There was an excellent programme of racing this weekend. A mix of Classic/Group races mixed with some competitive big field handicaps.
Inside today’s main piece I look at Irish Guineas Weekend at the Curragh. Plus, there’s a Monday selection from Leicester.
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Native Trail Lands Irish 2,000 Guineas
Native Trail runner-up to stablemate Coroebus in the English 2,000 Guineas went one better in the first Irish colt’s classic of the season on Saturday. It was a workmanlike success, but it was a case of job done. After the race there was much speculation about him stepping up to a 1m 2f. He’s by Champion Sprinter Oasis Dream whose progeny have won over 1m 2f+, including Midday who won a Group 1 over 1m 4f. That said he’s yet to have a colt win a Group 1 beyond 1m.
I think the mile is a suitable distance for him. He just takes quite a while to wind up when Buick asks him for his effort. At the same time, he tends to swap leads a couple times, gets unbalanced which isn’t good on an undulating track but then he hits top gear he tends to go on to win cozily which he did on Saturday.
Global Energy ran a cracker at 40/1 for Shelia Lavery to get within 1 ¾ length of the winner in second. Indeed, 1f out it looked he might even win. Back in third was the Andrew Balding trained Imperial Fighter.
Ivy League never looked like he would win back the 50,000 euros connections paid to supplement the colt. The big disappointment of the well fancied second favourite Buckaroo who ran well below form in 6th.
Native Trail’s success means Charlie Appleby became the first trainer to win the English, French and now Irish 2,000 Guineas in the same year with three different horses.
Homeless Songs Trounces 1,000 Guineas Rivals
Homeless Songs beat what looked a useful field of fillies in the Irish 1,000 Guineas yesterday. In truth she didn’t just beat her rivals she trounced them. Travelling powerfully on the outside 3f out she quickened clear off her rivals 1f out to win by an impressive 5 ½ lengths. The turn of foot she showed to win on her seasonal reappearance was once again in evidence here. I fancied her for the English 1.000 Guineas, but she missed that race on account of the quick ground.
Sunday’s easier surface suited her well and she looks set for meet Newmarket winner Cachet and French 1,000 Guineas winner Mangoustine and Inspiral in what looks a potentially cracking Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot. However, I wonder if she runs if the ground is quick.
Tuesday third at Newmarket went one place better here but couldn’t match the speed of the winner. She now heads to Epsom for the Oaks. Back in third was her stablemate Concert Hall who also heads to Epsom for the Oaks. She was doing her best work at the finish and 1m 4f at Epsom could really suit her, as her dam won the 2012 Oaks. Tuesday and Concert Hall give Aidan O’Brien a strong hand in next months fillies classic.
Purplepay was having her first start since switching to William Haggas. A very useful juvenile when trained in France. She had cost her new connections €2,000,000 at the sales and looks a good filly, albeit she was beaten 7-lengths in 6th. Her best form last season came on even softer ground than yesterday and she’s bred to better over 1m 2f. There are races to be won with her this season.
Kings For King
Kings Lynn got a breakthrough success in Group company when wining Saturday’s Group 2 Temple Stakes at Haydock. He was suited by the strong pace and just managed to hold off Twilight Calls by a head. The King Stand at Royal Ascot is next for the Queen’s 5-year-old. The runner-up might have been a bit unlucky; he didn’t get the best of runs a furlong out. He was finishing his race off well when in the clear and the stiffer 5f at Ascot will suit him.
Both will have plenty on their plate in the King Stand Stakes with Wesley Ward trained Golden Pal and top Australian sprinter Nature Strip likely to be in the field. Of the pair I think Twilight Calls who is getting better with racing and would have each way claims at 16/1.
The market told its own story about the chance of Nunthorpe winner Winter Power on her seasonal return. Slowly away she was to keen and although she was still bang there a furlong out she soon weakened to finish 8th. The run was badly needed and she’s not one to give up on just yet.
My ante post selection Came From The Dark was also very weak in the betting, returned 12/1, and ran dreadfully to finish last of the ten runners.
Leicester, Ludlow and Wolverhampton provide this afternoon’s action and Roscommon, Huntingdon and Windsor race this evening. It’s the usual moderate Monday fare although there is a Class 2 sprint handicap (6:40) at Windsor and I fancy a few today.
Navello will be suited by the forecast strong pace in the Fitzdares Sprint Series Qualifier (6:40) at Windsor. However, he will do well to give 4lb to the unexposed Rum Cocktail who also has an apprentice taking off an additional 7lb. She beat Sense Of Duty at Newmarket last summer and that one won a Listed race at Haydock on Friday. Handicap debut here and could develop into a useful sprinter this season.
Roman Dynasty is on a bit of a losing run but made a promising reappearance when 2 ¾ length 3rd of 11 to Ffion at Chester last time. He’s got a decent chance in the 2:50 if building on his Chester run.
Top-weight Salvator Mundi looks likely to be popular for the Gosden yard in the (3:50). He finished a 2 ½ length 3rd of 6 on handicap debut over C&D last time. However, he needs the first time cheekpieces to eke out a bit of improvement. Better value though seems to be with Cliffs Of Fury. He posted a career best effort when 4 length 2nd of 6 at Newmarket (1m 2) last time. Despite a slight concern over quick ground. If he stays today’s extra two furlongs, he’s the one for me.
Pam Sly is 7 from 29 24% +59.25 with her runners at Leicester in the past five years and I like her runner Cubanista in the 4:25. The 3-year-old didn’t show much on his three starts as a juvenile. However, there was more to like about his ½-length 3rd of 12 on handicap debut at Wetherby (1m) last month. There might be a bit better to come from him despite the drop back to 7f.
Hopefully there is among those mentioned. For what it worth, given my present form, my Monday free tip is Cliffs of Fury.
3:50 – 1pt win – Cliffs Of Fury – 6/1 @ Bet365.
Good luck with your Monday bets.