Horse racing expert Andy Holding has seven tips today including two 2pt selections
DAWN RISING (best price 15-8) was still a possible contender for Epsom Derby glory until Ballydoyle shuffled their pack accordingly, but Aidan O’Brien’s colt receives a confident vote to gain some sort of compensation and justify that lofty entry in the first place. A promising fourth in what’s turning out to be the hottest maiden run in Ireland so far this season (stable mate and subsequent Derby winner, Serpentine, back in fifth), the son of Galileo was sent to Limerick to find easy pickings in order to get off the mark and as his 2-9 odds suggested, he made mincemeat of his six opponents. Although his victory looked a stroll in the park, his winning time pointed towards an excellent time trial from the front and with the runner-up, who was beaten 12 lengths, going on to score at Roscommon on Monday, the performance rates even higher than it did at first glance. Given how well positive tactics suited this imposing colt last time, it would be a surprise if he wasn’t asked to serve it up again from the front and knowing how difficult it can be to peg back powerful gallopers who get on the golden highway towards the stands side fence here, Dawn Rising should prove a tough nut to crack.
The poor time figure produced by the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot makes Qaader a hard one to back around the 2-1 mark, whereas the numbers posted by TACTICAL (best price 5-2) earlier in the same week suggest the Windsor Castle might prove the key to this Group 2 prize.
Having caught the eye on his debut over on the Rowley Mile, Andrew Balding’s colt became one of the best-backed horses on day two of the Royal meeting (7-1 into 7-2) to back up the impression he created and having tracked the pace towards the nearside fence, he swept through late on to justify the heavy support. In doing so, he clocked one of the fastest juvenile times recorded during the week and given how strong he hit the line, he also looks to be crying out for an extra furlong.
Although beaten on the day, there’s a school of thought to suggest VICTORY HEIGHTS (best price 20-1) would have been a bigger player had he been drawn a little more favourably and there’s no way he should be 20-1 based on his effort at the Berkshire venue. Housed in stall four of the 20-strong field, P J McDonald made a concerted decision to tack over towards the nearside rail, but in doing so, he forfeited many lengths to several well-fancied rivals. To end up finishing where he did having used up so much petrol is testimony to his ability and his effort deserves marking up significantly. Strong at the finish both at Ascot and on his debut over stiff five-furlongs, the son of Siyouni too is crying out for an extra furlong and providing he can tuck in and get some cover from his outside post in stall one, he’s likely to play a more significant role than his odds suggest.
Highest Ground arrives here with arguably the biggest reputation among the seven-strong field, but at the same time, he looks painfully short in the betting on what he’s actually achieved on the racetrack so preference, therefore, goes in the direction of THUNDEROUS (best price 15-2), who has by far-and-away more solid credentials and is already proven at this level.
Unbeaten in three starts as a juvenile, connections didn’t get the chance to aim him at some of the big autumn prizes due to a setback, but on the evidence of what we saw of him at HQ the other day, he certainly looks to have trained on nicely. Although there were only five runners in the listed Fairway Stakes 12 days ago, they went a tremendous pace throughout and at no stage did mark Johnston’s colt flinch an inch, keeping on strongly all the way to the line and making sure Volkan Star was kept honest. Even though he had won on fast ground before, he left the impression the conditions at Newmarket were far from ideal and with today’s course having soaked u quite a bit of rain in the last 48 hours, his round action will be seen to good effect. As genuine and tough as the day is long, the son of Night Of Thunder will hopefully get a nice lead off either Cormorant and Juan Elcano and keep galloping all the way down the long, yawning straight. Whichever way you strip it down, his morning odds of 15-2 looks plain crazy.
The five-furlong sprint handicap won by Art Power at Royal Ascot was noted for the very strong speed figure for the grade and with the winner and several other down the field going on to prove the value of the form subsequently, this should all boil down to whether DANCIN’ INTHESTREET (NAP) (best price 7-2) ends up being drawn in the right spot over on that far side rail.
Massively unlucky at Haydock on her seasonal return, William Haggas’ filly was well-backed to gain compensation at the Berkshire venue and although she couldn’t quite manage to pull off the gamble, she was once again the biggest eye-catcher in the entire field. Held up towards the rear, the daughter of Muhaarar failed to get a run at a crucial stage, but it was noticeable that once she was out in the clear she came home with the sort of purpose that strongly pointed towards a horse with a good deal more to offer. Amazingly only slightly higher in the ratings than she was 20 days ago, luckily she has just about sneaked in down the foot of the handicap and with today’s extra furlong and stiff climb to the line providing her with more chance to get up a head of steam than her last two starts, this extremely well-treated filly will hopefully make no mistake this afternoon.
As predicted, several from the big, sexy yards haven’t been missed in the market, whereas MUSIC SEEKER (best price 12-1) has rather slipped under the radar of the bookmakers despite having some tremendous form to call upon here at the Knavesmire.
One of only two C&D winners in today’s field courtesy of his comfortable success in a competitive affair a year ago, Declan Carroll’s gelding has subsequently gone on to run two creditable races at the track despite taking on stiffer company and that course knowledge has to count for plenty knowing how today’s place is very much one for the specialists. Moreover, most of his best form has come on soft ground, so today’s give underfoot will suit better than most and following a solid effort in a decent time-figure race at Pontefract on his first run for 224 days, the six-year-old should be primed to put up a bold bid.
Le Reveur could easily end up being another Sir Mark Prescott three-year-old handicap winner, but he has to prove his effectiveness on turf and the first-time visor also has to work, so the safest option at the prices has to be BLAIRLOGIE (best price 3-1), who arrives here following an excellent effort at Leicester last time out.
A promising third over the round mile at the Midland venue on his first outing for 235 days, Mick Channon’s gelding was fancied to finally shed his maiden tag at the sixth attempt, but unfortunately for him, he bumped into the extremely well-handicapped Rosa Gold who ended up outpacing him late on. That said, the pair finished nicely clear of the rest and with the time figure good and the winner going on to bolt up again at Thirsk just a few days ago, his performance looks particularly handy in the context of tonight’s similar heat. Out again to take advantage of his old mark before the handicapper spots the glitch in the system, the son of Roderic O’Connor has a lot to recommend.