Saturday saw the start of eight days high class racing. After Haydock and Longchamp at the weekend. This week the big race caravan heads to Doncaster for the four-day St Leger Festival which gets underway on Wednesday. Then on Saturday & Sunday we have Irish Champions Weekend at Leopardstown and the Curragh.
The recent dry spell meant July Cup winner Starman was sent off a strong favourite for Haydock’s Betfair Sprint Cup. Sadly, for favourite backers the line came a stride too early and he had to settle for a short head second behind Emaraaty Ana.
I highlighted in Wednesday's race preview that ‘horror’ 4-year-old stat of 4-year-old which Starman had to defy if he was to win. Well, it extended to 0 winners from 54 runners with the defeat of Starman and Art Power in this year’s race.
Island Brave early priced advised 16/1 and Top Secret 5/1 ensured a profitable Saturday for myself and my Victor Value subscribers. On the eve of the St Leger Festival and Irish Champions Weekend its good to be going into both in winning form.
Inside today’s main piece you can read my thoughts on the weekend’s two Group 1 contests. Plus, I have a selection from Newcastle.
Betfair Sprint Cup
Emaraaty Ana who had bounced back to his juvenile best when runner-up to Winter Power in the Nunthorpe Stakes on his previous start, was well suited by the extra furlong of Haydock’s flat track. He travelled strongly through the race and once he took it up 1f out. It always looked like he would hold on and so he did.
Starman lost nothing in defeat but ironically it was the fast ground that likely contributed to it. Haydock’s sharp 6f on quick ground put an emphasis on speed. He was being pushed along 2f out but finished his race of powerfully and got within a short head of the winner.
Take nothing away from the winner. He was the best horse on the day. However, over stiffer 6f I think Starman would have prevailed.
Prix Du Moulin
The weekend’s other Group 1 the Prix du Moulin at Longchamp on Sunday was won by Baaeed. The 3-year-old who was having his first start in Group 1 company was workmanlike rather than spectacular. However, given the William Haggas trained colt only made his debut in June it’s been a rapid rise to the top. He’s now 5-5 and until he gets beat its hard to know how good he can be. There was only 1 ¼ lengths between him and runner-up Order Of Australia at the line but Baaeed probably had more in hand than the official margin of success suggests.
A clash with Palace Pier and possibly Poetic Flare in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes will be a race to savour.
Not the easiest of days to find solid betting opportunities. I’m heading to Newcastle for today’s selection racing on the tapeta.
4:55 – Monsieur Lambrays was very unlucky in the run when a ¾ length 3rd of 6 at Nottingham last month. Twice a winner at Wolverhampton, as a 3-year-old and looks a worthy favourite. He had Margaret Dumont 3 lengths behind that day. However, the filly is a better horse on the synthetics. As she showed when runner up in the Northumberland Vase over C&D in June. Preference though is for the Charlie Fellowes trained Soros. A winner at Southwell in April and a close-up 4th at Kempton on his next start. The 4-year-old returned from a 7-week absence with a promising enough effort to finish a 2 ¼ length 3rd of 9 at Chelmsford 22-days. Sole start on the tapeta at Wolverhampton was underwhelming so he’s got to show he handles the surface. However, he’s handicapped to go close, if he does and has each way claims.
4:55 – Soros – 15/2 @ Coral & Ladbrokes (EW).
Good luck with your Monday bets.