In terms of quality, it doesn’t come any better this weekend. Irish Champions Weekend at Leopardstown and the Curragh. Arc Trials Day at Longchamp. And, of course Doncaster hosts the final classic of the British flat season the St Leger. Irish Derby Winner Hurricane Lane is the 4/6 favourite to land the oldest classic and he will be very tough to beat on the figures. However, as we saw last weekend with Starman these ’shorties’ can get turned over.
Aidan O’Brien bids for a seventh success in the St Leger and has no less than six of the 13 runners declared at Monday’s five-day stage. His contingent was bolstered by the supplementing of High Definition at a cost of £50,000. The colt has been disappointing on both starts since finishing a 2-length 3rd of 10 behind Hurricane Lane in the Dante Stakes in May. It will be interesting to see if connections opt for the first-time headgear for the colt.
It's Tuesday so it must be eyecatcher day. Inside today’s main piece you’ll find three horses that should be winning sooner rather than later. Plus, I have selection from Galway’s tea time fixture.
They call the autumn the season of “mist and mellow fruitfulness”. Well, you could be forgiven for thinking it was the middle of July on Monday. As the thermometer rose to the mid-20′ s Celsius across many parts of England and expected to go even higher over the next couple of days.
It won’t last though. As unsettled weather is due at the end of the week. However, at least the weekend's big races either side of the Irish Sea should be run on decent ground.
More on the weekend’s action in Wednesday and Thursday’s columns. Including some interesting St Leger Festival trainer stats tomorrow.
The first of this week’s eyecatchers ran at Salisbury on Thursday in the Group 3 Dick Poole Stakes.
Pearl Glory – Kevin Philippart De Foy
The filly was 2-2 going into Thursday’s Group 3 contest but had to settle for the runners-up spot here. Still, she shaped like the best horse going forward. Travelling best of all two furlongs out she didn’t get the best of passages and had to be switched 1f out. Doing her best work at the finish she confirmed she’s a nice prospect and capable of holding her own in pattern company and the best of the filly is yet to be seen.
State Occasion – Ralph Beckett
State Occasion had ended last season with a win at Kempton. She built on the promise of her Lingfield seasonal reappearance last month when a 1 ¼ length 2nd of 10 to Don’t Tell Claire in a mile handicap at Ascot on Saturday. Given she was hampered 1f out it was a grand effort by the filly. Yet to race on turf on ground worse than good to firm but can be placed or win again in the coming weeks.
Lasting Legacy – Chris Fairhurst
Twice a winner already this season at Redcar & Pontefract. The filly failed to stay 1m 2f on her previous start at Ripon and looked better suited to return to a mile at Haydock on Saturday. Given both this seasons’ wins have come on good to soft and heavy ground it was an encouraging effort to finish a 2 ¼ length 5th of 9 on quick going. She remains 3lb above her last winning mark, however, she looks capable of adding another win to her career record when she gets more juice in the ground.
Monday’s selection Soros suffered the fate of all good each way bets by finishing 4th at Newcastle. The most valuable race today is the fillies & mares Listed Oyster Stakes at Galway (6:30). I have three of interest today.
6:30 – Merroir, one of two Joseph O’Brien trained contenders, won a handicap over C&D and maintained her recent upward trajectory when a ¾ length 3rd of 13 at the Curragh 17-days ago. Needs to improve again on her step into pattern company but its not impossible that she can.
7:00 – Sea Appeal has improved with each of his last three starts and posted a career best on RPR’s when winning at Killarney 57-days ago. The handicapper has raised him 7lb for that success. But there’s a good chance we haven’t seen the best of the 3-year-old.
2:35 – Mr Strutter is a real course specialist with 5 wins from 13 runs +26.75 8 places. The 7-year-old has finished runner-up on his last two starts over C&D, Doing best of the hold up horses last time. First run for new trainer Geoff Harker today but seems likely to go well again.
7:00 – Sea Appeal – 11/2 @ Coral & Ladbrokes.
Good luck with your Tuesday bets.
John Burke is the tipster behind the long standing Victor Value service you can join him here – https://victorvalue.uk