A feast of top-class action awaits us this afternoon with ITV showing ten races from four meetings. We have five from Haydock (good to firm ground), two from Goodwood (good), two from York (good to firm) plus the Irish 2000 Guineas from The Curragh (good).
So, here are my best racing tips to beat the bookies.
Sorry did I say top-class action? We kick off today with a class 5 0-75 handicap that looks totally out of place amongst the feast of superb action to come. Mind you, a winner’s a winner and in the top weight Auld Toon Loon we have a worthy bet. Trained in Yorkshire by David O’Meara, who’s had a quiet start to the season so far although was in the winners’ enclosure with Trueman earlier in the week at Carlisle, he was well supported on his handicap debut at Wetherby 11 days ago when going down by half a length to Arch Moon in a slightly better grade handicap than today’s.
He has been shunted up 3lb for that run and is stepping up 2F to a mile and a half for the first time. This trip should suit and despite having to give weight away to his six rivals should be up to that as his opponents look either out of form or very modest.
AULD TOON LOON 2 points win @ 13/8 with Bet365
Just the seven assemble for this listed William Hill Festival Stakes run over 1M 2F. Joint best in at today’s weights are Roger Varian’s El Drama and John and Thady Gosden’s Francesco Clemente. Preference has to be for the latter who is still unbeaten in three starts as a three-year-old last season starting off with a comprehensive victory in the Wood Ditton and culminating with a ten-length win in a handicap on the July course at the same racecourse in July.
Not seen since but holding several top entries for the Summer and beyond including the Princess Of Wales, Hardwicke Stakes, Eclipse and Prix Arc de L’Triomphe he could be anything and with Rab Havlin in the saddle he’s taken to score on his re-appearance.
Charlie Appleby’s King Of Conquest is chasing a hat trick having won handicaps in Bahrain and at Newmarket and rates as the biggest threat to the selection.
FRANCESCO CLEMENTE 1 point win @ 7/4 with BetVictor promo code
Seven go to post for this 2M class 2 0-100 handicap. Reshoun heads the weights for Patrick Morris and although he’s back on a winning mark he’s nine years old now and may not be as good as he once was. His former trainer Ian William’s Law Of The Sea appeals as the most likely winner here having looked an unlucky loser in the Chester Cup last time out when coming home in fourth place only beaten just under two lengths.
He was denied a clear run inside the last couple of furlongs when trapped on the rail under Franny Norton and is only a pound higher with William Buick booked to ride. The ground was soft that day and will be very different today but he’s shown as least as good form on the fast ground throughout his career (5th, beaten 4L, in the 2021 Queens Vase at Ascot on good to firm) and is the selection here.
Ralph Beckett’s Carzola is chasing a four-timer but those three wins have come on the all-weather and soft turf ground so has to answer questions here on fast ground conditions. David Simcock’s Mountain Road is chasing a hat trick but we haven’t seen him on a racecourse for just under 200 days whilst Tony Martin brings Firstman over from his base in County Meath and has gone 127 days since his last flat win.
Law Of The Sea is a confident selection to give William Buick yet another winner.
LAW OF THE SEA 2 points win @ 3/1 with Betfred
An intriguing three-year-old’s only 7F handicap where as always at Goodwood when racing around the bend the draw is very important with those drawn on or near the rails (low numbers) significantly better off. William Haggas’s Tafreej has to be in the shortlist from stall 2 having run well enough at Newbury last month whilst John & Thady Gosden’s Bresson is one to watch closely in the market on his handicap debut from stall 5.
Yacowlef has been raised 6lb for his victory at Newmarket from Striking Star (runner up again since) and can run well for the father and son team of Paul and Oliver Cole who will no doubt be in attendance at The Curragh for the Irish 2000 Guineas today with their Guineas third Royal Scotsman.
One horse who I feel is well handicapped is Tom Clover’s Seeking Gold. He bumped into Chaldean on his racecourse debut at Newbury last July prior to winning at Yarmouth the following month. He wasn’t disgraced in listed company on his next start whilst his final start in Group 2 company in France can be overlooked on account of the soft ground.
He’s drawn stall one and can run very well although I would have liked to have seen his trainer in better form having gone 40 days and 25 runs since his last winner, but he has had a few hit the frame in the last fortnight including Rogue Millennium going down by half a length in the Group 2 Middleton Stakes at York. I’ll take a chance on him at the prices.
SEEKING GOLD 1 point each way @ 11/1 with William Hill bonus code (Paying 4 Places at 1/5 odds)
The Betfred Silver Bowl is a class 2 1M three-year-olds-only handicap that usually produces a nice winner and is always worth following. John and Thady Gosden’s Covey heads the market on the back of impressive victories at Newmarket and Newcastle. This will be his first step into handicap company and a mark of 90 looks workable when you consider the connections we’re considering the Irish 2000 Guineas for him. Frankie Dettori gets the leg up and he’s my main selection.
There are several other promising types in opposition including Peter Chapple-Hyam’s Defence Of Fort who’s always been highly thought of and makes his handicap debut also although we haven’t seen him for 211 days which is a bit of a concern. The fast ground is of concern for the Ed Bethell-trained James McHenry whose two handicap victories this season (including over course and distance) have come with give in the ground.
Top weight Killybegs Warrior starts out in handicaps off of a lofty mark of 102 but he’s kept some smart company so far in his career including when 6th, beaten 5 1/4L in the Dante Stakes over 10 1/2F at York recently. A drop back to a mile will suit and can run a nice race.
Bottom weight Just Bring It is the other one I want on my side as he appeared to improve for a sounder surface when runner-up in a Newmarket handicap a week ago when getting run down late on by Chelsea Green. Off of only a one-pound higher mark, he looks overpriced for a trainer Clive Cox who knows how to win this having won it twice in the last four years.
COVEY 2 points win @ 11/4 with William Hill
JUST BRING IT 1 point each way @ 14/1 (Paying 4 Places at 1/5 odds)
A typical 5F sprint handicap for horses rated 0-105 for which fourteen have declared. The 5F handicap run at last week’s Dante meeting is the key piece of form here with Korker finishing runner-up from Bedford Flyer in 3rd and Mondammej back in 4th and Alligator Alley, and Copper Knight further behind. Korker started slowly that day (as he has done before) and flashed home to be beaten 1/2L by Regional. With a cleaner break at the gate, he can confirm that form and take this sprint handicap.
Ruth Carr’s bottom weight Reigning Profit has been in good form of late but may prefer more ease in the ground whilst Nigel Tinkler’s Squealer is an interesting runner as despite a plum draw at Chester last time he patently failed to handle the soft ground and back on a sounder surface could run better.
A tough race which has a ‘who’s turn is it today’ feel about it but if Karl Burke’s top-weight Korker can start on terms with his rivals he could be the one to take this.
KORKER 1 point win @ 10/3 with William Hill
A cracker of a sprint is up next with the Group 2 6F Sandy Lane Stakes for three-year-olds only, a stepping stone to the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot next month with all eight competitors holding that entry. The stand-out horse is Aiden O’Brien’s top juvenile from last season Little Big Bear who was impressive when routing his field in the Phoenix Stakes at The Curragh coming home 7L to the good.
It all went wrong for him in the 2000 Guineas when upped in trip as he pulled too hard and clipped heels early on so finished lame. Dropped back to sprint trips he has to be given another chance but has been well found in the market. Frankie Dettori takes the ride with Ryan Moore on duty in Ireland.
Kevin Ryan’s Cold Case is a progressive sort who kept on well to win the Group 3 Commonwealth Cup Trial at Ascot with today’s rival Bradsell 1 1/2L back in third. That was Bradsell’s first run since a bad injury in the Phoenix Stakes last season and he looked all over the winner until presumably blowing up inside the final furlong. It wouldn’t surprise me if Archie Watson’s likeable three-year-old turns the tables on Cold Case and he’s the selection here.
Matilda Picotte, trained in Ireland by Kieran Cotter, ran third in the 1000 Guineas and is, like the favourite here, dropping in trip. She does though have 20lb to find with Little Big Bear.
A fascinating race with Royal Ascot’s Commonwealth Cup on the horizon and I’ll take a chance with Bradsell to shock Little Big Bear under Hollie Doyle.
BRADSELL 1 point win @ 7/2 with Bet365
Nine fillies and mares aged four years old and older line up for the Group 3 William Hill Brontë Cup Fillies Stakes for which we have a very warm favourite in the John and Thady Gosden-trained four-year-old Mimikyu who has to shoulder a 5lb penalty for her Group 2 Park Hill Stakes win at Doncaster last September.
That’s easily the best form on offer here and she will be hard to beat under Kieran O’Neill although she’s never actually raced on the ground as fast as it will be this afternoon. On official ratings, even with her penalty, she’s 10lb ahead of her opponents and it’s hard to find one to trouble her here.
Ralph Beckett’s River Of Stars was over 12L behind the favourite when last seen and there’s no reason to believe she can turn the tables so a bigger threat may well be the William Haggas improver Sea Flawless although this is a big step up in grade for her and is officially 20lb behind Mimikyu who’s been working with the stable’s Oaks fancy Soul Sister on the Newmarket gallops and has to be the pick.
MIMIKYU 1 point win @ 5/4 William Hill
Fourteen speedsters line up for the Group 2 5F Betfred Temple Stakes. It has quite an open look about it this year with the front four in the market looking to dominate.
James Tate’s Royal Aclaim was a highly promising sprinter last season who was very impressive at York’s Ebor meeting winning the listed City Of Walls Stakes in a canter and wasn’t disgraced on two subsequent efforts in a higher grade.
The two three-year-olds both hold decent chances with The Platinum Queen having a terrific first season culminating in winning the Prix de L’Abbaye at Longchamp against her elders. Owned then by Middleham Park Racing she was subsequently sold to Katsumi Yoshida for a staggering £1.2 million and transferred from Richard Fahey to Roger Varian and has to shoulder a 5lb penalty today.
Dramatised also had an excellent first term winning the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot and ending her season finishing runner-up in the Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint with The Platinum Queen well behind. William Buick is booked and she looks the pick today although I do fear last season’s runner-up Twilight Calls who loves the ground this fast and can be excused his re-appearance defeat on the grounds of the soft conditions that prevailed that day.
Any one of the front four could take this but I’m with Dramatised for the in-form Karl Burke stable.
DRAMATISED 1 point each way @ 5/1 with Bet365
The Curragh 15:40
The Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas feature eleven three-year-old colts including the second and third from the English 2000 Guineas three weeks ago.
Aiden O’Brien saddles three runners in a race that he’s won a staggering eleven times in the past. Ryan Moore presumably has had the pick and is on the progressive Paddington who was pushed out to win a listed race over course and distance last time following a handicap victory at Naas racecourse.
Both of those wins were gained on soft ground and on different ground and upped in trip is quite easily passed over. You do feel if he wasn’t the O’Brien number one he would have a much bigger price than his current price of around 4/1. O’Brien also sends out Cairo and Age Of Kings here but neither appeal.
The race that should produce the winner today is the English 2000 Guineas from three weeks ago when Kevin Ryan’s Hi Royal, who went off at 125/1, had Paul & Oliver Cole’s Royal Scotsman half a length behind when runner up to Chaldean. That doesn’t tell half the story mind as the latter was lit up by clipping heels early on, running with the choke out and on the wrong side of where the winner and runner-up came from.
Royal Scotsman has decent two-year-old form on fast ground as a two-year-old and the younger half of the training duo sounded very confident earlier in the week talking up his chances. Jamie Spencer is not my favourite jockey but he’s capable and won this race for Charlie Hills back in 2019 and takes the reins today. He’s a confident selection.
ROYAL SCOTSMAN 2 points win @ 2/1 with Bet365 bonus code
All odds are accurate at the time of writing.
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