Well, the Golf is 50/50 having lost Kevin Na in the Cut but with Tyrell Hatton looking to initiate a Day 3 charge. He’s still 16s but its only for 4 places now, whereas we had him for 7 places. Bottas has shortened and is now a 4/1 chance. The Indycar practice was enthralling and both my bets look solid. Francesca is looking stunning because she has listened to the wise words of Kneesup, and now goes sans chapeau. A decent working man’s breakfast and the sniff of multiple victories in the next 48 hours leads me to kick on with the selections for the rest of today’s racing.
1:50 Investec Woodcote EBF Stakes (Conditions Race) (Plus 10 Race) Cl2 (2yo) 6f ITV 5 runners
MODERN NEWS won his 6f debut and was then tried in the Chesham where 7f clearly didn’t suit, kicked on at the 5f pole and then faded at the 6th. Admittedly it was run on the Soft and that probably didn’t help. INHALER won his Pontefract 5f debut by a neck in a professional manner, was nominated for Ascot but didn’t get the call. Instead, he went to Newcastle and was giving 7lb to a smart probable Black Type animal from Mark Johnson and went down by 3/4 length. MUTAWAZZED looks a perfectly decent animal and Mark Johnston has decent form in this race (5/16) but hasn’t really shown much. TWAASOL was shuffled back early in his debut Windsor race, inevitably ending up in a poor position, before making a smooth move into contention, and was then comfortably worked to the front late on. He should win – but I am slightly concerned that nothing else has emerged from that race yet. Andrew Balding might, however, kickstart his weekend with the unraced CALCUTTA CUP. He’s 12/1 for a ¼ odds first 2 and AB’s Epsom juvenile stats are impressive. Since 2003, he has run 50 two-year-olds who have been 0 and 2 maximum career runs and had 14 winners and 12 places. Of those six were making their debut – three won!
CALCUTTA CUP e/w 2 x ½pt SFC MODERN NEWS to TWAASOL to beat CALCUTTA CUP
2:25 Investec Surrey Stakes (Listed Race) Cl1 (3yo+) 7f ITV 6 runners
Sometimes I feel, no fear, that the Race Planning department of the BHA is working against me specifically. The Surrey Stakes used to be for 3yos, now it’s 3+. Result? No three-year-olds and only 6 runners. Tear the trends up, who cares about history? If there was a statue to Henry Rous (who incidentally was a midshipman on Victory at one time), one would tear it down for all the common sense it represents. SAFE VOYAGE is being backed off the boards and I keep hoping that VALE OF KENT will get back to winning ways and I thought his 4th in the Hunt Cup marked the beginning of the return to the form he displayed in The Bunbury Cup.
SAFE VOYAGE win
3:00 Investec Handicap Cl2 (4yo+) 1m2f ITV 16 runners
Let me look at the trends…… yes that’s right – it was a 3yo Handicap and now its for 4yo+. I do fancy one here, an Epsom specialist DATA PROTECTION who from 4 runs has 2 wins and 1 place. My only fear is that this is 10f and might be a furlong too far. There’s a thin sheet of paper covering all the runners’ Timeform marks and a huge variation on ORs. Delving deeper I also like the look of TINANDALI and YOU’RE HIRED, but in a tricky race, the first-time tongue-tie for JOHNY DRAMA trained by Andrew Balding and de Sousa on board makes me go hmmm. TIANDALI had some smart form for Dermot Weld in Ireland and was only collared late on over the distance at Ayr LTO. The ground was changing and it was a very decent handicap debut. A Leopardstown maiden winner in April 2019, he’d often been highly tried afterwards, including when sixth in the G3 Meld Stakes at the same course. He travelled like a good horse here, and given how much distance he put between himself and the third, looks capable of defying his lofty mark this term. YOU’RE HIRED won LTO and does go well fresh – but his highest winning mark to date has been 86 and he has picked up 7 for his last run.
JOHNY DRAMA win TIANDALIe/w DATA PROTECTION e/w
3:40 Investec Oaks (Group 1) (Fillies) Cl1 (3yo) 1m4f ITV 8 runners
My Oaks comments are HERE
4:15 Princess Elizabeth Stakes (Sponsored By Investec) (Group 3) (Fillies) Cl1 (3yo) 1m½f ITV 6 runners
I know, yes this used to be a decent G3 for Fillies and mares aged 3+ abut this year it’s only for 3yos. Tear the stats up and suggests that this is a huge drop in class for CLOAK OF SPIRITS whose races so far this year have included the 1000 Guineas and the Coronation Stakes. Two solid performances and as this is effectively a good quality Listed race she is capable of taking this. The danger is FOORAAT who won cosily by 7l LTO – despite losing shoe.
CLOAK OF SPIRITS win
4:55 Investec Derby (Group 1) Cl1 (3yo) 1m4f ITV 16 runners
My Derby comments are HERE
5:35 Investec Zebra Handicap Cl3 (4yo+ 0-95) 7f RTV 15 runners
MUNTADAB did plenty in ensuring the lead LTO at Ayr and was only denied by the smallest margin. The 8yo couldn’t have been more game once taken on in the home straight and will surely capitalise on being at the right end of the handicap before long. George Scott runs COMIN THROUGH who caught the eye at Newmarket LTO, his second run after a wind operation. He’s obviously not as good as he used to be (a G1 winner in Oz in September 2018) his handicap is 20ln lower than it was last year.
MUNTADAB win COMIN’ THROUGH e/w