There is no Shergar Cup this year which is a shame for the promotional side of the game but no great loss from a betting point of view. The meeting still goes ahead at Ascot but it’s a card of largely similar handicaps to what we would have got from the Cup. Newmarket and Haydock are the other main meetings in Britain on a quiet Patten Race weekend with just a couple of Group Three’s and a Listed race. I am having three bets in total Saturday, so you could have a cheeky Saturday afternoon Patent if that is your thing.
At 2.05 up at Haydock we have the mile Listed British Stallion Studs EBF Dick Hern Stakes. Stunning Beauty caught my eye in the decs having won on her belated racecourse debut over a mile at Newmarket where she quickened clear and looked a very promising filly. Sadly, she doesn’t line-up. Final Song was taken out at Goodwood last week and comes here; she simply hasn’t progressed as hoped though and is best watched at the moment. Veracious will be odds-on and should win but is no bet for me.
Still at Haydock for the 2.40 it is the Group Three Rose Of Lancaster Stakes over 1m2f. There will be another short one here in the shape of Global Giant. She notched her second Listed win of her career last time but you wonder if she can improve again at the age of five and her win record is hardly prolific. It might pay to take her on with Zaaki who won’t mind the fast underfoot conditions one bit and has a couple of G.3 wins to her name. She got no run at all in the G.2 Betfred Summer Mile Stakes; I am not saying she would have won but could have been a lot closer than sixth with a clear passage. Third in this back in 2018 she doesn’t race over this trip often but does stay. Ryan Moore is back in the saddle for this and she can turn the favourite over. 4-1 is available as I write Friday afternoon.
The 3.20 at Newmarket is the Group Three Sweet Solera Stakes. Danilova won for me last Saturday off the back of her second on debut when the yard had a 1,2,3. Of the other two from that day Nash Nasha (third) won without breaking a sweat on Wednesday at Lingfield and Wedding Dance (winner) was second in a G.3 out in France a week ago whilst Danilova was winning at HQ so the form from the original race looks more than solid. Danilova got the job done pretty easily last weekend and looked to have learnt a lost from her first run; hopefully she will come on again. I have the 5-1 that was around on Friday afternoon as I think she'll shorten. Fly Miss Helen will be jolly off the back of her 6f debut win which looked impressive but it is hard to know what she beat; Sarsaparilla who followed her home that day was subsequently third at Goodwood and is now winless in five attempts.
Royal Marine returns to action in the 7f Betway Handicap at 4.00 at HQ and hopefully connections have picked the right race, had FIVE entries for this weekend! One I was following after his two-year-old exploits when he won me a few quid he never quite reached the heights expected. Gelded before the end of 2019 the four-year-old ran okay out at the Dubai Carnival earlier this year without winning and hasn’t been seen since February. The fact he run in so many Group races last year, including the 2,000 Guineas and St James's Palace Stakes, suggest the team still believe he has ability and if he rediscovers it, he would win here hard held even with top-weight; been rated as high as 113. He is worth a speculative punt at 8-1 that is around overnight or perhaps wait for best odds guaranteed in the morning.
As for Sunday there is some decent races around the world including the Listed 6f Prix Club Hipico Santiago - Prix Moonlight Cloud at Deauville and the Group One LARC Prix Maurice de Gheest. If Lazuli and Earthlight run I will back them nut it looks like neither will. Here in the UK Lord Tennyson is hopefully running in the Mildren Construction Wateraid Conditions Stakes at Salisbury due off at 1.40. I will be keeping a close eye on that and will back the gelding if he lines-up.