There is plenty of horse racing to get involved with this weekend again should you choose; I am trying to be relatively selective and will be having five bets. We have some good racing at Sandown Park and Haydock park on Saturday plus a couple of races to have a go at on Sunday as well. My three bets for Saturday will all be shown on ITV Racing.
Best bets for the Coral Eclipse meeting at Sandown Park
At 1.50 the speedballs are out for the 5f Group Three Coral Charge on the strip up the middle of the track. The far rail up Sandown’s sprint course is the place to be according to most experts and it does help to be up the pointed end from the off, it is a steady climb so you need to get the five furlongs as well! Lazuli won the Listed Scurry Stakes over track and trip last year, tipped on here, then finished fifth in this, tipped by me again. Last seen winning the 5f G.3 Palace House Stakes in May under a 3lb penalty, tipped again, the four-year-old member of the Dirty Dozen for this season simply has to be on the shortlist for me. The draw has been relatively kind as he breaks from stall five and I am on at 5-1 which I took on Thursday in the hope they didn’t get any downpours as he won’t want it too soft.
I took the plunge and backed St Marks Basilica at 7-4 on Tuesday for the Group One Coral Eclipse due off at 3.35 over the 1m2f trip; my biggest concern since has been that ‘the lads’ send the three-year-old over for the race! Luckily, he is here and I am fairly confident. The selection has been mopping up the big races in France having won the G.1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains over a mile and the G.1 Prix du Jockey Club over 1m2½f (tipped on here) so far this year. Arguably the best of the three-year-old colts at Ballydoyle he can add a third Group One to his haul this season in this. With the 10lb he gets off Mishriff he has every chance of beating that colt, only rated 2lb inferior officially. Addeybb is top rated at 125 and any further rain will help the seven-year-olds chances obviously but the selection has been winning on soft anyway. El Drama makes up the quartet. I said earlier this week the lack of entrants was somewhat disappointing, the fact only four run is quite sad for a race of this calibre.
Best bets for the meeting at Haydock Park
The Group Two bet365 Lancashire Oaks is the big race up at Haydock due off at 2.40. Sir Mark Prescott’s Alpinista heads the market here and she is one I have been keeping an eye out for since winning a Listed prize at Goodwood in April; missed two engagements since, I wanted to back her for the G.3 Pinnacle Stakes at Haydock in May. She showed just how good she is chasing home the brilliant Love in the G.1 Yorkshire Oaks last summer and looks a solid bet in this at 7-4 though I am hoping the worst of the rain stays away from Merseyside till after the race. Cazoo Oaks runner-up Mystery Angel is a danger getting 12lb as she does but I think the four-year-old will have too much for her.
Best bets for the meeting at Saint-Cloud Sunday
Across the Channel at Saint-Cloud we have the Group One Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud over 1m4f at 2.50. The ground is described as very soft as I write on Friday with warm weather forecast though thunderstorms are expected on race day. Aidan O’Brien had four entered but only Broome makes the trip and son Joseph has sent over Baron Samedi, both of whom have to be considered. Broome has proved pretty consistent of late but his best might not quite be enough again here. For the home team the Francis-Henri Graffard trained In Swoop is back at the top table having been beaten on his seasonal reappearance and won the G.3 Prix d’Hedouville and G.2 Grand Prix de Chantilly on his last two starts. German Derby winner last year he was second both the G.1 Grand Prix de Paris and the G.1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe after that. The four-year-old looks the class act in the field to me and will be backed at the best odds I can get as and when the satchel swingers' price-up.
Best bets for the meeting at Chelmsford City Sunday
They race at my local track on Sunday with the Listed 7f Queen Charlotte Fillies' Stakes the main event at 3.27. Group Three performer With Thanks jumped of the list of entrants at me despite disappointing somewhat in the G.3 John Of Gaunt Stakes on her seasonal debut. She is though a Heavy ground filly and the surface here is far from guaranteed to suit. Highfield Princess rarely runs a bad race and has a cracking track and trip record, five runs, three wins and two seconds, as she has climbed the handicap ladder. She looked well in herself winning the Buckingham Palace Stakes at the Royal Meeting and is deserving of a second crack at this level; beaten in a Listed heat out in France as a three-year-old. The yard is in fair form and Jason Hart clearly gets on well with her. Hills are the only mob to have chalked-up as I write on Friday and are offering 3-1, I will shop around for the best price as the weekend goes by.