This weekend lacks the quality we have become accustomed to in recent weeks but nonetheless, there is some great action to look forward to. Willie sends over True Self for a first crack at Group success and the two-year-olds do battle at Beverley.
Elsewhere Danzeno looks to back up a recent win and Safe Voyage bids for a fourth victory at Haydock. I have taken a look at the key races brought to us by ITV on Saturday and think I have some good chances of winners.
Awe was all the rage to land the Silver Bowl two weeks ago having run a cracker to finish runner-up on seasonal bow at Ascot. William Haggas’ charge was bumped early on and then was short of room at a crucial stage so his last run can be marked up and he could be the answer here.
The Queen has enjoyed a fine start to the current campaign with her runners with Regular getting his head in front for the first time on his sixth attempt most recently. He went up just a pound for that victory so his mark looks fair and she should once again go close.
Flashcard enjoyed a good payday when finishing runner-up in a big sales race at the Curragh last season. Those races can throw up some funny results and he struggles off a mark of 93 on seasonal reappearance. He’ll undoubtedly improve for that run but may find life tough off just one-pound lower.
Others of note include Blown By Wind and the unexposed Athmad.
Theglasgowwarrior runs here of a career-high mark of 91 having taken a Hamilton handicap in fine style when last seen. He’s a guaranteed stayer who races off just two-pounds higher now and has the assistance of “crack” apprentice Sean Davies in the saddle.
Melting Dew was an “improver” at the end of last season but was bitterly disappointing at HQ last month where he finished stone last. It’s taking that Ryan Moore keeps the faith and off a two-pound higher mark it may be worth giving him another chance.
What A Welcome started off life in handicaps off a mark of 63 and has kept on improving with each run and enters calculation off 100 now. He ran very well at Goodwood when last seen but he looks vulnerable to an improver.
Of the others, I like the chances of Billy Ray who’d probably like a bit more juice in the ground but was a good winner of a 1-mile six-furlong handicap at Redcar last year off just one-pound higher. He ran poorly on his hist start this season but if improving for this he may just feature.
Willie Mullins has made a habit of landing big prizes in Britain but normally over jumps but in recent years he has begun to plunger flat races as well. True Self won a brace of listed races last season and followed up in a listed event on home soil on seasonal debut last month. She bids for a first victory at Group 3 level and looks hard to beat.
Highgarden looked good under Frankie at Newmarket last September when landing a Group 3 event. She carriers a three-pound penalty for that victory but is open to further improvement now.
Pilaster was a Group 2 winner last season but hasn’t looked as good this season with two average runs and needs to recapture that Lille Langtry form if she is to feature.
Selection: True Self
Dean Ivory’s Stake Acclaim returned from over a year’s absence to win easily back in April. The predicted soft underfoot condition will very much suit him but off a career-high mark of 108, he may struggle to land back to back victories.
Danzeno was a runaway winner of a handicap on seasonal return at Nottingham last Sunday. Mick Appleby’s inmate races here off the same mark and if back to his best, he won’t be beaten.
Intense Romance rattled off a hat-trick of victories at the end of last season including a brace of listed events. She ran pretty well on reappearance at Naas where the ground probably wasn’t soft enough for her but back on her favoured surface a big run can be expected.
Paul Midgley had a great campaign with Tarboosh last season when he won four times. Both starts this season have been average but with the easier ground here, a good run looks on the cards.
John of Gaunt Stakes
Suedois was a Grade 1 winner in America back in 2017 and showed a good level of form last season, the highlight being a runner-up finish in the Group 2 Lennox Stakes at Goodwood. The soft ground may not be ideal but on the balance of form, he must have a chance.
John Quinn’s Safe Voyage has won both starts this season including a course and distance listed victory most recently. That victory made his course form 3-3 and he looks a solid yardstick here.
Sir Dancealot won three seven-furlong group races last year but was disappointing on his only visit to Haydock and I’m not sure he’s at home on soft ground either. All that being said, I’m willing to take him on.
Of the remainder, Breton Rock is a reliable horse but looks vulnerable here and the smart Snazzy Jazzy hold leading claims.
Selection: Safe Voyage
Two Year Old Trophy
Only six go to post here and Oh Purple Reign makes a quick reappearance having finished runner-up on Oaks day last week. The son of Sir Prancealot ran well on both starts thus far but they have both come over six furlongs. I don’t see the drop down in trip as a positive and he may get done for a turn of foot.
The speedily bred Dream Shot looked like he’d improve for the run on debut at Goodwood where he was slightly coltish. I think he could be the fastest among these and is the one to beat.
Richard Fahey has been firing in the winners of late and Summer Sands showed plenty of ability when finishing third on debut at York. He was slightly green that day staying on from the rear of the field and although he looks sure to progress, I think he may struggle to land a blow here.
Selection: Dream Shot