Former Talksport man Charlie McCann marks your card ahead of Saturday’s action at Aintree, Doncaster and Newbury with eight to follow. Selections…
Seven go to post for the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy from Doncaster on Saturday with the once-raced Kingsbarns (3.05) having a similar profile to last year’s winner Camelot who also crossed the Irish Sea with a maiden win to his name. The other Irish raider Trading Leather has the best form on offer but, although the vibes coming from the Aidan O’Brien yard suggest the selection is not the good thing Camelot was, Kingsbarns is the selection currently 7/4 with betvictor.com.
The first of two Group races on Newbury’s final flat card of the season is the 7f Horris Hill Stakes and the selection is the Newmarket trained Odooj (2.15) who was, arguably, an unlucky loser at York last time when missing the break and using up plenty of petrol to get into a challenging position; Dane O’Neill is the new second jockey behind Paul Hanagan (who rides the penalised Alhebayeb) to Hamdan Al Maktoum and has already ridden a winner in the famous blue and white.
Frankie Dettori rides for Godolphin although earlier in the week it was announced that the 41-year-old Italian will be freelance from next year; we have been knocked over with punters keen to back him (14s from 20/1) for next years jockey’s title but we are very keen to lay him and our still top price. He is still the man for the big occasion but we doubt his commitment and will to take in two meetings a day that he will need to do if he is to take a fourth Title.
There is a cracking renewal of the St Simon Stakes with a strong representation from the classic generation including Frankel’s brother Noble Mission, but I just favour Camborne (2.45) despite his steering problems at Ascot last time when behind Hawaafez who he meets on 3lb better terms.
Connections of Victrix Ludorum (3.15) picked £166k for winning the valuable sales race at Newmarket last time by some measure the most valuable juvenile fillies’ race of the year; she coped well with soft ground on that occasion and she looks more than capable of landing the listed Radley Stakes for Richard Hannon who has had such a great year with his two-year-olds.
The Bathwick Tyres-sponsored 10f handicap is a cracking contest and the hope is that Blue Surf (3.45) can cope with ground slower than he has encountered to date; his best efforts have come with plenty of juice in the ground and I’m not convinced he was at his best over today’s C&D when third in a valuable handicap last month.
There is an excellent two-day jumps meeting from Aintree which is likely to be run on perfect ground; the veteran’s chase looks a cracker with Big Fella Thanks on course for the Becher Chase next month having once again looked a non-stayer in the National and preference is for Marufo (2.25) who did this column a favour in a similar event back in March and can defy the 6lb raise for Philip Hobbs.
The grey Pasco (2.55) has left the yard of Paul Nicholls since his last run back in the spring but he is beginning to look very well handicapped and his new yard of Colin Tizzard have their string in rude health; he will bounce off this decent ground and Brendan Powell takes off a valuable 3lbs. Lexicon Lad is the danger.
The Old Roan Chase has been won by some top class horses in the past including Kauto Star in 2006; Wishfull Thinking failed to win last term but went off 7/2 for his reappearance in the Paddy Power Chase but he has problems with his wind and this could rest between Irish raider Noble Prince (3.30) and the Paul Nicholls’ trained Pacha Du Polder with preference for the Irish raider who will love the ground and looks fairly treated.