It is an action-packed weekend again ahead of us across Europe but I am being very selective and only getting involved in a handful of races.
Best bet for the horse racing at Haydock Park Saturday
The race of the day at Haydock is the 1m4f Group Two bet365 Lancashire Oaks at 2.40. Alpinista was entered here but Plan-A was always France and that’s where she will be on Sunday. That leaves this a great opportunity for Free Wind to get her season off to a winning start having last been seen winning the 1m6f G.2 Park Hill Fillies' Stakes at Doncaster is September. Very progressive last season she will surely be competing at the top-table at some point this season and I have the 11-4 about her winning this. With the weight-for-age advantage on ratings Kawida, last seen finishing a tired fifth in the Oaks at Epsom has a chance, especially dropping back in trip.
Best bets for the horse racing at Sandown Park Saturday
The Group One 1m2f Coral-Eclipse is the race of the day without question and is due off at 3.35. It is a small but select field as they say with plenty of Group form on show. I took the 7-2 about Native Trail early this week, as posted on here, and I honestly think he is a pretty good thing, especially getting the 10lb weight-for-age as he does from the older horses. William Buick will once again be onboard and he told Racing TV in the build-up “All is good. I’m really looking forward to seeing him over 10 furlongs. I ride him quite a bit at home and he seems in good form.” According to Charlie Appleby he has done very well since winning in Ireland and he is fresh and well. He added “He is a strong three-year-old who won’t look out of place against his elders. It’s a great race for three-year-olds with the weight allowance and he goes to Sandown in excellent order.” Connections are confident he will stay, he certainly see’s out the mile as if he should I think, and I am happy with my bet. The other three-year-old name in the field is of course Vandeni and that one looked good winning the Qatar Prix du Jockey Club but the going was pretty soft that day and he won’t be getting that at Sandown. He is naturally feared but the team at Moulton Paddocks have a good idea what they are taking on having run Modern Games (third) in that race. As for the older generations Sir Michael Stoute’s Bay Bridge won the G.3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes over course and distance in May but was beaten in the G.1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot. Mishriff is top-rated but looks vulnerable off the back of a terrible effort in the Saudi Cup and Lord North is perhaps past his very best at six. The field is completed by the William Haggas-trained Alenquer who won the G.1 Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh when last seen but he is rated lower than the two three-year-olds and has to give them that 10lb allowance.
I mentioned the filly Picual back in August last year when she made debut saying she might be one to keep an eye on being out for the winning Juddmonte mare Spice Trail and by French 2,000 Guineas and Derby winner Lope De Vega. The chestnut filly has progressed steadily under the care of Sir Michael Stoute and won on handicap debut at Nottingham last month on her fourth career start. She goes in the 1m2f Coral 'beaten-by-a-length' Free Bet Handicap at 4.45 and just 4lb higher in the handicap for that win, she blew the start and I was a good effort to make up for the mistake, she can improve again and take this. I have the 15-8.
Best bets for the horse racing Sunday
Out in Hamburg they have the Group One 1m4f IDEE 153rd Deutsches Derby but I have decided to leave that alone not knowing enough about a number of the runners to bet with any confidence.
Best bet for the horse racing at Saint-Cloud
Triple G favourite and member of the Dirty Dozen again this year Hurricane Lane will be out in France for the Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud at 3.00. It is on the soft side out there and that has to be seen as a positive for the four-year-old. Reportedly he has ‘tightened up’ for the run at Ascot and is a ‘sharper, tighter model’ according to Charlie Appleby and it was pretty quick ground at the Royal Meeting which wouldn’t have helped him. The plan always was the Hardwicke Stakes and then here apparently so the gap of just 15-days between runs doesn’t concern me. Unsurprisingly for anyone who knows me or visits the sire regularly I will be backing him when they price-up. Three-time Group One winning mare Alpinista kicks off her delayed five-year-old career in the race and I am a fan of the mare. She will surely be in the shake-up.
Best bet for the horse racing at Chelmsford City
A lost closer to home, the local track from Triple G Towers in fact, Chelmsford City hosts the Listed 7f Louis Roederer Queen Charlotte Fillies' Stakes on Sunday at 3.20, one of their races of the season. Soft Whisper jumped off the page at me in the entries at the start of the week. I followed the Saeed bin Suroor trained filly for a while but she had gone off the boil somewhat and was disappointing at Meydan earlier this year but did win at Ascot last time out back in May over a mile. She won the UAE 1,000 Guineas trial and the UAE 1,000 Guineas itself back in 2021 on the Dirt at Meydan so the Polytrack at Essex should hold no fears. Happy Romance is the obvious danger dropping down for G.1 company; she did win the 6f Listed Chelmer Fillies' Stakes here last year.Be lucky