The flat racing Champion Jockey crown is still up for grabs. William Buick rode a double at Nottingham yesterday with leader Osin Murphy failing to ride a winner. It means Murphy leads Buick by two. The pair are riding at Chelmsford and Buick has seven rides to Murphy’s six. It could be an interesting evening.
Inside today’s main piece you can read my thoughts on the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. Plus, I have a selection from the Curragh.
Something for the Weekend – Part 2
Queen Elizabeth II Stakes – 1m
The QE II has been won by some great horses down the years including the likes of Brigadier Gerard, Rip Van Winkle and of course Frankel in 2011. There are ten entries for the race at the time of writing.
Despite Poetic Flare being a non-runner, the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II (3:10) is set to be the race of Champions Day. The clash between Palace Pier, Baaeed and not forgetting last year’s winner The Revenant is still on and it’s a race to get excited about.
Looking at some of the key trends and I have to say there aren’t many significant ones.
Favourites are 5 winners from 10 runners 50% +1.12 8 placed 80%
The biggest priced winner in the past ten years was King Of Change (2019) who was returned 12/1. It’s race where it pays to be with horses near the front of the betting.
Odds SP: 11/2 & under – 8 winners from 25 runners 32% +4.62 16 placed 64%.
All the last ten winners of the race were sent off 11/2 & under on their last start.
All the last ten winners of the race finished in the first three on their last start. Those who didn’t are 0 winners from 40 runners 7 placed.
Palace Pier needs no introduction he’s the best older miler in Europe, if not the world. He’s won all his four starts this year, including the last three in Group 1 company. His only defeat in ten starts came when he was third in this race 12 months ago on soft ground.
The exciting Baaeed is the new pretender to the miler crown. The 3-year-old only made his debut in June but he comes into the race 5-5 and made the step up to Group 1 company a winning one in the Prix du Moulin at Longchamp last month. On official ratings he has 4lb to find with Palace Pier but he likely remains capable of better.
The Revenant was the best horse on the day when winning last race but was on much softer ground than seems likely this time around. He has been trained for the race though and ran Real World to a short neck the Group 2 Prix Daniel Wildenstein 14-days ago.
The drying ground has seen some money come in for Benbatl at big odds. The 7-year-old has returned from nearly 12 months off the track in great heart and comes into this on the back of a Group 2 success in the Joel Stakes at Newmarket last month. Can get into the frame on decent ground but would need the front pair to under-perform to win.
Of more interest is another Godolphin runner Master Of The Seas. The 3-year-old finished an encouraging 1¼ lengths 3rd of 7 to Benbatl last time. However, that was the colt’s first start since finishing a short head 2nd of 14 in the 2,000 Guineas. He will be sharper with that run under his belt and should get the better of Benbatl this time.
Verdict: This should be between Palace Pier & Baaeed and of the pair I just prefer Palace Pier. If the front two in the betting perform to their best then it looks like each way players are fighting for just the one place. If the ground was soft or worse third would likely go to The Revenant. On good to soft or good I would favour the unexposed Master Of The Seas.
There are three flat and three jumps cards this afternoon with Wincanton hosting its first fixture of the new jumps season. The Irish flat season clings onto life with an eight flat Card at the Curragh.
3:25 – Made For Minds, has been modestly progressive on his four starts since leaving the William Haggas yard. Now with Ross O’Sullivan. The 4-year-old finished an encouraging 3rd of 10 at Down Royal over today’s trip before finishing a 2 ¾ length 5th of 17 at Navan when dropped back to 1m 2f. Back at 1m 4f today, he needs the first-time visor to eke out the improvement to win off his present mark. However, if they do, he should go close.
3:25 – Made For Minds – 9/1 @ Coral & Ladbrokes
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