There is a terrific mixed card at Haydock on Saturday with the 6f conditions sprint worth the admission fee alone despite there being only six runners. Roger Charlton’s Bated Breath remains a progressive sprinter but he needs cover and his draw in stall 1 is less than ideal. It could easily turn into a tactical affair but the hope is that Society Rock (4.10) needed his Newmarket reappearance and will improve considerably for the run.
The selection finished runner up in the Golden Jubilee at Royal Ascot last year and trainer James Fanshawe has his string in great heart with three winners and a second from his last four runners; he can maintain his excellent recent form with this son of Rock Of Gibraltar.
John Quinn won the Swinton Hurdle, one of the oldest sponsorships in racing, back in 2007 with Leslingtaylor and can follow up with Ballybriggan (3.40) who has not quite fulfilled stable expectations just yet. There is more to come from the 7-y-o although you could say the same about any number of this 23-strong field. Nicky Henderson’s Remember Now and the Irish raider Pires are others to consider in this ultra-competitive if not high quality renewal.
At Ascot Cheveley Park and trainer Sir Michael Stoute will be hoping the sister of Peeress Entitled (2.50) improves with age and can exploit what looks a lenient mark on her reappearance. She won a weak Kempton maiden on her final start last year, but is expected to improve considerably this term and must go close.
In the feature Victoria Cup the progressive Horseradish (3.25) is reported to have worked the house down at Newmarket this week but will his draw now on the far side at Ascot in stall 1 on the straight course be a help or a hindrance? We at victorchandler.com are betting ¼ odds five places on the race.
Victoria Cup: EW ¼ first 5: prices from
Excellent Guest 14/1
North Star Boy (4.00) failed to justify his lofty home reputation when beaten at Goodwood last weekend but Ryan Moore takes over today and he ought to go one better in the juvenile maiden. The concluding sprint handicap is always a very tough nut to crack but I thought Crown Choice (5.10) would go close next time having failed to land a gamble at Pontefract last time.
Frankel’s brother Bullet Train won Lingfield’s Derby Trial last year although the last winner of the race to go on to Epsom glory was High Rise back in 1998. It looks another poor renewal this year with preference for Measuring Time (3.10) despite the fact that he is largely exposed and hasn’t won in his last six starts! There are question marks against all in the field but the Hannon horse ought to run his race and may go to the Italian Derby if successful. I can also pass a good word for the yard’s 2-y-o debutant Dixie’s Dream (6.15) at Warwick despite the fact that the stable’s juveniles improve for their initial experience.
At Nottingham Beyond Desire (3.30) looks the type to catch first time out and although she has a bit to find on official figures she remains an exciting sprinter; she will have to be at the top of her game to give 10lbs to Khor Sheed with the Cumani stable coming into form but I have always considered her potentially a top-class sprinter.
Aidan O’Brien has saddled 7 winners of the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial in the last 10 years and he has three of the seven runners on Sunday including Recital (4.15) who must give 3lbs to his 6 rivals. He can put down his Epsom mark ahead of next week’s Dante meeting at York where the leading British Derby contenders including Cecil’s World Domination will put their classic credentials on the line.
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