There is another big day of racing action taking place on Saturday on both sides of the Irish Sea with big meetings in the UK and Ireland as we begin the build up to Glorious Goodwood at the beginning of next month.
We’ll deal with the Irish flat meeting in another post but before we get to that there is an appealing meeting at York where we’re attacking three races, as well as one at Haydock later into the evening, on a busy day of bets for us.
A maximum field of 22 go to post for the John Smith’s Cup handicap over a mile and a quarter. Caradoc went well on his reappearance at Epsom & should be primed for this but I’m not certain his position at the head of the market is justified. Last time winners from 4 of the biggest yards in training are next in the market but I’m against Solid Stone, Harrovian, Fifth Position & Desert Icon.
The first of 2 bets is Sinjaari who is having his first run of the year for William Haggas. It’s his first run since being gelded too and comes here off the back of a decent but frustrating campaign last year. On his handicap debut, he was 2nd to Headman in the London Gold Cup at Newbury. The winner gave 6lbs that day but is now rated 115. After that, he was placed twice in Class 2 handicaps but remained winless which somewhat protected his mark. This 4 year old is open to loads of improvement this year and provided he’s ready to go first time up, he should run a big race.
At a bigger price, I cannot ignore the chances of Tinandali. David O’Meara does well with recruits from other yards & this one looks like being another one of those. In 2 runs since coming to these shores, he’s finished 2nd off a mark of 100 at Ayr & was then 3rd at Epsom off today’s mark of 102 behind Sky Defender. That day, he was 2 lengths in front of today’s favourite Caradoc & reopposes on the same terms. Whilst that was Caradoc’s reappearance & he should come on for the run, the market looks distorted &, if you think the favourite has a chance, you cannot leave this one out of calculations.
WON – Back Sinjaari (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 15.00 William Hill BOG (⅕ odds 1-6)
PLACED – Back Tinandali (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 23.00 William Hill BOG (⅕ odds 1-6)
Back them here:
Next up is a Class 3 handicap over a mile and a half. This looks as open as it gets with bookies going 5/1 the field. None of the market leaders look solid with Arctic Fox, Al Muffrih & Elector all having their flaws whilst Make My Day has something to prove now stepping out of novice company for the first time. Mayfair Spirit has a cracking record in handicaps and cannot be ignored.
However, the one I like is the unexposed Sandret. He won 2 in novice company & has since progressed in handicaps. He finished a neck 2nd to a 99-rated handicapper when stepped up to a mile & then improved again when tried over a mile & a quarter, winning a stakes race on unfavourable terms. His reappearance run was good enough without being sparkling in a much better heat than this where the front 2 run today in the John Smith’s Cup. He looked in need of the race that day & is taken to continue his record of showing improvement for another step up in trip. In an open race, he looks the best each way bet.
VOID – Back Sandret (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 12.00 Betway BOG (⅕ odds 1-4)
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The straight 6 furlongs sees 19 spread across the track for this Class 3 handicap. There’s a lack of pace so it’s hard to know which side of the track will be favoured so we’re taking one from either side.
Muscika is drawn high & he comes here race fit having run 3 times in the last month. He was 6th on the first of those but then improved in 2nd off 1lb higher than today’s mark behind Wentworth Falls. He was poor last time out but dwelt from the stalls & his chance was all but lost there. His last 2 wins have been off a mark 3lbs higher than this & last year he was placed 4 times off marks in the 90s (rated just 84 today) including in the Skybet Dash here behind 109-rated Dakota Gold. A thoroughly consistent sort, he should be in the mix.
Drawn low, Broken Spear is the one who could force the pace & could be hard to peg back. He was 6th at Catterick on Wednesday but was only just over a length behind the winner. It’s therefore encouraging he’s now 3lbs lower today. He goes well at the track with a win, a second and a 4th from 4 tries at the track & today’s jockey Kevin Stott gets on well with the horse. This is only his 3rd run over 6 furlongs in handicaps & his future looks sure to be over this trip having looked in need of extra distance for some time. Unexposed over the trip, he could go well at a big price.
PLACED – Back Muscika (e/w) for a 0.75/10 stake at 10.00 Betfair BOG (⅕ odds 1-5)
Back it here:
Back Broken Spear (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 15.00 William Hill BOG (⅕ odds 1-5)
Back it here:
Our final bets of the day come in the Class 2 handicap over a mile. I can’t be on Jahbath at 7/2 as he’s not been seen for over a year and looks an all weather specialist. Cap Francais & Alternative Fact both won handicaps in a lower grade here last time out but have new marks to contend with whilst Streak Lightning is 2 from 2 in novice company but this is a different ball game entirely.
Hortzadar is the first of 2 bets & he deserves to win after being first past the post last time out before being disqualified for weighing in light. He looks to be back on a decent mark off 91, especially as his last win came last year off this mark at Ripon. On reappearance, he was drawn on the wrong side of the track in the Silver Hunt Cup at Ascot so we can safely ignore that run but he stepped up when “winning” at Hamilton last time out. His best form is on turning tracks, he’s off a good mark & should go well from a yard running into form.
Tim Easterby’s Al Erayg is another who should go well. He won at Newcastle on reappearance when making all off 3lbs lower before finishing 3rd at Redcar last time off this mark. He was given a strange ride that day, racing all alone for a large part of the race before finishing with the rest of the pack. That run can almost certainly be upgraded. He’s the most likely front runner here on a track which favours those racing prominently &, coming out of stall 2, he should kick on & hopefully lead them a merry dance. After that last run, it’s also a good thing that David Allan, who rode the horse to his most recent win, replaces Duran Fentiman in the saddle.
Back Hortzadar (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 8.00 BetVictor BOG (¼ odds 1-3)
Back it here:
PLACED AT 20/1 – Back Al Erayg (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 11.00 Betfred BOG (⅕ odds 1-4)