Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Sandown and Haydock on Saturday. View selections below.
THE FUGUE (3.50) has drifted to a very backable price in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown and John Gosden’s mare is sound value at 9-4 with the sponsors. The Fugue was a hugely impressive Royal Ascot winner and as long as any threatened thunderstorms miss the Esher track, she will bounce off the fast surface. The Fugue not only has to overcome 10 declared rivals, but history is also loaded against her as she would become only the fair sex’s third winner in 50 years. That damning statistic may well account for her sliding odds, but The Fugue was so imperious in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes last month that she is very difficult to overlook if the rain stays away.
Night Of Thunder represents the Classic generation and the 2000 Guineas winner will have no Kingman in his jockey’s wing-mirror turning for home. Kieren Fallon reported that True Story raced lazily in the Derby and the Godolphin colt could be sharpened up with the application of a first-time visor. Should the clouds open, Kingston Hill would automatically enter calculations, although 10 furlongs could be on the sharp side unless it becomes very testing.
There are some speedballs going to post for the Coral Charge and STEPPER POINT (2.05) ran out of his skin when only denied by quicksilver Sole Power in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot. He also lost out to the same horse when fourth in a blanket finish to the Palace House Stakes at Newmarket in May, after hitting the front briefly when meeting the rising ground. Stall nine isn’t ideal but Stepper Point’s blistering early pace should allow Martin Dwyer to edge towards the favoured far rail.
ST MORITZ (2.40) likes to blaze a trail from the stalls and David O’Meara’s northern raider benefited from an easy lead over course and distance last month when run down close home by Sea Shanty and Tanseeb. In the absence of any other confirmed frontrunner, St Moritz may again enjoy the run of the race and Oisin Murphy may be able to keep a bit up his sleeve to repel the closing pack. Velox was unlucky when almost forced over the rail at Epsom on Oaks day and in-form Luca Cumani has snapped up the services of top 5lb claimer Cam Hardie.
There is some tip-top action at Haydock, where the track will be riding on the slow wide. That favours SEAL OF APPROVAL (2.55) in the bet365 Lancashire Oaks and James Fanshawe’s daughter of Authorized can build on her seasonal debut when fourth to Gospel Choir in the Sky Bet Yorkshire Oaks. Hayley Turner has found things difficult since returning from an enforced absence through injury and this would be a welcome Group 2 pick-me-up for our top lady rider.
The bet365 Old Newton Cup is always a cracking middle-distance handicap and DE RIGUEUR (3.30) bounced back to form in a hot event at Newmarket. Marco Botti’s six-year-old relishes easy underfoot conditions and the dual course and distance winner may be good enough at an each-way price to overcome a tricky draw in stall 19. Dangers abound, with Cumani’s Havana Cooler heading the ante-post market. The trainer has won this race three times and Havana Cooler caught the eye when finishing third in the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes at Royal Ascot, one place behind Salutation, who reopposes with obvious claims.
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