A tale of two horses…

Good morning all,

A busy and eventful weekend just gone, two days of Irish Champion’s Weekend, Arc Trials Day at Chantilly, an impressive win by Harry Angel in the Sprint Cup at Haydock and there’s more to come with the Doncaster St Léger Festival starting on Wednesday culminating in the final classic of the season on Town Moor.

Saturday saw two contrasting performances by three-year-old colts. Harry Angel could hardly have been more impressive in taking Haydock’s big race on Saturday. The turn of foot he showed in heavy ground was exceptional. Granted the well fancied Brando didn’t run his race but Harry Angel is now rightly the Champion Sprinter in Europe after this win. The faith shown in the horse by Clive Cox as a two-year-old has been well rewarded this year.

Over in at Leopardstown the feature race on a stellar card was the Irish Champions Stakes. A race in which English and Irish 2000 Guineas winner Churchill attempted to win his first Group 1, at 1m 2f. On paper the race didn’t look the strongest of renewals and Churchill was sent off the 8/11 favourite. Sadly for his backers, he put up a rather lack luster performance to finish 7th of 10. His season looks to have ended. It will be interesting to see if he stays in training as a four-year-old but he doesn’t look the type to improve for an extra season on the track.

Over at Chantilly on Sunday Cracksman did what was needed to win the Prix Niel but we are still no nearer to finding out whether connections will roll the dice and go for next months Arc with the colt. Vazirabad took the 1m 7f, Prix Gladiateur in fairly comfortable fashion and looks like one of the leading fancies for the Melbourne Cup. The performance that caught my eye on Arc Trials Day came from the German Raider Dschingis Secret who stayed on too strongly for his rivals to take the Group 2 Prix Foy. The four-year-old is clearly still improving and will now head for the Arc. He would have to find more improvement to beat Enable in that race but he should be a lively each way contender if the ground was to be on the soft side.

One For The Tracker:

For those of you have been following the notebook horses. You will have been pleased with wins by Hyperfocus at 11/2 on Friday and Tommy Taylor at 14/1 yesterday. Last week’s tracker horse Roll on Rory also ran second at York on Sunday.

This week’s horse for your trackers is the Jamie Osborne trained Raising Sand. The five-year-old looked an improved horse when winning at Ascot over a mile on his previous start. He ran just as well again back at Ascot this time over a 1f shorter. He only finished 4th but he did best of those held up in the 7f, Class 2 handicap on Saturday’s card. His winning chance probably wasn’t helped by a tardy start and in the circumstances did well to get within 1 ¾ length of the winner at the finish.

Stat Corner

A short one this week and two trainers whose runners could be worth noting, at this week’s St Léger Festival at Doncaster. In the past five years trainer Hugo Palmer and John Gosden have got the following records in handicaps at the meeting:

Hugo Palmer – 3 winners from 7 runners 43% +20.5 A/E 2.11 3 placed 43%
John Gosden – 3 winners from 7 runners 43% +8 A/E 1.71 4 placed 57%

Monday Selection:

Hope Solo made it another winner for the Monday selection when winning at Ripon following in the hoof prints of Hee Haw who had won at the track the previous week.

Not the easiest of days to find solid betting opportunities but I am off to Brighton for today’s selection.


4:25 – Funky Footsteps – The selection is trained by Eve Johnston Houghton who has had 14 winners from 38 runners 37% +29.42 A/E 1.8 23 placed 61% with her three-year-old+ runners at Brighton in handicap races since 2014. The filly hasn’t won since her racecourse debut last year on soft ground and is on an eight race losing run but she has been there or there about’s on her last four runs and shouldn’t be far away again.

Funky Footsteps – 5/1

All that’s left now is to wish you a profitable week's punting.

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