There is plenty to enjoy this weekend with the Group 1 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby the big race of the day at the Curragh.
Up in Geordieland they have the Northumberland Plate at 2.05 and as famous as it is it is not a race I often get involved with. Withhold has been a short price in the build-up but I can’t be taking 7-2 about one in this! The Saeed bin Suroor trained Natural Scenery was second last year and though she hasn’t won since February 2017 she has been in some pretty decent races. With a couple of pound less on her back for this year and on a track where she goes well, won both her other starts here, at 11-1 she is an each-way punt that I had to take.
They have a little card at HQ Newmarket and one runs there that I am sticking with for now. I have put up Dutch Connection when a disappointing fourth in the G.3 John Of Gaunt Stakes. He goes again in the G.3 Betway Criterion Stakes at 1.45 and I am prepared to give him another chance. Charlie hills reports him ‘giving off the right signals’ and at his best on this sort of ground, this is the sort of race he should win. You can get 4-1 so he is an each-way bet to nothing and that’s how I have bet.
The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby is due off at 5.15. Saxon Warrior has been odds-on in the build-up with it would appear all the Bookmakers expecting him to improve for his fourth at Epsom having previously won the 2,000 Guineas. Silvestre de Sousa will partner the Farhh colt Dee Ex Bee having guided the colt into second place behind Masar in the Investec Derby at Epsom. Talking to ATR earlier this week Mark Johnston said “Any rain would have suited us but, at the same time, we don’t think he needs it, so we’re happy to go.” The Derby track at the Curragh is pretty much on the turn throughout and a low draw is definitely a help but there’s no clues there with the main protagonists in one and two. The question appears to be do you believe Saxon Warrior was that impeded at Epsom and with a clear run on a flatter track can he reverse the form? I am not convinced he was that impeded and he simply wasn’t up to it on the day. All that said there is an improver in the field that might, just might, prove better than the market leaders. William Buick will now be aboard Old Persian after Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation supplemented the Charlie Appleby-trained three-year-old following his victory in the G.2 King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot last week. Could they spoil the party again? At 11-1 he is the each-way pick.
It’s a Godolphin each-way Patent across three different trainers if you fancy