Friday belonged to Stradivarius as he picked up the Weatherbys Hamilton's Stayers £1 million bonus for the second year running winning the Lonsdale Cup at York in a course-record time. He had of course already won the Yorkshire Cup, Gold Cup and Goodwood Cup this season. I think it is safe to say connections, owner/breeder Bjorn Nielsen, trainer John Gosden and the irrepressible Frankie Dettori were pretty happy!
Festival up on the Knavesmire remains at the centre of the horse racing world
on Saturday; the going is described as Good to firm, good in places. They have a nice meeting at Goodwood but I don’t fancy one
strong enough there to bet but will be getting involved at Newmarket as well as a bet on Sunday and
Monday all being well.
The Bank Holiday Bankers follow.
They get underway at York at 1.50 for the 1m1f Group Three Strensall Stakes. All-Weather winning machine Wissahickon would be a danger if showing the form he has on Polytrack here – this aint Lingfield or Chelmsford though. Zaaki is back for another go having finished down the field in this last year and though better this year he aint improved that much. Escobar is a handicapper and should have stayed in that sphere whilst Forest Ranger has to give them all weight which I don’t think he can. Space Traveller has never gone this far and has to prove he gets the trip. That leaves Bangkok who, if he comes back to form should win. The colt was many peoples fancy for the Derby it should be remembered, and getting the various weight allowances he does here I fancy the Andrew Balding-trained 3yo to get back to winning ways and have taken the 13-2.
It is the seven-furlong Group Two City Of York Stakes at 3.00. I am a huge fan of Laurens and I think she can win this before a likely crack at the Prix de la Foret later in the year. Karl Burke ha had this race in mind for a while for her and I think she can lead this field a merry dance from the off. Grab the 5-2.
The 6f Listed Price Bailey Chartered Accountants Hopeful Stakes at 3.55 over at HQ Newmarket is of interest to me with Land Of Legends lining-up. The 3yo colt has been progressing nicely for Saeed bin Suroor this year, notched up a hat-trick, and won the 7f Qatar Handicap last time at Glorious Goodwood tipped right here on Triple G. Further improvement is expected, and will be needed against Pretty Pollyanna taking a big step down in class, but the fact he comes here rather than running at Goodwood on Sunday is seen as a positive as is the fact the yard continues to bang in the winners. The drop in trip is of little concern and I think this one will be racing in Group company before the season is over. He should be backed at the best price you can get; the old satchel swingers hadn't priced-up at the time of writing.
As for the rest of the Bank Holiday weekend; the race of the day Sunday would be the Group Three 7f Weatherbys Racing Bank Supreme Stakes at Goodwood due off at 4.10 – the race Land Of Legends misses. Angels Hideaway hasn’t won in just over a year but she has gone well in defeat several times. Under the race conditions, the grey filly gets in here with only 8-9 to carry despite being rated 106 officially. The Cheekpieces go on for the first time and she should get back to winning ways, grab the best price you can when the bookies chalk-up.
I often steer well clear of Bank Holiday Monday meetings, punting nightmares, but one might run that I will back if it does. Narynkol went into mine, and a couple of my mates, notebooks recently when second at Nottingham on 6th August over the 1m2f trip to Last Look, the pair a country mile clear of the others. Last Look won for me again on Friday at Ffos Las giving the form a decent look and Narynkol would be fancied to win the Theakstons Beer 'N' BBQ Festival 28th September Maiden Stakes due off at 5.05 over at Ripon if lining-up (also entered at Ripon on Tuesday).
My old mates Norma and Kevin are having a boozy betting weekend so I hope they nick enough to pay their bar bill as I do for you too dear reader.