Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips on Saturday at Ascot, York and Newmarket. View selections below.
CIRRUS DES AIGLES (3.50) can further enhance his terrific Ascot record by landing the Betfair-sponsored King George V1 and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. The French raider made Frankel stretch all the way to the line in last season’s Champion Stakes, a race Cirrus Des Aigles had won 12 months earlier, beating So You Think and Snow Fairy. The seven-year-old, the mount of Christophe Soumillon, has ground to make up on his Saint-Cloud conqueror Novellist, with Johnny Murtagh looking to add another Group 1 scalp to his magnificent cv. That was Cirrus Des Aigles’s first run for a while and he’ll be a different proposition here. The Classic generation is probably best represented by Jim Bolger’s Irish Derby hero Trading Leather, who relished the step up to 12 furlongs at the Curragh. Trading Leather has been performing somewhat in the shadow of towering stablemate Dawn Approach but is a more than useful tool in his own right.
At much bigger odds HAWKEYETHENOO (3.15) can upset a few more fancied rivals in the 29-runner Betfair International. Jim Goldie’s popular seven-year-old is another horse very much at home at Ascot and will appreciate dropping into handicap company after crossing swords with the likes of Group 1 speedball Lethal Force. With some bookmakers offering five places, Hawkeyethenoo is the each-way shout at around 16-1. Improving three-year-olds Ashaadd and Queensberry Rules seem likely to play a role, along with tough handicappers Prince Of Johanna, Field Of Dream and Excellent Guest.
Given the depth and strength of the Hannon/Hughes juveniles, there will be plenty of support for Washaar in the seven-furlong Listed event but Godolphin’s EMIRATES FLYER (5.00) can lower their colours for the boys in blue. Emirates Flyer was doing all his best work at the finish of the five-furlong Norfolk Stakes when fifth to American powerhouse No Nay Never at the royal shindig and duly stepped up over an extra furlong to win a three-runner affair at Newmarket a fortnight ago. This extended trip looks ideal and Ryan Moore takes the mount.
Sky Bet sponsor a smashing day’s sport at York and MOIDORE (4.40) can defy top weight in the two-mile skyvegas.com handicap. John Quinn’s four-year-old son of Galileo posted a fine effort in the Northumberland Plate, staying on into sixth place after being tapped for toe early early in the straight. Moidore’s previous effort, when chasing home Well Sharp over today’s course and distance at the Dante fixture in May, was well advertised when Well Sharp scored next time at Royal Ascot.
At Newmarket, SECONDO (3.55) has been given a tough task by the handicapper, having been raised 9lb for his Haydock success last Friday over Rhagori Aur. However, Roger Charlton’s sprinter won in the style of a three-year-old very much on an upward curve.
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