GLORIOUS GOODWOOD TV TIPS – DAY 4 (FRIDAY)

GLORIOUS GOODWOOD TV TIPS – DAY 4 (FRIDAY)

14:00 Goodwood
The trip looks the only potential stumbling block on this seasons form for the highly progressive The Corsican, a fair forth in a hot Group1 at Royal Ascot came on the back of a few much improved run and although this trip may not be his optimum, he is unbeaten in two starts at the track and deserves to go off favourite. Luca Cumani has taken three of the last eight renewals of this and his Connecticut could hardly have been anymore impressive as when tithe last day. Quite what he has to find to play a part here is hard to figure but it would no surprise if he was good enough and as such, he is respected. Dubday is interesting and hardly needs to improve to play a part, his defeat behind Gospel Choir the last day was slightly disappointing however and he might be the sort who needs everything to fall into place. Hillstar on the face of it has been disappointing and looks to have regressed judging on his exploits in 2013, if he did bounce back he would probably win but he has clear risks attached and couldn’t be confidently advised. The rest look no-hopers but should Watersmeet get an easy lead its easy to envisage him being hard to peg back, all things considered however, The Corsican looks the safest option and is taken to oblige.
The Corsican (WIN)

14:35 Goodwood
Latharnach is the clear form choice judging on his fine second behind Guineas winner Gleneagles at Royal Ascot the last day, an improving sort before that he has outstanding claims in this and really ought to win. The negatives however are obvious and his price is likely to put a few off as might the recent misses that the Godolphin yard have had. Should he win it would make sense but there is enough reason to take him on and we will be doing just that. Sir Michael Stoute has had a frustrating season and advising his charges has so far proved troublesome for me, his once raced Convey fairly bolted up in a maiden at Kempton and while this is massively tougher, its very interesting he is to take up the engagement. Kool Kompany is heavily respected at this level and though he may be an outsider, his chance shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand. Aktabantay is as good a value each way bet as any and though held on collateral form, he will probably be in the firing line come the end, a comment that also applies to Moheet who looks the type to improve with each run. The rest require a leap of faith and although similar can be said of Convey, he is handed the vote.
Convey (WIN)

15:10 Goodwood
GM Hopkins finally took a big handicap when winning the Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot last time and is entitled to go very close again today with the 6lbs penalty looking lenient to me. John Gosdens charge may be trickily housed in box 18 but he has outstanding claims otherwise and is taken to mow them all down late in the day. Bronze Angel has been disappointing a few times this term and may need to drop a few pounds before taking another big pot, he couldn’t be confidently dismissed but his draw is a definite concern and he is probably worth bearing in mind for later. Basem is improving at a rate of knots and did the business for me the last day, he is another to respect but he must improve and many will feel Munaseer can turn the tables with the weights in his favour. Donncha has a featherweight to race off and is another improver, the slight question mark with him is the trip but that aside, he has every chance. Magic City likes it here and has run with credit in this before, he isn’t entirely without risks but his love for the venue is a positive and he can run into the money at rewarding odds.
GM Hopkins (E/W if 9/2+)
Magic City (E/W)

15:45 Goodwood
This looks ridiculously competitive and more than half the field have chances, class act Muthmir has rather bombed a couple of times over 6f recently but this trip is clearly his optimum and he really ought to have everything run to suit. Things will be tricky considering he has to give weight away but he is the type to bounce back and is handed a tentative vote. Cotai Glory looked to be heading right to the top before unseating when about to collect at Doncaster last season, he never looked the same after but his fine third behind the re-opposing Out Do was highly encouraging and although he isn’t handed the vote, he is clearly very interesting. Moviesta has a shocking win record for one so talented and has been moved to sprint king Ed Lynam, this has probably been his target all along for his new trainer and a big showing looks on the cards. Move In Time, Out Do, Line Of Reason and veterans Kingsgate Native and Take Cover are others with chances in a super renewal.
Muthmir (WIN)

THE VOICE OF RACING, SIR PETER O’SULLEVAN A TRIBUTE

THE VOICE OF RACING, SIR PETER O’SULLEVAN A TRIBUTE

Some people have a sound track for poignant memories in their life time. A song that reminds them of a loved one, an amazing trip or special moment.

For many racing fans there is only one cherished voice that has accompanied our true sporting love over the past 60 plus years. That one true voice of racing, the one that accompanied many great racing occasion’s and wether it was accompanied by a chorus of cheers or the sound of torn up betting slips Sir Peter O’Sullevan’s words have always been the accompanying voice to take us through all the highs and lows.

Sir Peter was born in Kenmare Ireland in 1918 and was the son of Colonel John Joseph O’Sullevan and Vera O’Sullevan. Peter went on to be educated in Switzerland before moving to England to settle before finding himself working for the BBC.

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Sir Peter will be recognised by the current generation as the early voice of racing on the television but his voice has been covering the sport much longer than this. His radio commentary on various sports started in the mid to late 1940’s.

He covered all the major races throughout his career and some lesser known events as well. From the likes of the Cheltenham Festival, The Derby, Royal Ascot, Glorious Goodwood and of course Grand National up until his retirement in 1997. He also called races from overseas with 30 years of commentating on the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe as well as races in Ireland and the United States and not forgetting commentary on trot racing in Rome during the 1960’s.

No matter what race his voice accompanied his tones always made it even greater to the viewing public and elevated televised horse racing into the hearts of the British public.

He will be best known for the near 40 years of coverage of the biggest steeplechase in the world The Grand National. He will always be synonymous with that race and on a personal note the race just doesn’t quite sound the same without hearing him call it. He held the mic for great Grand National moments including Red Rum’s all three victories, Bob Champions victory on board Aldaniti and the ill fated and voided race in 1993. He was a part of the Grand National furniture and received a plaque which is situated at Aintree racecourse when he was named one of the eight inaugural “Grand National Legends”.

Aside from O’Sullevan lending his voice to this great sport he was also an avid owner. With horses such as Be Friendly who won both the Kings Stand Stakes and Prix de l’Abbaye and fan favourite Attivo who won the 1974 Triumph Hurdle which prompted the following words from the great man himself. “And it’s first Attivo, owned by, uh, Peter O’Sullevan…”

Peter became officially known as the “Voice of Racing” in a television interview before his 50th and last Grand National in 1997 with this honour quickly being trumped when granted his knight hood in the same year. He was the first ever sports broadcaster to be bestowed such an honour.

After his retirement Sir Peter was actively involved in various animal welfare charities and helped fundraise for such good causes as the ILPH “International League of the Protection of Horses” and the Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Centre.

His ever lasting memory to me will be of a man that dedicated not just his voice but his time, efforts, money and gentle nature to a sport I love and for that I will always be duly grateful. I feel very sad that the new generation of racing fans will not have the utter pleasure in hearing him call a live race but I am happy to be one of the many that had such a privilege in my lifetime. His voice could be equally rapturous and soothing in equal measure and without question a voice that will transcend not just the National, Horse Racing or Sport but British Broadcasting as a whole.

With a sport that is synonymous with Irish bred legends he is by far one of the greatest.

In honour of Sir Peter we encourage you to make a charitable donation to one of his great causes here.

GLORIOUS GOODWOOD TV TIPS – DAY 3 (THURSDAY)

GLORIOUS GOODWOOD TV TIPS – DAY 3 (THURSDAY)

14:05 Goodwood
We start day three of Glorious Goodwood with a three year old only handicap. A field of fifteen look set to tackle this mile and a quarter test, which is frustrating as the bookies will only be paying three places. Racing History is set to carry top weight and is the early favourite for Godolphin. He takes another step up in class but does hold a group two entry. Unexposed and filled with potential, he must go close. What he has done to achieve a mark of 99 however is questionable. Beating The Character (79) last time out by under a length and a half. While his hold up style makes him hard to assess. He beat that aforementioned horse off level weight due to been a three year old. Racing History is opposed on that basis.
The selection has to be Keble for John Gosden and Dettori. This horse has run in some good maidens, with his run behind Scottish has worked out well with that horse running a belter yesterday. This is only his second run in a handicap and the magical headgear is reached for first time. The son of Teofilo must go close off a nice racing weight.
Off the remainder it would be no surprise to see Resonant return to give a good account of himself, while Awesome Power has a nice weight and is well drawn.
Keble (WIN)

14:35 Goodwood
By this stage hopefully Gosden will be off the mark and he has the favourite for the Richmond Stakes, a group two for juveniles over six furlongs. He saddles Shalaa who was a good winner of the July Stakes at Newmarket. Still looking green in the process. However his price has no value in it and I will look for an alternative. There are plenty in the field of eight that could take a step forward.
Tasleet is an interesting runner off a mark of 98, coming to hand slowly for William Haggas. He would need to find a good bit with some of these tho and the same can be said for Barbarous Relic.
Mark Johnston fires two darts and while they can’t be completely ruled out. Riflescope needs to show he handles six as well as five and Adventurous is taking a big rise in class.
Steady Pace finished second behind Shalaa and should get closer here on a more conventional track, Same should be said about Elronaq. The latter is overlooked by the stable jockey.
Selection is Log Out Island. A very good second in the Norfolk stakes after setting a crazy pace. Finished third in a muddling race at the Curragh. I can safely forgive that run. The yard have an excellent record around Goodwood. He was highly thought of and should get his young career back on track here.
Log Out Island (E/W if 9/2+)

15:10 Goodwood
The feature of day three is the Goodwood Cup, won last year by Calvaryman and its another eight year old who can do the business today. Simenon was fourth in Royal Ascot, never quite getting to the leaders. That trip may have just stretched him and back over a more favourable trip. Willie Mullins has been conquering all this season, both flat and jumps. You can be sure this one will be ready and with Frankie booked looks fair set for a massive attempt. Back on better terms with Trip To Paris, turning around that form will see him involved.
The favourite, Trip To Paris, has been a revelation this season, but the conditions of the race, don’t suit and he needed all of the Ascot trip to get in front. This sharper test may not be to suit.
Quest for More must be respected after his Northumberland Plate win but this is another rise in company. Sheikhzayedroad is interesting at this trip and while not really bred to do so, he says really well in his races so I shouldn’t see a problem. My concern would be the lack of form he has shown since last years treble. While Oriental Fox advertised Mark Johnstons training skills when winning off a year break. Bounce factor must come into for him. Its the other Mark Johnston runner that catches my eye. The Filly Vive Ma Fille, The three year old is getting lumps of weight all round and surely has a chance based on her Royal Ascot run behind Aloft. She has speculative E/W claims
Big Orange based on last run is the biggest danger for win purposes.
Simenon (E/W if 9/2+)
Vive Ma Fille (E/W)

15:45 Goodwood
A wide open renewal in the Lille Langtry to finish the Channel Four coverage. Arabian Comet (second last year) and Jordon Princess are currently vying for favouritism. I would expect the later to overturn the direct form line between them. The race last time was run at a slow pace and wouldn’t have suited the fast finishing Arabian Comet.
The selection is Lustrous who on his last run had Jordon Princess well beaten. This is an interesting four year old. Hughes decides not too ride her and she is joint top rated in the race. Raced in all the top fillies races last year and held her own creditably. This is another step down in class after running well in a group two at Haydock. She should continue to run well.
The dangers come from Europe in the form of French raider Lady Dragon and German raider Kaldera, Both are unexposed and could get involved.
Lustrous (E/W)

 

Away from today’s TV Tips we also have our two best bets for Day 4 of The Galway Festival from Karl Hedley:

15:00 Galway – Rock Critic (WIN)

16:45 Galway – Bayan (E/W)

GLORIOUS GOODWOOD TV TIPS – DAY 2 (WEDNESDAY)

GLORIOUS GOODWOOD TV TIPS – DAY 2 (WEDNESDAY)

14:00 Goodwood

We open todays action with a big runner handicap over a marathon 2m5f trip.

With such a long distance to tackle it’s hard to judge because so many of the runners are yet to attempt such a long race. The only runner that has won over the 2m5f trip before is last years winner Teak. The Ian Williams trained eight year old did well to win this last year and after a string of decent performances this year isn’t one I’d readily dismiss. But now carrying over a stone more in weight than last year and tackling an extra eight opponents I feel the likelihood of it winning is vastly diminished.

Ridgeway Storm is an ultra consistent horse for noted jumps trainer Alan King. The horse rarely puts in a bad performance and has the booking of top jockey Tom Queally to aid its chances today. Looking through its form however and a win over 1m4f as well as two miles doesn’t automatically strike me as a horse that will relish this vast step up in trip. If the ground remains on the soft side then although it could have a place chance it wouldn’t help the horse.

The current market leader is William Of Orange. The four year old top weight has done well to pick up three top three finishes in all three of its seasonal outings. A decent second behind Eshtiaal at York last time out looks like decent form and I don’t think the horse will be perturbed by the bigger distance. However as a betting proposition at current best odds of 4/1 it is far too short for a race of this nature and a horse that is yet to win this year.

Unlike the favourite one horse that has been able to win this year is Air Squadron. The gelding has won all three of its starts this year and is going through some what of a renaissance this year. That being said though all three wins have come over a much shorter trip and the question mark remains wether it will handle todays conditions. Personally I feel the five year old will struggle to go the extra furlongs required to get its head in front.

With cases so daily made for many of the runners the one I’m going for is some what speculative. The bottom weight Needless Shouting comes from a big yard in Mick Channon’s and is ridden by a jockey that has had plenty of success around Goodwood before. The horse needs to make a marked step up on what it has done previously but its front running tactics should suit the course and if it can last home should be right up there when it counts.

Of the remaining runners I think Taws is a very big danger at a decent enough price.

Needless Shouting (E/W)

 

14:35 Goodwood

The second race of the card today is reserved solely for three year olds.

Unlike some original Ballydoyle runners for today Highland Reel actually takes its chance and takes its spot as the favourite for this one and a half mile contest.

The horse was tipped to do very well this year but unfortunately flattered to deceive and hasn’t lived up to last years hype. The horse takes a step down into Group 3 company and despite a disappointing season still deserves its spot as race favourite in this.

The horse, in theory, should win this race but at a price around 2/1 about a horse that is yet to win this year seems too short.

A lively outsider at a price around 9/1 Godolphin’s entry Space Age has the potential to finish in the top three if it can recapture its form prior to a disappointing second placed finish at Ascot. It takes a step up in class but if truth be told the race isn’t much in terms of depth and a place wouldn’t be out of the question.

The selection in this one hails from the yard of David Brown and won mightily impressively at Hamilton last time out. The softer conditions will be of benefit to the horses chances and taking a step up from listed to group company shouldn’t be too much of a difficult task in a relatively weak race like this. The Fergal Lynch ridden runner is almost a certainty for a place and it’s just a question as to wether or not it can topple the O’Brien favourite.

Medrano (E/W if 9/2+)

 

15:00 Goodwood

The showpiece race of day two is The Sussex Stakes and sees French runner Solow aim to make it eight straight wins in a row. The horse won readily at Royal Ascot on its previous start in a race that was equally as competitive as this. Unfortunately the original Ballydoyle antepost favourite Gleneagles doesn’t take up its entry.

The aforementioned Freddie Head trained runner Solow is now clear favourite and rightly so. Although the horses price is now odds on I just can’t see the grey being beaten. With its rivals all relatively close in terms of current form there’s nothing that stands out to me as an each way selection and although you’re not going to make a fortune for backing what I think is the likely winner I still feel it’s price reflects its chances and has to be my selection here.

Of the remainder, if I had to, the one that should sneak into the places is Arod but that is without any great deal of conviction.

Solow (WIN)

 

15:45 Goodwood

We end todays live action with a two year old contest over the minimum trip.

Unfortunately, as seems to be the running theme with todays action, the Aiden O’Brien horse has been withdrawn. It would’ve been great to see a battle between Washington DC and King Of Rooks and if truth be told I’d have favoured the Irish raider however this isn’t going to be the case.

The fact that Washington DC now doesn’t take up the entry makes it somewhat easier to decipher.

I know it may seem some what of an obvious selection I can’t look past the short priced favourite.

King Of Rooks did well when finishing a decent and close third at Royal Ascot. Without being unkind to todays rivals this seems a step down in opposition and should win pretty readily.

The only forceable dangers are Tom Dascombe’s Kachy who has done nothing wrong in its one and only winning start but would need to step up markedly on it’s only piece of form. The other potential thorn in the side to my selection winning is the Godolphin runner Rouleau. The horse has more race course experience than Kachy but will also have to improve markedly and what seems like less impressive form.

King Of Rooks (WIN)

 

Away from today’s TV Tips we also have our two best bets for Day 3 of The Galway Festival from David Weldon:

15:35 Galway – Lilly The Lioness (E/W)

17:30 Galway – Shanpallas (E/W)

 

Listen to our full Glorious Goodwood Special Podcast right here: 

GLORIOUS GOODWOOD TV TIPS – DAY 1 (TUESDAY)

GLORIOUS GOODWOOD TV TIPS – DAY 1 (TUESDAY)

14:00 Goodwood 

Glorious Goodwood is finally here and we start the five day spectical with a nine furlong handicap.

Mark Johnston and Joe Fanning teamed up to win this race last year and could well do it again but this time with Zand; he races for the first time since joining the yard and the fact Joe has decided to ride him instead of last year’s winner Sennockian Star tells us he’s been really impressed with him when they’ve teamed up together in France and must fancy him more for this.

The two Godolphin horses Gold Trail and Elhaame  both drop back to this trip after being tried at further which is a surprise to see as the latter has impressed over eleven furlongs recently, the former though will probably enjoy the drop in trip more as he seemed to tire in the last couple of furlongs last time out over further.

Mount Logan was staying on strongly at York but seemed to have a lot to do coming from the middle of the pack to get anywhere near the leaders but he could be a real threat if given the right ride by Kirby today.

Collaboration and Top Tug are not with out a shout on earlier form but the latter hasn’t seem to be able to fire again since his last win in May last year and the former looked slightly out of his depth when taking on better company at Ascot last month.

Zand  (E/W) 

Mount Logan (E/W)

 

14:35 Goodwood 

Our second preview is the Qatar Vintage Stakes a Group 2 over seven furlongs.

Richard Hannon and Richard Hughes had won this race for four years in a row until the O’Brien duo took that feet away from them last year and I think it’s safe to say that neither of them will win it this year as the O’Brien horse Air Field Marshall has been declared a non runner and the Hannon and Hughes horse disappointed greatly when stepping up to this kind of level last time out.

Birchwood still looked very green when winning a group 2 at Newmarket seventeen day’s ago but he still finished the race off comfortably and looks the one who’ll take all the beating for this today.

Beaverbrooke looks the better of the two Mark Johnston duo and even though he finished fifth to Birchwood last time out he looked very strong from four furlongs out and was probably sent to the front a little too early and if ridden right today he could be in the mix for this.

Ibn Malik impressed on his debut at Newmarket last month and there may be more to come from him still and could be a real prospect for the future if winning again today.

Birchwood  (WIN)

Beaverbrooke  (E/W)

 

15:10 Goodwood 

Our punatilmate race of the TV tips for day one of Glorious Goodwood is the Qatar Lennox Stakes another group 2 over seven furlongs.

When I looked at this race a few days ago I saw this as a close race between Toormore and Limato but as the latter has now been declared as a non runner it’s hard to see beyond the former to win this today; he finished second in this race twelve months ago and finished the same distance when second again in the Lockinge back in May and on that form looks a clear favourite.

Dutch Connection looks the obvious danger after finishing strongly at Ascot last month and followed it up with a cracking run at Chantilly  two weeks ago; he has an amazing turn of foot and could put pressure on the favourite.

The top weight Safety Check comes here bidding for a four timer after three good wins at Meydan but he’ll have a long absence to deal with and the hike up in the weights won’t help him either.

Tupi is another upped in the weights but he was always going away from the field last time out and could still have more improvement in him yet and may be one to keep an eye on in the market.

Toormore (WIN) 

Tupi  (E/W)

 

15:45 Goodwood 

We end day ones coverage of Glorious Goodwood with a fourteen furlong handicap.

On paper this looks a very wide open affair and the market reflects this but there are two outsiders that have caught my eye.

Forgotten Voice showed a lot of improvement when finishing third last time out and can race off a one pound lower mark than that today; he’s won off a higher mark in the past and if he continues the way he is he could run away with this.

Elidor is another who has impressed to date and should relish dropping back down to this company after taking on listed company last time out where he wasn’t hugely disgraced and could be back in the mix again now back at this level.

Notarised made all at Haydock earlier this month where he stayed on gamely to hold on for the win; he’ll need to run his own race again in this to go in again so has to be respected if able to do so.

All Talk N No Do comes here seeking a hat-trick and is another who will want to run his own race near the front; he steps up to this level for the first time but can’t be dismissed if his earlier form comes into play again today.

Forgotten Voice  (E/W) 

Elidor  (E/W)

 

Away from today’s TV Tips we also have our two best bets for Day 2 of The Galway Festival from Karl Hedley:

17:45 Galway – Waaheb (WIN)

19:50 Galway – Lady Ranger (E/W)

 

Listen to our full Glorious Goodwood Special Podcast right here:

 

PADDOCKS PATENT (MONDAY)

PADDOCKS PATENT (MONDAY)

15:30 Ayr

Chadic represents a yard in blistering form at present and he has already proven himself around this western circuit. He was a comfortable winner at Chester on his most recent outing and it is highly likely that there will be more to come from this improving three year old. Joe Fanning has already steered him to success around here and now that his partner is more streetwise, they have to be of obvious interest.

Injun Sands comes into this race at the top of his game. Two recent wins at Chelmsford and Lingfield will have boosted the confidence of this lightly raced four year old. As a consequence he has to give weight away all around but given that he remains unexposed, further improvement cannot be ruled out. He certainly looks the most formidable rival amongst this bunch and he should go well. Braes Of Lochalsh recorded a first career win over this course and distance last time out. Graham Lee has ridden him plenty of times before and they are once again likely to make another bold bid here.

Mark Johnston can do little wrong at present and this is the time of year that three year olds often get the better of their older rivals. Given that Chadic is set to receive six pounds from Injun Sands today, that could well make all of the difference in this tight knit handicap.

Chadic (WIN)

 

16:20 Newton Abbot

Ravens Nest went close on what was his only start for Lawney Hill last season. That was his first try in a handicap hurdle and he was only beaten a nose by Noir Girl. He was giving eight pounds to the winner that day and the front two pulled some twenty four lengths clear of the third placed Curragh Girl indicating that the form could prove quite useful. Curragh Girl has actually come out and won subsequently giving the form a boost.

Spin Cast has managed to hit the frame in two previous outings this season at Ffos Las and at this track. A lot of rivals lining up here are either woefully out of form or coming back from a break so he seems to set the standard. He does have to concede weight all around but he may not have to improve an awful lot in order to go close and he looks the chief danger. Seamus Mullins purposely targets these small meetings with his runners and they often go off at overinflated prices. Kentford Heiress is his representative here and she is worth keeping an eye on in the market especially with Kevin Jones claiming seven pounds off her.

Nick Schofield takes the ride on Ravens Nest for the first time, but if fit enough to do themselves justice, the combination should be able to progress further and go close here.

Ravens Nest (E/W if 9/2+)

 

17:15 Galway

Bachasson won his maiden at the first time of asking for Willie Mullins and did so in breathtaking style. He coasted home by no fewer than six lengths at Sligo and is likely to have learned plenty for that experience. He comes from a yard that certainly know a smart hurdler when they see one and he is likely to go onto much better things in the future. Ruby Walsh is back on board this evening and the duo should prove tough nuts to crack.

Dermot Weld specifically aims his horses at this meeting year after year. He sends the Chester Cup runner up Zafayan into battle here but this four year old has not managed to get his head in front in three previous outings over hurdles. He is fit from the flat but his temperament over obstacles remains questionable and he offers no value at current odds. Moonmeister adds further intrigue to this contest and comes into the race looking for a hat-trick of wins. Gordon Elliott certainly has a decent prospect on his hands and with Luke Dempsey claiming three pounds he meets his main market rivals on level terms. He too will not be far away.

Bachasson looks a typical Mullins improver and the grey gelding has to be high on any shortlist tonight. Ruby is likely to know a lot more about him following that facile debut win and they are taken to maintain their undefeated record.

Bachasson (WIN)

 

Away from today’s Paddocks Patent we also have our two best bets for Day 1 of The Galway Festival from David Weldon:

18:15 Galway – Johannes Vermeer (E/W if 9/2+)

18:50 Galway – Modem (E/W)

TV TIPS (SATURDAY)

TV TIPS (SATURDAY)

13:45 York

We start today’s action with the first race on the card from York.

There’s only six runners that line up for the opener and it’s a case of five against one with five of the runners trained locally in Yorkshire and only the Henry Candy trained favourite having to do much travelling.

Despite the advantages of having a horse trained locally I think the home county will come up short.

The biggest threats to the favourite are David O’Meara’s Supreme Occasion and Mark Johnston’s Mythical City.

The latter of the two managed to rack up an impressive hat-trick earlier in the season but was disappointing last time out at when finishing tenth of ten at Newmarket. A tougher campaign than most of its rivals leads me to think it has probably done most, if not all, of it’s winning this season.

I can’t escape the clutches of the market leader Chain Of Daisies. The horse is a worthy favourite with two wins on the bounce at Goodwood and Sandown respectively. The horse takes a step up in class but todays level of opposition doesn’t seem overly robust. The trainer clearly likes the horse and wouldn’t send it all the way from Berkshire just to take part. The horse is relatively lightly raced and has room for improvement and in my mind is the definite one to beat.

Chain Of Daisies (WIN)

 

14:05 Ascot

We move down to Ascot for the first of four televised races from the royal course.

As with the first race from York there isn’t many runners and considering this is a two year old contest there isn’t an abundance of form to go off either.

With yesterdays down poor the ground is expected to be pretty soft and this has intact helped me make a decision as to which horse to follow here.

The William Haggas favourite Besharah ran a great race behind Illuminate at Newmarket last time out. This was off the back of a decent third placed finish at Royal Ascot. The horse clearly has the best form out of all the runners but judging by its four race starts a softer surface certainly shouldn’t be of any benefit and for that reason, coupled with the short price, I am going to oppose the favourite here.

Rah Rah was a horse I liked when it won at Chester but since being sold to Godolphin it has failed to make any impression.

I am therefore going to side with Richard Hannon’s Whatdoiwantthatfor. This is the only lively contender that has winning form on ground softer than good. Although it wasn’t very testing that day it is the only horse that shows it could act on it and a chance is taken for that to be a very telling factor in where victory will go.

Whatdoiwantthatfor (WIN)

 

14:20 York

Our second of what is four trips to The Knavesmire sees us take in a seven furlong handicap.

Anyone that knows racing at York knows that any Geoffrey Oldroyd runner has to be respected. Seven year old Alfred Hutchinson represents the yard and has course and distance wins to its name. The horses last success came at York and has been raced here on its last four starts. The horse won well that day but it seems the six pound rise is too much for it to cope with now. Although a good showing wouldn’t be totally out of the question it’s likely to find a handful too good.

There are two horses I would consider to be the “dark horses” of the race. Kevin Ryan’s yard have had some big priced winners over the past fortnight and they could have another here if Salateen can recapture its two year old successes. It’s return to the racecourse this season was less than satisfactory but if it can shake off what may have been a bit of rust then a decent run might not be out of the question.

The other horse I fear may be over priced is Azagal, the Tim Easterby trained four year old has been ultra consistent this year and a return back to seven furlongs will definitely suit.

The horses I am most taken with are the two that represent the stable of David O’Meara. The trainer enters two runners in the form of Alejandro and Mont Ras. If truth be told the only thing that puts me off course and distance winner Alejandro is its price. At a best price of around 5/1 it is far too short. The horse won this contest last year and obviously has to be respected but at such a short price and despite being the favourite I am actually siding with the yards other entry.

Mont Ras may be the oldest horse in the race and despite being top weight it has a great chance. It has won at York before and with eight wins from twenty three turf starts it is pretty consistent. The horse was returning from a long layoff when finishing mid division here last time out but considering it lead for a good proportion of the race a drop to seven furlongs should definitely be beneficial. A decent draw in stall four will also aid its chances and has to have a great opportunity to pick up another success.

Mont Ras (E/W)

 

14:40 Ascot

The first race we covered from Ascot was a two year old contest, for the second race we cover from the venue it is now a three year old contest.

At the head of affairs is the Sir Alex Ferguson owned Grand Inquisitor. The horse has done nothing wrong in winning its last two starts and with a win over todays trip and a win on good to soft ground to its name it is a worth favourite and definitely the one to beat. I would be far from surprised to see the Sir Michael Stoute runner finish in front but in a race of this nature, where not many can be ruled out, I just have to find a horse with a bigger price.

Two horses that have done well by picking up wins on the all-weather are Pick Your Choice and Rocket Punch. Both were successful on the artificial surface and shouldn’t be readily dismissed but how those wins, at Chelmsford and Kempton respectively, will translate to todays soft conditions will be hard to say but I fear it is unlikely to help either.

Earlier in the season there was a lot of noise for the Irish runner Portage. A decent two year old campaign hasn’t been mirrored in it’s two three year old races so far but the horse was heavily backed last time out and clearly connections think highly enough of their credentials. If it can recapture its previous form it should have a great chance but too much is taken on trust and I don’t know how likely a return to form truly is.

I’m going for an each way selection and as with the previous race from Ascot a Richard Hannon runner. Mutasayyid won on its seasonal reappearance when winning at Newmarket. The horse has won here before and also likes todays trip. The horse isn’t likely to want the ground overly soft but a decent third placed finish when on softer ground wasn’t too disappointing and if it can handle conditions could sneak into a place.

Mutasayyid (E/W)

 

14:55 York

This is the only group race from York today which comes in the form of the Group 2 York Stakes.

Two horses head the betting with locally trained Custom Cut and French raider Prince Gibraltar.

I can understand why course winner Custom Cut should be near the forefront price wise with group success to its name but the French four year old, that is yet to win since May of last year, doesn’t strike me as an all that obvious a selection. Although you have to take into consideration that trainer Jean C Rouget wouldn’t send a horse all that way without a decent chance I just haven’t seen the horse show anything in its more recent races that’d suggest it is up to this level of opposition and is more than likely to return home empty handed.

The aforementioned Custom Cut has a great chance but is so hard to time in terms of a decent run, I’m very positive that it’ll finish in the top three today but at 11/4 is way too short to be backed in regards to how certain I’d be that it wins.

If you followed one of our selections yesterday you’ll know that Brian Ellsion has his yard in tip top shape and Top Notch Tonto comes here off the back of a decent win here last time. The horse isn’t guaranteed to like the step up in trip and really needs cut in the ground. The five year old has some what of a cult following and although many would want to see the horse do well it looks like too big a task.

A horse that looks a big threat to my selection is Kelinni. As mentioned earlier Kevin Ryan is doing well and a second placed finish in The John Smiths Cup looks decent enough form. I couldn’t be positive that the horse would win but at around 16/1 it could be a good shout for place money.

With eight runners scheduled to go to post I’m looking for a bit of value and I think I may have found it in the form of Tha’ir. Saeed bin Suroor has a 24% strike rate over the last fourteen days and look to bag another win with this five year old. The horse is in fine form with two wins and a second placed effort in its last three runs. It will need to have improved to feature in this but I don’t see that being to far beyond the realms of possibility and at a decent each way price it could go close.

Tha’ir (E/W)

 

15:15 Ascot

Here come the cavalry will be the cry for the penultimate race from Ascot as a whopping twenty nine runners are scheduled for The International Stakes.

This seven furlong contest seems a mine field to decipher and with horses I have backed previously lining up it is becoming increasingly difficult to narrow them down.

Speculative Bid has had a blistering four year old season and ticks an absolute tonne of boxes. It has a course and distance win to its name, is very consistent, has room to progress at the age of four and even has a win on very soft ground. I genuinely can’t find a reason not to back the horse other than its price. Jamie Spencer gets on marvellously when in the saddle and has ridden the horse five times, winning four of those races. If there weren’t as many runners I’d consider it an absolute certainty to be placed but I find myself looking elsewhere. Wether I will live to regret it will only be seen once the race has been run.

Heavens Guest is another course and distance winner who ran well to finish third at Newmarket last time out and is another runner that should handle the softer conditions better than most. That being said however the horse is pretty inconstant where by it tends to run well and then run poorly and is unfortunately avoided today.

Bushcraft has been somewhat of a revelation with a hat-trick of successes from its last three outings. The Ed Walker trained four year old is improving leaps and bounds and it certainly wouldn’t be a great shock if it were to complete a four timer. I do fear however that this may just be a tad too much of a step up and with no decent form on softer ground to its name is another runner that couldn’t be trusted to bring success.

Due to the huge field I’m plumping for two picks in this. The first of which is trained by George Baker and is ridden by William Buick. Belgian Bill has never had Buick in the saddle before but with a course win to its name and a decent third placed finish over course and distance on softer ground to its record previously it may surprise a few people and run better than expected.

My final selection for the race is currently priced at around 40/1. Despite the horses advancing years at the age of eight it is easy to forget that it has won over course and distance and has won on soft ground as well. Third and second placed finishes in its last two starts shows it still retains a decent level of ability and Don’t Call Me certainly has enough left to cause an upset.

Belgian Bill (E/W)

Don’t Call Me (E/W)

 

15:30 York

Our final race from York and penultimate live action comes in the form of a twenty runner sprint.

A case can be made for a plethora of these entrants and with ten of them gaining course and distance success previously many will have conditions to suit.

One of these ten that should have a great chance is Willbeme. The seven year old is saddled by the lesser known trainer Neville Bycroft who has rejuvenated the horse this season. It has come ever so close without winning and is pretty unlucky not to have notched up a success already this year. My slight doubt is that despite not winning its handicap mark has continued to rise and a step up to six furlongs doesn’t necessarily seem to be what the horse is crying out for.

The other course and distance winners that should have a good chance are Lexis Hero and Bogart. The Richard Fahey runner may be hitting the later stages of its career at seven but showed it still retains its ability when winning at Chester earlier in the year. A subsequent second placed finish at Newcastle was a decent level of form but its level of inconsistency doesn’t help with the prospect of backing the horse.

Bogart comes from an in-form stable and ran a nice race when finishing third of sixteen here last time. Despite a course and distance win to its name it has showed better form over the minimum trip so six furlongs may not help the horse reach optimum performance.

With so many runners going to post I’m plumping for two selections in this one. Both picks are young at the age of four and both raced in the same race last time out.

Tanzeel was mightily unlucky not to do better than its fourth placed finish but considering that was its seasonal reappearance it was a very decent effort. The horse should improve leaps and bounds for that run and the firmer surface should be of benefit for this lightly raced runner.

The other of my two selections actually finished ahead of Tanzeel on its last start and unlike Tanzeel, See The Sun has a previous course and distance win to its name. The PJ McDonald ridden horse is one that I earmarked to watch out for this year and finished sixth in this race last year. The horse was beaten by Muthmir that day and that now reads like pretty decent form. The Tim Easterby runner now races off seven pounds lower than last season and should have a great chance over a course and distance it has a 50% strike rate at.

Tanzeel (E/W)

See The Sun (E/W)

 

15:50 Ascot

The showpiece race of the day sees nine line up for this years renewal of the Group 1, King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

The big question we have to answer in this is wether or not the star of the show and this years wonder horse Golden Horn will act on the soft going. With the horses price continuing to drift it seems that punters don’t think John Gosden’s three year old will take to the surface.

It is a very tough question to answer and one that we won’t truly know the answer of until the race is run but one other question I think worth noting is which of its rivals will actually handle the surface?

Of the main protagonists only Clever Cookie and Snow Sky have wins on soft or heavy going and the time Snow Sky won on a surface like this it was in only its third ever race.

Clever Cookie will relish conditions but a drop back down to todays trip isn’t guaranteed to be of benefit and is very open to younger and more classier types today.

Snow Sky has done nothing wrong with the two wins it has had this year. The four year old certainly seems to have progressed and is likely to be Golden Horn’s main danger. The trainer hasn’t had the best of seasons though and despite, as mentioned before, a win on heavy ground I actually don’t think cut in the ground benefits the horse a great deal.

I started this race preview asking wether or not Golden Horn will act on this surface, I sincerely hope it does and it will make the current price look like an absolute steel if it were to romp home but I just can’t be so sure. I would love to see the horse win but with such a question mark to answer I’m left looking for a horse that could provide a decent place chance.

Madame Chiang has only ever graced a course on six occasions. It has won a Group 1 race over course and distance and all three of its wins have come on soft or heavy going. Considering the horse is priced at 20/1 that looks very generous indeed. She can be forgiven its seasonal reappearance at York as she should improve for the run. I know that she will need to improve to beat the favourite but even if she places at such an attractive price it’d bring in a bigger sum for a second or third placed finish.

Madame Chiang (E/W)

 

Glorious Goodwood is just around the corner so make sure you give us your ante post selections

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