There is more top quality action on both sides of the Irish Sea today and tomorrow with the Temple Stakes, the Irish 1000 & 2000 Guineas.
There are three races where there could be some today and a mention to some of my tracker horses, which have chances too, in a new little feature.
2:35 Haydock – Silver Bowl Stakes
Mutarakez comes here off a stylish 2¾l victory in the Esher Cup at Sandown last month. The handicapper has put him up 10l for that effort and in this he would require further improvement. He runs out of a stable in form and has obvious claims but looks too short in the market for this type of race.
Salateen would be worth chancing returning from a 238-day break. His form is arguably the best of any in this race. He was 3rd in the Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket beaten by Elm Park, still a Derby hope, and Nafaqa. That was his first attempt at the mile and had to take them along in front. He didn’t find much from 2f out after setting the pace but he may have not handled the Newmarket track, with its undulations. Back on a flatter track he may be able to prove his trainer Kevin Ryan right, who thinks the mile will be his best trip and there are high hopes for him, as he holds an entry into the Group 1 St James Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot next month.
It is worth noting the other Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum runner Mutasayyid. He won his maiden beating Akeed Champion, still a maiden after four runs and now with Richard Fahey, and Intilaaq, who won on his second start before disappointing in the 2000 Guineas. Mutasayidd won by a nose last time out at Newmarket by a nose and has gone up 5lb for that but looks like he should go well again here. The ground is a slight concern and a question mark. The in-form Go Dan Go would need to find extra here to complete the hat-trick. He has won his last two races in Class 5 and this is Class 2, so would be expected to improve. Gerry The Glover won here two weeks ago and could replicate that with only being 3lb higher. At an even bigger price this Brian Ellison colt could be one to take out of this.
Advice: Salateen (8/1 each-way)
3:20 Curragh – Irish 2000 Guineas
Gleneagles looks to do the Guineas double after winning at Newmarket on the Rowley Mile three weeks ago and it is hard to look past him in all honesty. However at the price there is value elsewhere with him being so short and others looking quite big.
Tombelaine is one of those. As a two-year-old he was 2nd to Gleneagles at Leopardstown over 7f. He followed that up with a 2nd to John F Kennedy at the same track over this trip. John F Kennedy may not have been the Derby horse as expected but he still currently holds entries into big races and may not have got the ground he was after on his last two starts. Anyway back to this Dermot Weld colt, who won last time out here over 7f on heavy ground beating Endless Drama. He stayed on strongly that day and looked like worth giving another ago at this trip and he runs off the same mark whereas Endless Drama has gone up 2lb for that 2nd. He would need to find a lot of improvement to beat Gleneagles but looks like the one that could follow him home. There are two ways you could back him; each-way or without the favourite Gleneagles.
As mentioned above Endless Drama was 2nd behind Tombelaine last time out. His effort prior to that was 2nd behind Zawraq by 3½l, who is heading straight to the Derby, and a replication of that wouldn’t see him far off Gleneagles. Ivawood was 3rd at Newmarket and may have quickened for home a little too soon as he was nabbed for 2nd by Territories in the final 75 yards. If he can follow that run and only on his second start at this distance is another one to watch. In his Racing Post column Richard Hughes is expecting him to come back sharper and even compared him to Canford Cliffs.
Advice: Tombelaine (18/1 each-way)
3:45 Haydock – Temple Stakes
With Sole Power being pulled out and running over at The Curragh this looks a wide-open affair. Hot Streak won this last year, and currently priced as the favourite, while the veteran ten-year-old Kingsgate Native won this in 2010 and 2013. Robert Cowell’s Goldream has the most ideal draw in stall 12, which here at Haydock is down the stands rail. I’m putting two up against the field at each-way prices that shouldn’t be ruled out.
Firstly Justice Day returns back to the minimum trip where he has shown his best form. He ran at York over 6f and finished 11 of 15. Unfortunately he runs off the same mark here today but was off this mark last September when finishing 2nd behind high-class sprinter Mecca’s Angel, who has since gone on to win the Group 3 Prix de Saint-Georges at Longchamp where Hot Streak was 3rd. Following that 2nd he was dropped 1lb in the ratings to 107 for his next run, which he won at Ascot and that was the Class 1 Rous Stakes. Before York he ran at Newmarket and was 2nd to Goldream in the Pearl Bloodstock Palace House Stakes where he cut through the field with a late run. Expect the same today. With some solid form in the book and conditions his favour, with cut in the ground and this 5f trip, he is one at a price I’m hoping can run into at least a place.
Great Minds is the other one at a price that I quite like. The Irish raider has shown improvement this season winning two listed races at Cork and Naas; the former was over 6f. He has shot is now 10lb higher for those two success but if he continues on that upward spiral then he is definitely in with a chance. In March he was 4th behind Bubbly Bellini, who since then has gone from strength to strength and won again yesterday at Cork. His win last time out may not have the strongest of form but beat Maarek in his conditions and Musical Comedy was 2nd but is hard to gauge due to his inconsistencies. The only concern would be the drying ground, as all of his form comes on soft or heavy ground. His sire Bahamian Bounty acted well on quick ground and so have other of his progeny, so it would be a surprise to see this one not act on it.
Advice: Justice Day (16/1 each-way)
Great Minds (12/1 each-way)
I’m going to trial something a little different at the end of each post. This section will point out the horses running that are in my tracker and one’s to possibly follow throughout the season.
Of course, if you have an eye catcher let me know and
In the 1:25 at Haydock Not Never runs. I put him up at Chester when he won convincingly by 5l. However he has been put up 11lb for that success and the second that day Hernandoshideaway is in opposition today. For this race the Michael Dods horse is 9lb better off meaning Not Never has a bit to do but he should enjoy the softer ground and does have chances. I just worry about the harshness of the handicapper but he could prove a progressive type and complete the hat-trick.
Navigate (4:55 Haydock) also entered the tracker after being put up at Chester and again won at a big price. That day he overcame a wide draw and ran on well. Back up in trip today to 7f suggests he should cope after the manner of the Chester win and the 7lb rise shouldn’t put you off. He has to be respected, as it looks a race he is capable of winning however Geordie George has the talented 7lb claimer Tom Marquand on board and also ran well at Chester.
In the opening race at Goodwood (1:45) The Corsican makes his seasonal return. He caught the eye at this track in August before entering the tracker after replicating that run to win at Doncaster. He would need to improve upon those runs and I’m personally interested to see if he has improved or progressed from three to four. Going for the hat-trick here but faces course specialist Grandeur, who hasn’t been the same horse in recent times and Remote, who hasn’t ran for nearly two years.