Best bets for the horse racing around the world Saturday 8th July

I mentioned on Monday it was likely to be a quiet few days for me and so it has been, in fact a quiet week. I did have one pencilled in for Wednesday at Thirsk but the ground went against Danger Alert so I left him alone; he was beaten. Treasure Time, the colt in which I have a handful of shares with the Raceshare syndicate, was due to run on Thursday at Haydock but he has been coughing and was duly a non-runner so it turned out to be an even quieter week than I had expected. Having not had a bet for a week it is all systems go for the weekend with a number of fancies in three different countries! The bets for Saturday follow, I'll be back with the Sunday bets later in the weekend. 

Best bet for the horse racing at Sandown Park

Race of the weekend here in the UK is the Group One 1m2f Coral-Eclipse at 3.40. The money has been coming for Paddington all week and the three-year-old colt will now go off favourite for the big race; odds-on in places. The three-year-old is stepping up to ten-furlongs for the first time following his Irish 2,000 Guineas and St James’s Palace Stakes wins but has looked as though a little further wouldn’t be a problem in his races this season. The colt gets the 7lb from Emily Upjohn and 10lb from the older colts and that can prove very significant. He has been pretty busy this season already but looks the best horse in the race and he’s getting weight! I fancy the Irish raider and have him in a double with Westover out in France. Talking earlier this week Michael Tabor was anticipating a “fascinating duel” saying “I think we have Paddington in the Eclipse at the weekend. He is up against a very, very good mare, Emily Upjohn. It will be a fascinating duel. What can you say? We are getting 7lb weight for age, I suppose. It makes a difference, but don’t forget we are only a three-year-old and Emily is a four-year-old. She should be that much stronger, so it is all compensation, but we have to respect her.” Emily Upjohn looked good winning the G.1 Coronation Cup on her seasonal return to action but I think it is a big ask to give Paddington 7lb.

Best bet for the horse racing at Saint Cloud

Race of the day in France is the 1m4f Group One Grand Prix de Saint Cloud due off at 3.55. Westover has been odds-on since the Bookies priced-up and looks as good a good thing as you are likely to see with just the four rivals to worry about. Second in the G.1 Longines Dubai Sheema Classic at the Dubai Carnival he was then second in the G.1 Coronation Cup at Epsom last month. The concern would be if this turned into a crawl early and then a sprint up the straight but I assume that is why stablemate Malabu Drive, an 81 rated handicapper, has been sent over as well, to ensure they go at a fair pace. He is the second leg of my Saturday double which pays 1.8-1.

At 5.05 they have the Group Two 1m2f Prix Eugene Adam. James Doyle has one ride booked all weekend and that is onboard Bold Act in this for Charlie Appleby; surely a tip in itself. A nice type, that first Group victory still eludes him but he might have a chance here. Gelded in April he was second in the London Gold Cup Handicap at Newbury off top-weight after that and then stayed on well when third in G.3 Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot last time; during a week when most of the team's horses ran terribly. The soft going is a complete unknown and the biggest concern for me. I am on at 5-2 overnight. Charlie Appleby said in the build-up “We have been very pleased with Bold Act since Royal Ascot. He can be quite lethargic early on in his races, which gives himself more of a challenge, so we are applying cheek-pieces to help him travel better. They seemed to have worked at home and, on that evidence, he should be very competitive.” Dermot Weld sends maiden winner Knight To King over from Ireland and that colt is feared purely for that reason as he won easily at Gowran Park on debut last month and the team must like him.

Best bets for the horse racing at Belmont Park

The first of the big races at Belmont is the Grade One 1m2f Fasig-Tipton Belmont Oaks Invitational Stakes at 9.43. Surprisingly there is just the one European raider over for this in the shape of Aspen Grove from Ireland. Last in the Irish 1,000 Guineas beaten over fourteen lengths she has something to find on paper but it is noted that the name Mrs John Magnier is one of the owners along with Glen Hill Farm so you can be sure they are looking to get some more black type with the daughter of Justify having taken over ownership this week. Oisin Murphy has been booked to ride and I have snaffled a bit of 7-1 overnight in the hope she can nick this. 

At 10.49 it is the Grade One 1m2f Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes. I read an interesting article the other day on the site about the three-year-old colt crop in the States and how with three different horses having won the three legs of the Triple Crown no-one is sure just how good this crop might be. Well I think they have a problem with the Turf horses as well in that they aren’t that good so this race can surely go to one of the raiders. The Foxes has been heading the market in the run-up to the race off the back of his win in the 1m2½f G.2 Dante and fair effort in the Derby at Epsom when fifth. I can’t help but wonder if this step down in trip on a relatively tight track might not suit though after those two efforts and he isn't always the smartest out of the stalls. I said at the start of the season on the Dirty Dozen page that Silver Knott may be one that makes a few trips across the pond to America from Moulton Paddocks and he has been out to New York already this season, I also said that I thought 1m2f might be his ideal trip. The colt was of course ultimately my each-way bet in the 2,000 Guineas where he finished eleventh; he went okay for a while but clearly tired on his first run of the season on ground that was almost certainly too soft. He then made the trip across the pond for the G.2 Pennine Ridge Stakes in early June here at Belmont Park over 1m1f ridden by Richard Mullen, who rides again this evening. It all went wrong early as he dwelt from the stalls, found trouble in running and had to come wide off the final bend, running on into third but never nearer; that is the only race he has run in which I didn’t tip him. Beaten the width of a fag paper in the G.1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf over a mile last back end at Keeneland he clearly he likes it Stateside. I am on at 4-1. “Silver Knott has remained in New York and has done well since the Pennine Ridge,” Charlie Appleby said on the Godolphin website. “He is taking on the first two from that race in addition to The Foxes, who brings some very strong European form to the table, but we feel that stepping up to a mile and a quarter is going to suit our horse.” Kalik won the Pennine Ridge Stakes (Far Bridge second) in which Silver Knott was third. The Chad Brown trained colt had the run of the race up front, and looks the best of the home team, but I fully expect the Godolphin owned colt to turn the tables this time around.

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