• Sun 22 May, 2022
  • 03:09 BST
  • 23:09 EST (BST-4)
  • 05:09 CEST (BST+2)

Charlie’s Weekend Whispers

Today’s feature card in Britain comes from Haydock where conditions were described as good on Friday morning.

In the two-mile handicap Godolphin’s Bandinelli heads the market having won four of his five starts since being gelded last summer although three of those were on the all-weather. His turf success was over 1m 6f here back in September and, although 11lbs higher this afternoon, that form has been franked in the interim period. His draw in stall eleven is a slight concern but he has won two of his three turf starts and remains open to further improvement. Note he is currently 8/1 favourite with Unibet for the Northumberland Plate at the end of June.

VALLEY FORGE (2.00) was gelded over the winter and looked ready for a step up to two miles when staying on steadily on his reappearance at Newmarket at the beginning of the month. He is entitled to come on for the run, has good course form – closely matched with Golden Flame from last September – and last season’s Melrose winner at York has only had the eight career starts.

The EW selection is not yet proven at two miles, but he gives the impression he will improve again for the step up in distance.

Recommendation: Valley Forge EW 2.00 Haydock

MIGHTY ULYSSES (2.35) travelled like much the best horse in the Epsom Derby trial on his reappearance but failed to get home over that ten-furlong trip. He was a different proposition dropped back to a mile when dotting up in a Newmarket handicap from a 6lbs lower mark last time under today’s excellent apprentice Benoit De La Sayette who rode double at Nottingham and Lingfield earlier in the week.

De La Sayette has had his claim reduced to 5lbs in recent days which means that the selection is, arguably, 8lbs better off from Newmarket but he is entered in the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot next month for which he is a best price of 33/1 with Paddy Power.

The selection has a poor draw to overcome but only ten go to post and I do feel he could be a class apart from today’s opposition.

Recommendation: Mighty Ulysses 2.35 Haydock

David Allen is unbeaten in three rides aboard WINTER POWER (3.45) and the combination can take the Group 2 Temple Stakes. Silvestre De Sousa – as owner Kingpower’s retained jockey – was in the plate when the filly took the Nunthorpe at York back in August and she escapes penalty for that Group 1 success. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pb-pDcZH-Jc

The filly is currently 14/1 for the King’s Stand Stakes at BetVictor but I’m not convinced Ascot is her track. She was magnificent at York first time out last season and Haydock’s fast five furlongs will suit. If she is in anything like the same mood, she will be very difficult to beat.

Recommendation: Winter Power 3.45 Haydock

Over at Goodwood and the form of OMAN’s (2.50) neck second to Spirit Mixer at Salisbury on his reappearance was given a huge boost when the winner sluiced up at Chelmsford earlier in the week winning by a long looking six lengths albeit from just a 2lbs higher mark.

Ralph Beckett’s 4-y-old remains open to further improvement over 12f+ and he did run well as a juvenile at today’s track on his sole previous visit to Goodwood.

Surrey Gold is another stayer who I feel has more to offer this term having been gelded over the winter. He finished last season with a good win at York from a 6lbs lower mark, but he might just need softer ground to be seen at his very best.

Recommendation: Oman 2.50 Goodwood

Crema Inglesa has been raised 5lbs for finishing second at Ascot last time over ten furlongs and she will appreciate the step back up to a mile-and-a-half this afternoon for Jamie Osborne.

She must go close, but I will be supporting CANDY KITCHEN (4.00) until she meets with defeat. The filly has been raised 6lbs for scoring at Windsor last time when she was very well supported throughout the day. The ease with which she picked up World Without Love – pair clear – was impressive and a 6lbs rise is unlikely to prevent her following up. She messed up the start at Windsor and cannot afford such a luxury in this better race, but she only carries 8st 4lbs and I would be disappointed if she wasn’t very competitive from that mark.

Recommendation: Candy Kitchen 4.00 Goodwood

There is a £50k handicap at Musselburgh and the 69 rated three-year-old HILTS (4.19) was backed as if defeat was out of the question when scoring at Redcar on his reappearance over 10f on soft ground when he always looked to have the race under control.

The runner up – Zimmerman reopposes today but is 6lbs worse off with the selection and a bigger threat is likely to come from Chepstow winner Nathanael Greene who heads the market for William Haggas who has trained the winner on the two previous renewals of this valuable prize.

This is a race chock full of unexposed potential improvers, but the well-bred Jedd O’Keefe gelding is well drawn, lightly raced and the step up in distance is considered a positive.

Recommendation: Hilts 4.13 Musselburgh

At Stratford this evening, Danny Whizzbang was given a poor ride at Market Rasen last time over hurdles – ran wide throughout but was still in there pitching going to two out – but I was very impressed with DHOWIN’S (8.00) jumping when scoring at Fontwell last time and he can follow up from a 6lbs higher mark with Henry Brooke taking over in the saddle for Warren Greatrex.

Recommendation: Dhowin 8.00 Stratford

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