There are some big races to enjoy this weekend across the globe along with the Shergar Cup at Ascot. I will be leaving the Shergar Cup well alone; as I have said before it’s a bit of fun and nice to see Jockeys from around the world here but it’s not a meeting to take too seriously or to be betting in as far as I am concerned. I am getting involved with a select few bets, and they run in three different countries.
Best bets for the horse racing at Newmarket
Following Local Dynasty winning last night Elegant Charm is the debutant for Godolphin and Charlie Appleby at Newmarket on Saturday in the 7f British Stallion Studs EBF 'Newcomers' Maiden Fillies' Stakes that opens the card at 1.20. I talked yesterday of my liking for Godolphin newcomers making debut at HQ so she simply has to be backed. By Exceed and Excel out of Silk Words it’ a fair family she descends from and the sire needs little introduction as champion sire in Australia and a top-class source here in Europe as well. I expected her to be short priced and she is at Evens this morning.
I have tipped Falling Shadow on both starts this term, when winning his Maiden Stakes at York and then when seventh in the Golden Gates handicap at Royal Ascot never quite getting in a blow. He races in the 1m2f Federation Of Bloodstock Agents Handicap at 3.05 off the same mark of 92 and in this smaller field, and hopefully with a little progression yet, looks to have an opportunity to win his first handicap. The 11-8 on offer early is skinny enough but I have it.
The Group Three 7f Jewson Sweet Solera Stakes at 3.40 on the July Course is the race of the day at Newmarket. Alseyoob made every yard on debut over this course and distance in July not overly exerted to my eyes, ears pricked and looking about a little bit in front. She will no doubt come on for the run and the experience of this track is definitely seen as a plus. Third that day has won since franking the form and with the yard of Ismail Mohammed in fair form this daughter of Lope De Vega can make it two from two. I thought the 6-1 with Power on Friday afternoon was too big and took that. Lakota Sioux and Ivory Madonna are the most experienced whilst Novakai was also an impressive debut winner and could be anything and as such feared.
Bay of Honour that I tipped last time here goes on the lucky last and is available at Evens with a couple of non-runners in the heat - another Appleby short one. Perhaps a little disappointing last time I am prepared to give the son of Shamardal another chance as he won for me at Thirsk earlier this year and I think he is better than his mark of 94 and can prove that today; I think he will be Pattern class eventually.
Best bet for the horse racing at the Curragh
The big race in Ireland is the Group One 6f Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh due off at 4.15. Little Big Bear and Bradsell have been vying for favouritism all week but with Blackbeard and Persian Force also in the line-up it’s far from a two-horse race. Archie Watson's impressive G.2 Coventry Stakes winner Bradsell is unbeaten in two starts and looks a prospect with the form of the Coventry franked since by the re-opposing Persian Force and Blackbeard both winning Group Two races subsequently and Royal Scotsman winning the G.2 Richmond Stakes at Glorious Goodwood. As I said when tipping that one at Goodwood the form of the Coventry looks strong and Bradsell should be able to confirm that by winning this. I am on at the 7-4 that was about Friday lunchtime. Little Big Bear won the G.3 6f Anglesey Stakes in impressive fashion and appears to be improving with every run. I tipped him when he won the Listed Windsor Castle at the Royal meeting, I also tipped him for the G.2 July Stakes won by Persian Force when he was a late non-runner. This will of course require him to have improved again and that colt is feared most.
Best bet for the horse racing at Saratoga
I mentioned in my article for the racing on Friday that William Buick was off to the States and the one he has taken a trip over the pond for is Nations Prides in the Grade One 1m1½f Caesars Saratoga Derby Invitational Stakes due off at 11.20 our time. I am a fan of the Colt and have tipped him more than once, including when second in the G.1 Caesars Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes last month when Dettori took the ride. No chances are being taken and with Buick missing rides back home on Friday and Saturday the team must fancy the colt’s chances. He was beaten ¾ of a length at Belmont by the re-opposing Classic Causeway with Stone Age, also runs here, back in third. He had to come widest of all there, Dettori left him plenty to do following a tardy start, and the colt could be considered an unlucky loser. At around 5-2 generally here in the UK, and with Buick doing the steering, I think he can take this.Be lucky