This post looks away from this weekend’s two classics and hopefully finds another useful winner like Lil Rockerfeller last weekend.
If you want to have a look at the two pieces on the Guineas, you can find them on the links below:
1000 Guineas – http://bit.ly/1JYxBQ0
2000 Guineas – bit.ly/1IyiX3L
The Punchestown Festival has been dominated, surprisingly, by Willie Mullins. Annie Power can compensate for her fall at the last in the Mares Champion Hurdle today.
In the Handicap Chase over 3m6f at 3:10 it may be worth sticking with Portrait King. I put him up in the Grand National and he was travelled quite nicely before falling three out. Back down in trip he could be one at a nice each-way price to back over the Irish Sea in what is a quality day of jumps racing.
Forgivienne (6/1) can make it a double after winning last time out at Chepstow. The Evan Williams eight-year-old is the most consistent in terms of form with 3231 in the book. A winner by 1½l to Royale Knight, who went on to finish 6th in the Grand National last month, she can quickly notch another win just 2lbs higher for that success. The drying ground could be a slight concern however she looks the best bet in the race. In January she was 2nd to Ebony Empress, who has gone onto win again since. Be Bop Boru has been dropped back to 118 for two disappointing runs and could be the main danger with better ground underfoot. Up For An Oscar has a dramatically dropping mark of 115 and with Ed Cookson claiming 5lbs could be interesting despite more letters than numbers in his form. A winner of a Novice Chase off 130 and now back hurdling could make him a danger. Orby’s Man was 2nd just 26 days ago at Market Rasen over this distance on similar ground. Off the same mark he could be the main danger to the selection and as a six-year-old more improvement could come.
Greatest Journey (5/1) should be respected after a very good 2nd over 1m2f last time out here at the course in the 3-Y-O Trophy. The winner of that race has upheld that form by going a close 2nd in a Group 3 race at Sandown. The 3rd from that race runs in the 4:55 (Rocky Rider) and could prove that form to be strong. After a winter on the all-weather where he set a high standard he arguably performed better on turf last time out. Having won all four starts on the all-weather over this distance the drop back in trip shouldn’t be a problem and must go close with Mutasayyid. The Richard Hannon colt is currently a short-priced favourite but his mark looks quite fair after a win in September beating Akeed Champion at Ascot. However the 238-day absence could prove a problem as some of Hannon’s string have require- a run. Two starts over 7f have suggested that the mile trip will be in range and it’ll be interesting to see how he has grown over winter from 2 to 3. Flashy Memories may require softer ground having won a Maiden on soft ground and he beat Udododontu, who was 3rd at Chepstow yesterday. Then a 2nd at Chelmsford (hardly form to take seriously) so has fitness and it’ll be interesting to see how he goes on quicker ground.
While the main sporting attraction in America has circled around the Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao the Kentucky Derby has gone under the radar.
I’m not massive on racing Stateside but Dortmund (4/1) can get the better of stablemate American Pharoah in the first race of their triple crown, which California Chrome was close to winning last year.
Dortmund won the Santa Anita Derby very impressively and the three winners of that have gone onto win this race, so that would be the main reasoning. A draw from stall 8 should give him the opportunity of a good break and get to the front for a run without trouble.
At a bigger price Mubtaahij (14/1 each-way) for Mike de Kock could be one to fill a place based on his form in Meydan in March where he won the UAE Derby by 8l. He has the class and the ability to give his American counterparts something to be concerned about.