HORSE RACING: With leading pundit Charlie McCann. This week the former Talksport tipster picks out potential winners at Newcastle, Curragh and Uttoxeter.
The Northumberland Plate or Pitmen’s Derby is the big betting race of the weekend and a low draw is considered a big advantage in this valuable two-mile handicap with six of the last eight winners housed in single figures. Rajik was a big disappointment at Royal Ascot but I expect a bold show from the Irish raider today although preference is for the progressive Deauville Flyer (3.05 Newcastle) a winner of his last two starts at York.
Trained by Tim Easterby Deauville Flyer is best with plenty of cut in the ground but he showed he handles fast ground well enough when getting up close home under Kieren Fallon over an inadequate trip on his penultimate start. He carries a 5lb penalty for a smooth success on good ground on the Knavesmire last time; drawn in stall 6 he should get a good tow into the race from another potential improver in Chiberta King and he can take the valuable prize home to Yorkshire.
4 Deauville Flyer
8 Chiberta King
11 Bernie The Bolt
14 Desert Sea
14 Drunken Sailor
It’s a slight surprise to see Dortmund dropping back in trip having finished runner up to a decent sort over 7f at Newbury last time. As a son of Dubawi he would probably prefer softer ground but he can make it third time lucky in the 4.15 for Godolphin’s new trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni. Let’s hope it’s the only thing in or involving Dortmund celebrating this weekend!
The Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes is the highlight at the Curragh this afternoon and this 10f trip looks the ideal distance for Remember When (2.20) whose stamina appeared to give way when third in the Oaks over 12f at Epsom last time. Still a maiden after four starts she receives 12lbs from her elders including the mare Chinese White who is in foal to Cape Cross the sire of the great Sea The Stars. She looks the danger in a cracking renewal.
The Irish Derby is tomorrow’s feature and at the time of writing it looks like Jonny Murtagh is going to desert his Derby mount Jan Vermeer in favour of Cape Blanco who lost his unbeaten record in the French Derby last time. Jan Vermeer (5.10 Curragh Sun) finished fourth at Epsom without ever looking happy on the track and was reported to have lost both front shoes during the race.
Aidan O’Brien has won his home Derby on no less than seven previous occasions including the last four and he will be a very short price to complete the nap hand. British raiders have a modest looking record in the race but they have two realistic contenders in Royal Ascot winner Monterosso and Derby 7th Coordinated Cut. The former won a poor renewal of the King Edward VII Stakes whilst the latter was put firmly in his place by Cape Blanco in the Dante back in May.
The Summer National is the big jumps race of the weekend at Uttoxeter tomorrow and my two against the field are That’s Rhythm and Mumbles Head (2.40) with marginal preference for the latter whose yard remain in excellent form. The form of his second to Weapon’s Amnesty at Newcastle last year reads very well in light of the winner’s subsequent Cheltenham exploits.