Our horse racing expert Andy Holding has six tips for today's racing, including a NAP at Leopardstown.
Judged on what we saw here yesterday allied with the results of this race in the last decade, high numbers may have some sort of advantage in this sought after prize, so with that in mind, both MONDAMMEJ (best price 8-1) and WHENTHEDEALINSDONE (best price 9-1) have been presented excellent opportunities to take a hand in the finish.
The former finally got his just rewards for a series of fine efforts in some of the best sprint handicaps this season with a win at Haydock last weekend and he rates a must for any shortlist based on that effort alone. Often ridden with a view to coming with a storming run late on, the way races usually develop over today’s straight track should, therefore, really suit Anthony Brittain’s gelding, so it’s just a case of him navigating a passage whereby his run doesn’t get interrupted.
The latter turned out to be a bit of a disappointment in the race Mondammej was fourth in at York last time out, but as the combination of a high draw and fast ground counted against him, his slightly below-par effort can be afforded a certain degree of leniency. Seen to better effect on a softer surface at Goodwood previously, Roger Teal’s gelding posted a very smart speed figure in beating a hugely competitive field of three-year-olds and a repeat of that sort of performance should enable him to be a more potent force here this afternoon.
Ger Lyons is enjoying a season to remember and the Dunsany handler looks to have a strong hand in this Group 2 prize with both MAKER OF KINGS (best price 7-2) and GEORGEVILLE (best price 18-1) holding strong claims.
The former has yet to run underperform in 13 career starts and with most of his best efforts saved for today’s track, the son of Zoffany looks booked to keep his consistent profile intact. A game winner of a Group 3 here in May, the four-year-old only just failed to get the better of the high-class Japan on his return to the Dublin venue two months later and with the speed figure strongly suggesting he’d run close a career-high, a repeat of something of a similar standard should see him bang in the mix.
The latter hasn’t got the same strong form lines as his stable mate but he nonetheless seems to be thriving since joining his new base, highlighted by his last two performances over today’s track. Slightly unlucky when third in the ultra-competitive ‘Nasrullah’ handicap here in July, the son of Dawn Approach bettered that display by chasing home Royal Ascot heroine Create Belief in a Group 3 last time out, once again doing all his best work at the end. A horse who stays 1m2f but has the pace for a well-run mile, today’s examination should prove to be ideal and he can outrun his morning odds.
Charlie Appleby has dominated the three-year-old middle distance division all season and it would be fitting if the Newmarket handler were to crown the campaign by winning the final Classic with Hurricane Lane. Suffering his only defeat of his career when losing both front shoes in the Derby, the son of Frankel made amends with victories in both the Irish and French versions respectively and with the latest of those performances – and very much the dominate one of the pair – coming on soft ground, the rain today’s track has soaked up in the last 24 hours will be music to the ears of connections. Clearly the most likely winner on all known form, the only issue is his price, so the best option is to look towards the ‘without the favourite’ market and the one who makes the most appeal given the dramatic change in conditions is SCOPE (best price 16-1).
A winner of a heavy-ground Newbury maiden on his only start at two, beating one of today’s opponents, Mojo Star, in the process, Ralph Beckett’s has yet to add to his tally in three outings so far this term, but on each occasion he’s shown plenty of promise. Indeed, his best effort came when chasing home Third Realm and subsequent Derby hero Adayar at Lingfield back in May and that form doesn’t look too shabby in the context of today’s task. Shaping as though he would be better for the run after a long absence in the Great Voltigeur at York recently, the way the son of Teofilo hit the line after getting outpaced when the tempo increased three furlongs from home strongly suggested he would be seen in an even better light over further and with the rain coming to aid his cause in the last 24 hours, a big run is anticipated despite his morning odds suggesting otherwise.
CROWNS MAJOR (NAP) (best price 17-2) has been a steady improver throughout the season and with his nature progress resulting in a convincing success at the Galway Festival last time out, Emmet Mullins’ gelding looks set to play a vital role in today’s similar contest.
A bumper winner at the Punchestown Festival, the son of Daiwa Major took a little while to find his feet when switched codes, but he really came of age on his second outing at Ballybrit when he found dropping back to 1m4f from two miles much more to his liking. Chasing what was a very strong pace set by the front-running Longbourn, the four-year-old chestnut picked up the running going well rounding the home turn and from that point onwards, he maintained the relentless gallop all the way to the line. One of the strongest races in terms of the clock at the seven-day fixture, the race has worked out accordingly with the likes of Pineapple Express, Camorra and Morph Speed all boosting the form since and with today’s conditions similar to what they were 42 days ago, a likely strong gallop should set up another solid effort from this improving gelding.