Best bets for the weekend horse racing at Epsom plus Sandown and Chantilly
What a weekend of racing! I have dealt with the Derby and Oaks on the Classics page naturally but not only do we have the two Classics on the same card to look forward to this weekend but we have more top-class racing than you can wish for here and abroad in a cracking 48-hours.
I am having one other bet than in the Classics at Epsom on Saturday. The Group Three Princess Elizabeth Stakes is sandwiched between the two Classics and is a race over 1m½f for three-year-old fillies. The lightly raced unbeaten Fooraat will be jolly and obviously is still open to improvement. As impressive as she looked at Chelmsford it has to be noted nothing she has beaten in her two starts has proven to be near Group class yet, but, she is bred to be; by Dubawi out of Prix de l'Opera winner Nahrain. Makes her Turf debut but for me she is short enough when you are guessing she is good enough. Guineas second Cloak Of Spirits had the run of the race that day and was down the field in the Coronation Stakes after. Has a habit of being a bit too keen and if she does that again today will likely set this up for a closer. The Godolphin owned Summer Romance was eighth in the 1,000 Guineas last month and has been in with some pretty good’uns in her five-race career. She didn’t get lot of luck in running that day, and though I aint suggesting she’d have won she might have been closer with a clearer run. The grey Kingman filly should be all about the mile races this campaign and she is a half-sister to the top class Rizeena being out of Serenas Storm. The yard is in cracking form of late and I think with the drop in class and that run under her belt she can get back to winning ways. I have the 7-1.It’s no rest for the wicked this weekend as the quality racing continues Sunday.
I have tipped Lazuli a couple of times in the past and I am going to again for the Group Three Coral Charge at 1.50 over at Sandown. Recent track and trip winner of the Listed Scurry Stakes he has a great chance to go in again and I have the 5-2. Liberty Beach is the danger.
Off across the Channel after to France for a couple of Group Ones and their versions of the Derby and Oaks. I will look at the 1m2½f Prix du Jockey Club first due off at 2.10 over at Chantilly. Andre Fabre’s Victor Ludorum will attempt to do the French Guineas (tipped on here) and Derby double, a feat of course achieved by his sire Shamardal back in 2005. I think the colt has a cracking chance of pulling it off. In fact, on breeding you would think this trip would be his ideal and I fully expect him to see out the extra two-and-a-half furlongs and get the double up. I have the 9-4.
Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Peaceful crosses the Channel for the 1m2½f Prix de Diane due off later on the card at 2.55. Aidan O'Brien said it was pointless her joining Love in the Investec Oaks at Epsom a day earlier given that the prize money is less than half what is on offer in France. She has a chance and should stay the trip. Raabihah is the wildcard in the race, unbeaten in two starts she has a Listed win to her name and could improve passed them all, but it is a step-up in quality here. You had to be impressed, and I was, with Alpine Star winning the mile G.1 Coronation Stakes at the Royal Meeting and the half-sister to the very good Alpha Centauri will surely go close if she stays? The trip is of little concern on the sire side, but the dam side of her pedigree is miler through and through. I have the 9-4 and will be keeping my fingers crossed she gets the trip, the style of running in France should help.
Dish of the day here in the UK is the Group One 1m2f Coral-Eclipse at Sandown at 3.35 which sees Enable make her seasonal reappearance in a star-studded field. She’s the favourite, she’s on my Dirty Dozen list of horses to follow again, she gets the 3lb from the colts and she has a huge chance, but I must take her on. Ghaiyyath is another on the Dirty Dozen list and I am a huge fan; perhaps more so than ever following his very impressive victory in the G.2 Coronation Cup Stakes last month. Recently trainer Charlie Appleby said: “I’m very pleased with him. Obviously since the Coronation he’s had an easy spell. We’re dealing with a different horse this year, to be honest, post-race he’s taking it a lot better than he did last year. Obviously when you put up those big performances it’s going to take something out of you – but he’s taking his racing well this year, and it’s all systems go for the Eclipse..........The Coronation was a fast time, and it seems to be working out well. We’re pleased with him and looking forward to Sandown.” I have thought for a while he could be out of the very top-drawer and hopefully, he can prove it once and for all Sunday; I took the 5-2 earlier in the week.