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One For The Weekend

Morning all,

Given the amount of high-quality action over the last month or so. It’s been a long time since the Wednesday column has been able to look ahead to the weekend’s big races. Inside today’s column I look at two of Saturday’s races: The Irish 2,000 Guineas and Haydock’s Temple Stakes and like one in the latter race.  Plus, you’ll find my Wednesday best bet at the end of the main piece.

Classic Weekend

The Derby & Oaks Trial’s season is coming to an end. However, contenders could yet emerge at Goodwood on Friday in the Height Of Fashion Stakes (2.10) and Cocked Hat Stakes (3.20). It’s the first of two days of racing on the Sussex Downs and is it’s the first of two day’s racing at Haydock. The feature race of a seven-race card at Haydock is the Listed Cecil Frail Stakes (2.30). Across the Irish Sea Friday evening sees the start of Guineas weekend at the Curragh.

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The highlight of a busy Saturday of action is the Irish 2,000 Guineas (3.20) where English 2,000 Guineas runner-up Native Trail will be a hot favourite to go one better.

The best of the action in Britain is at Haydock where Nunthorpe winner Winter Power makes her seasonal return in the Group 2 Temple Stakes (3.45). The Group 2 Sandy Lane Stakes (3.10) adds more spice to a high-quality Haydock card. There’re also competitive cards at both York, with the Group 3 Bronte Stakes the feature race of a seven-race card and Goodwood. The ITV cameras are covering the best of the action from Haydock, York, Goodwood and the Irish 2,000 Guineas.

On Sunday, it’s Irish 1,000 Guineas Day. The race has the potential to be a cracker if the leading fancies face turn up. Sadly, Inspiral won’t be heading across the Irish Sea and instead waits for Royal Ascot.  However, the likes of Tuesday, History, Homeless Songs and Limiti Di Greccio could all run in what looks a wide-open fillies classic.

Besides the 1,000 Guineas there’s also the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup (2:40). You can watch the 1,000 Guineas live on ITV4. Along with seven races form York where it’s the second leg of the Sky Bet Sunday Series.

Irish 2,000 Guineas – Curragh

Native Trail is a best priced 2/5 with those bookies to have priced up the first Irish colt’s classic of the season. You can see why. His runner-up effort to stablemate Coroebus in the English 2,000 Guineas is the stand out piece of form.  In truth its hard to see him being beat if the same form as at Newmarket. Especially as his nearest market rival Buckaroo isn’t a certain runner according to trainer Joseph O’Brien and could be heading to Epsom and a tilt at the Derby.

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The race needs Buckaroo to run. If he doesn’t who looks most likely to give the favourite a race? Aidan O’Brien doesn’t have a strong hand in the race but he might supplement the improving Ivy League who ran well against older horses when a 1 ¾ length 2nd of 6 in a Group 3 at Leopardstown earlier this month.

Atomic Jones and Duke De Sessa were put in their place by Stone Age in the Derby Trial at Leopardstown 13-days ago. The former was making his seasonal reappearance that day and will be suited by the drop back to mile as should Duke De Sessa. The pair have each way claims but they need the favourite to badly underperform to win.

Temple Stakes (Group 2) – Haydock

Last season’s Nunthorpe Heroine Winter Power has 8lb in hand over her rivals on Official Ratings (OR’s). Making her seasonal reappearance, won first time up last season, she’s the one to beat although her best three RPR’s have come at York which does give her rivals a chance.

Khaadem looked as good as ever when make all to win the Group 3 Palace House Stakes last time. The 5f and quick ground suited the 6-year-old that day. He had Twilight Calls back in 5th, Arecibo in 7th and Came From the Dark in 10th. Khaadem does need quick ground which he isn’t certain to get on Saturday though. Good or quicker ground is also important Twilight Calls. He finished 1 ¼ length behind Khaadem at Newmarket and could get closer with a better passage

Moss Gill and Kings Lynn have a similar chance on OR’s and have each way claims but are likely to find a couple to good back in Group company.

Verdict: Came From the Dark was bitterly disappointing last time. He’s surely better than that performance suggests and any ease in the ground will be welcome. A previous winner over C&D. I’m more than happy forgive him his Newmarket run and will take him against the favourite. He's a best priced 8/1 with William Hill but only 5/1 with Paddy Power. At the 8/1, I’m definitely a backer.

Selection: Came From The Dark – 8/1 @ William Hill.

Wednesday Racing

The race of the day is the Listed Rothesay Stakes (2.45) at Ayr. There’s also more flat action at Yarmouth and a fixture at Warwick this afternoon. The day’s action is rounded off this evening with flat cards at Cork & Kempton and jumps meeting at Southwell. Yesterday’s selection was a non-runner so let’s hope today’s gets to run. I’m off to Cork for today’s best bet.

Cork

6:10 – Joyous Moment a winner Curragh maiden on her seasonal return. The filly was slowly away and as it transpired on the wrong side of the track when 3 ½ length 8th of 15 to Drombeg Banner on her handicap debut at Naas 11-days ago. A mark of 74 looks more than workable and if the drop to 5f isn’t an inconvenience can get back to winning ways today. The only disappointment is her price with the bookies taking a defensive position in the early bird market.

1pt win – Joyous Moment – 4/1 – Gen.

Good luck with your Wednesday bets.

John

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