown and Killarney. First though a few words on yesterday’s big race at Longchamp.
Hurricane Blows Away Longchamp Rivals
A commanding performance from Irish Derby winner Hurricane Lane, on what turned out to be very soft ground, to land the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp.
William Buick always had the colt in a good position tracking the Ballydoyle pacemaker The Mediterranean. He took it up two from home and powered clear to win by an easy looking 6 lengths. Wordsworth third in the Irish Derby went in vain pursuit but was no match for the winner in second.
The well fancied Alenquer seemed to make an awkward start and was always struggling from then on. He stayed on at the finish for a well held third with long-time leader The Mediterranean holding on for fourth. My selection Cheshire Academy didn’t seem to stay 1m 4f on testing ground and could only finish 8th.
Hurricane Lane was suited by the even gallop and was a cut above his rivals here. He’s now the 11/2 joint favourite with Love & Snowfall for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
The Weekend Starts Here
No “Super Saturday” for punters to worry about this weekend. It’s Juddmonte Oaks Day (3:25) at the Curragh on a busy enough Saturday. Sadly, the big race looks underwhelming to say the least. Just the nine runners have been declared. Five of the nine runners are trained by Aidan O’Brien and they include impressive Epsom Oaks winner Snowfall who is a very short price to win another fillies Classic.
It’s not going to be a betting race for sure and to be honest I’m not sure if it will make for much of a watch either. At least the supporting card isn’t too bad with Group 2 Sapphire Stakes (2.50) and the Paddy Power Scurry Handicap (4.00) either side of the Oaks.
On the day when it was announced that only 1,000 spectators per day will be able to attend the upcoming Galway Festival. I doubt this year’s Irish Oaks would have had the crowds flocking through the doors.
The disappointingly small and uncompetitive field underlines the view that this year’s middle distance fillies, Snowfall apart, are a poor bunch.
The Oaks is part of an eight-race programme on ITV Racing which includes the best of the action from Newbury & Market Rasen. The Newbury card features the Group 3 bet365 Hackwood Stakes (3.00) and the Weatherbys Super Sprint Stakes (3.40). The highlight of the Market Rasen card is the Betway Summer Plate Handicap Chase (2:40).
The football may not have come on Sunday. However, it looks like the Summer is back with hot and sunny weather expected around the UK by Friday.
At the time of writing the going at Newbury is being described as good to soft. I think we can assume that it won’t be anywhere near that description by Saturday. Indeed, given the weather forecast its likely to be on the fast side.
3:40 – Weatherbys Super Sprint Stakes (GBB Race) (Class 2) – 5f
With £98,340 on offer to the winner, this is a good prize for the speedy juveniles. Since 2013 the two Richard’s Hannon & Fahey have dominated the race saddling three winners each. Mind you neither trainer is afraid to throw a few darts at this valuable prize. Out of the 190 runners to contest the race since 2013 the pair have provided 62 of them.
Whoever is successful in this year’s race. It might pay to back them on their next start if they are sent off favourite. Of the four horses to have won this race in the past 22-years – 3 winners from 5 runners were sent off favourite and they produced a £3.29 profit to a £1 level Stake.
Super Chance For Chipotle
Richard Hannon has six entered in this year’s race and all six have jockeys booked. Looking at the ante post betting Gubbass looks to be the pick. The colt looked a useful prospect when winning at Leicester on his racecourse debut 99-days ago. He hasn’t been since that race but has likely been aimed at this race.
Richard Fahey relies on just the one runner in Vintage Clarets. A winner of two of his three juvenile starts. He improved again when a 1 ½ length 3rd of 17 in the Group 2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot. He showed plenty of speed at Ascot so the drop back to the minimum trip shouldn’t inconvenience the colt nor will quick ground.
Heading the ante post betting isn’t one of the Hannon horses or the Fahey horse but Chipotle. The Eve Johnson Houghton juvenile bounced back from a poor run at on soft ground at Sandown to land the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot. With going likely to be on the fast side he looks a worthy favourite to me.
There’s Group 3 action across the Irish Sea at Leopardstown with the Meld Stakes (6:00).
The talented but frustrating Japan heads the overnight betting. A winner on his return at Chester back in May. He hasn’t run to that level of form on either start since and takes a big drop back in trip here. Despite the drop back in distance his class and quick ground could see him home.
Sinawann must be respected on his short head 2nd of 10 in a Group 2 here over a mile last September. Hasn’t quite reached that level of form on either start this season but would be dangerous if he finds it today.
Leo De Fury has been gelded since finishing last in the Irish Champion Stakes in September. He won a Group 2 at the Curragh on his seasonal reappearance last year, also won first time-up in 2019. Today on quick ground could be the day catch the 5-year-old and if the gelding operation has had the desired effect, he’s a big contender.
In the 7:40 Boom Boom Boom looks the one to be with. The 4-year-old looked set to win when going three lengths clear two out but was run out of it inside the final furlong and had to settle for 4th. He made his effort closest to the fair rail whereas those who finished ahead of him came down the middle. Up 1lb but Colin Keane takes over in the saddle and this looks a good opportunity to break his maiden tag.
Switching codes to the jumps. Elegant Lass should make a bold bid to follow up here recent Tipperary success in the Dawn Milk Run Handicap Hurdle at 4:15. The 6-year-old made all for a comfortable success last time and although she’s been raised 11lb for that win she could still be head of the handicapper. She won’t find it as easy to dominate here though as she did last time with another front runner Bonarc in the field. Should the front pair take each other on it could play into the hands of Ena Baie who was running well in two-mile handicap hurdles when last seen in action in April and could be suited by today’s extra furlong.
6:00 – Leo De Fury – 7/1 – Gen
Good luck with your Thursday bets.
John Burke is the tipster behind the long standing Victor Value service you can join him here – https://victorvalue.uk