The Irish Derby is the weekend Group 1 highlight and unbeaten Epsom winner Camelot is impossible to oppose; the selection may not take his chance if the ground turns very soft at the Curragh on Saturday evening, in which case his stablemate Imperial Monarch would get the nod, but the forecast suggests Aidan O’Brien’s star colt will take his chance. Note the race starts as an experiment at 7.40. I am very surprised to see Derby third Astrology in the line up given he ran so poorly at Royal Ascot last week.
Akeed Mofeed makes a belated seasonal reappearance and is certainly one to keep on the right side of going forward; John Oxx has always held the colt in high regard and, although there are mixed messages from his pedigree as to whether he will stay 12f, he could easily make up into a top class colt in time.
William Buick takes the ride which would suggest that Born To Sea is the stable first string given Johnny Murtagh would surely have had choice of mounts; the colt looked ready for a step up in trip when staying on behind Most Improved in the St James’s Palace Stakes over a mile on the opening day of Royal Ascot. The half-brother to Sea The Stars was only beaten 2l having travelled wide from a modest draw, but I think he is crying out for 10f and fast ground and this may just stretch his stamina.
The Northumberland Plate is the big betting race of the weekend and Il De Re is bidding for the Chester Cup/Pitman’s Derby double having landed the Chester feature last month on very soft ground. He has been raised 8lbs for that victory but few got competitive on the Roodeye in the conditions and he is overlooked.
A chance is taken on The Betchworth Kid (3.20) who made a satisfactory return from a six month break at York earlier in the month. At home on soft ground and a big field he has flattered to deceive previously but in a wide open event he can reward each way support although with racing abandoned on Thursday the ground is sure to be very deep come post time.Northumberland Plate: ¼ odds ew first 4 prices from BetVictor:
Ile De Re 5/1
Gulf Of Naples 5/1
Irish 1000 Guineas winner will be all the rage for the opening Sales’ Race at Newmarket but preference is for the lightly-raced colt Michelangelo (2.00) who was the subject of sustained market support at Goodwood when breaking his maiden in a weak Listed contest last time. Note Buick takes the ride before hopping on a plane to the Curragh.
Dandino (3.00) made Sea Moon pull out all the stops at Goodwood last time and that form has been well and truly franked by the latter’s impressive win in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot last Saturday. He should go one better in the Listed Fred Archer Stakes.
At Windsor Paul Cole can have a welcome juvenile winner courtesy of Carlton Blue (2.55) who ran very well at Leicester last time; the winner failed to frank the firm at Royal Ascot but he was very well backed and may not have given his running.
At Lingfield it might seem strange to side with a filly who has been beaten twice off an 8lb lower mark but there is surely more to come from Seven Veils (8.30) who lugged in behind at Wolverhampton last time. Connection will be desperate to get a win under her belt for breeding purposes and she also holds entries in the early part of next week suggesting she could run up a sequence for her astute Newmarket handler.
Mumbles Head has done us a couple of favours at Perth during the spring but the handicapper has had his say and he is 13lb higher than for his latest success. As long as there is no further significant rain I think I Need A Hero (3.30 Sunday) must go well in the Summer Cup at Uttoxeter; he travelled like much the best horse at Aintree last time after a break on ground much softer than ideal, and will be a decent price. Chapolimoss is another to consider in a cracking renewal although he, again, wouldn’t want too much rain ahead of the race.