HORSE RACING: With leading pundit Charlie McCann. This week the former Talksport tipster picks out potential winners at Newbury, Newmarket and Curragh, including the Weatherby’s Super Sprint.
The Weatherbys Super Sprint run at Newbury which is the most valuable race in Britain this weekend has been won by local trainer Richard Hannon in four of the last seven years and he saddles half a dozen of the 25-strong field due to line up at this afternoon.
Champion jockey Ryan Moore will ride the filly Reckless Reward who finished runner up in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot last time over 5f. He will get at least 6f in time but looks sure to have the race run to suit with front-runner Shoshoni Wind drawn next door. The selection, however, is the once raced Temple Meads (3.20) who made a winning debut at the Stan James Guineas Festival back in May. That form of that race hasn’t worked out as well as many on the Rowley Mile, but he was considered a Royal Ascot type at the time and he certainly created a favourable impression at Newmarket.
Paul Hanagan is clear at the top of the jockeys table at the time of writing over 20 winners more than his nearest pursuer. Hanagan was an unconsidered 100/1 shot when betting opened but has been the subject of a major plunge in recent weeks and is now odds on at 1/2 to become the first Northern based Champion jockey since Kevin Darley in 2000.
2010 Flat Jockey Championship: prices from StanJames.com
1-2 Paul Hanagan
6-4 Ryan Moore
14 Richard Hughes
Prince Siegfried (3.55) was beaten by a decent sort in Stotsfold at Sandown last time from a poor draw and he can return to winning ways in a competitive Steventon Stakes. Stimulation ran a cracker in Group 1 company at Royal Ascot over this trip but he hasn’t won for a couple of years and I favour the Godolphin runner.
There are a couple of cracking jumps races on C4 from Market Rasen including the Summer Hurdle which opens the card. Trainer Peter Bowen has his string in great heart at present and Pure Faith (2.00) has improved leaps and bounds in recent weeks winning his last three. This represents a huge step up in class but he is clearly going the right way and gets the nod.
The Summer Plate looks impossible with several front-runners in the race. Valley Ride finished third in the Summer National at Uttoxeter and he will be staying on when others have cried enough. Talented conditional Donal Devereux takes off a valuable 5lbs and he is the suggestion in a wide-open contest.
King Of Reason (3.00 Newmarket) only broke his maiden in a match at Brighton last time but he can race off the same mark as when finishing an excellent fifth in the Britannia Stakes at Royal Ascot on his penultimate start. It is a big weekend for trainer David Simcock with a fancied runner in Sunday’s Irish Oaks and King of Reason can give him a winner on the Newmarket’s July course.
Soviet Secret (4.05) travels like a dream in his races and it is no surprise to me to see connections drop him down in trip for the 7f maiden. Having finished runner up in all four starts there will be plenty who will want to oppose but I think 7f could be his optimum distance and he ought to give local trainer Charlie McBride a welcome winner.
Sunday’s highlight is the Irish Oaks from the Curragh with Epsom winner Snow Fairy looking to give Ed Dunlop more Classic success. One would normally favour the Oaks form over the Ribblesdale but I just think Royal Ascot winner Hibaayeb (3.40 Curragh Sunday) looked a filly to follow last month over a-mile-and-a-half and is taken to score.