Plenty going on this weekend in the world of horse racing and I literally mean the world!
I am on one in the Land Down Under early doors Saturday, will be having an interest at Doncaster in the afternoon in the big 2yo race as well as having a bet at Newbury, then on Sunday I am on one out in France at Chantilly.
Winx goes for her 29th consecutive victory, her 22nd Group 1 success, in the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley in the Land Down Under at about 7.00 in the morning here. I mentioned in my post on Wednesday I am not convinced she is as good as the Aussies think she is and I have taken a punt on Saeed bin Suroor trained Benbatl at 6-1 each-way as I think the Godolphin colt might just give her a race. He has won a few on his travels and any regular visitor will know I have backed him more than once in the past. The mare should win, if she is as good as the Aussies think win in a canter, but maybe, just maybe…………..
At Newbury here in Blightly, they have the Group Three Molson Coors Stakes (Registered As The Horris Hill Stakes) at 2.50 over the seven furlongs. Some nice two-year-olds here but one really caught my eye earlier this month and has to be backed. Chairmanoftheboard won on debut at Goodwood in the style of a potentially decent colt taking it up approaching the final furlong and being pushed clear to win by a very comfortable 8 lengths. I have taken the 2-1 about him overnight to win this as I think Mick Channon might have a good’un on his hands with this one; the trainer has said he thinks it's the best horse he has had in many a year.
At 4.05 it’s the one-mile Group One Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes (better known in recent years as the Racing Post Trophy) up at Doncaster. Japan was on my mind for this but as it turns out Magna Grecia will spearhead a three-pronged attack by Aidan O’Brien. He was just touched off by Persian King in the G.3 Autumn Stakes at Newmarket early this month, after making a winning debut at Naas at the end of September. He is plenty short enough though and looks priced on potential and connections as much as form. Having finished second to Triple G favourite Royal Marine on debut Turgenev has been roughing up lesser opposition in his last two starts but will need more here – not one of those he has beaten in his last two starts has won a race yet. Charlie Hills has Phoenix Of Spain lining-up, who was second to subsequent G.1 Dewhurst winner Too Darn Hot in the G.2 Champagne Stakes when last seen 2½ lengths clear of the rest of the field. He got closer there than any other horse has so far to next years hot 2,000 Guineas favourite so the form looks pretty tidy. I liked the way the grey won the 7f G.3 Acomb Stakes before that and at 5-1 I fancy him to turn over the Ballydoyle hotpot.
And so to Sunday and at 2.45 the Godolphin three-year-old Brundtland puts his unbeaten record on the line in the Group One 1m7f Prix Royal-Oak at Chantilly. Trainer Charlie Appleby has decided to have a go at this after he followed up his G.2 Prix Niel victory with a second Group Two success at Longchamp in the Prix Chaudenay on Arc weekend. Appleby said earlier this week: “The original plan was to knock him on the head for the season, but he has come out of Longchamp so well. I was quite surprised, to be honest. When a horse is quite lightly raced you don’t know how they will take it. We are learning on the job with him, but he seems to be thriving on his racing.” The French air seems to agree with him as he won a Listed heat at Clairefontaine in August as well. I took the 7-4 that was on offer by Paddy Power on Friday.
So there you have it four bets around the globe spread out over 32 hours or so; no rest for the wicked!