July Festival: Day Two

Day Two looks like a tricky one from a betting point of view. A seven race card fully previewed below.

Yesterday started well with Future Empire finishing second behind Mr Singh. The bet I put up was on the Godolphin horse in the market without the favourite at 11/4, which landed. Second Step landed an each-way bet finishing second at 5/1.

There was a tactical warning included which surrounded Big Orange, who was the outsider of the lot in the Princess of Wales’s Stakes, who ended up making all.

Anyway on to today!

14:10 Fillies Handicap

A devilishly difficult seven furlong handicap to start the day where 12-runners are set to go to post.

Wordcraft is joint favourite and is unbeaten in two starts. William Buick had a good day yesterday and it could continue here. She beat Bella Nostalgia on debut here but on the other course. Bella Nostalgia won on her next starts then finished third in the Listed Distaff at Sandown on Saturday. The slight concern comes from her last start where she dwelt from the stalls. At Kempton that didn’t prove costly but could do here, as we saw yesterday that you need to be near the pace. However, she runs off a mark of 87 there could be plenty more improvement to come on her third start.

Angel Vision is the runner for Sir Michael Stoute. We are currently awaiting news of a jockey change as Ryan Moore will not be riding today after an incident in the last race, which occurred when on-board Newton’s Law in the stalls. The horse was withdrawn at the start while Moore went to hospital with a neck problem. She ran in a strong maiden last year, which was won by Fadhayyil. Her last start was also a Fillies Handicap here on the July course over a mile, which she won. The drop back in trip is interesting and she could be raced handily using that extra bit of stamina she has shown, rather than sitting in mid-division as usual. As we’ve seen so far being prominent is crucial to chances of victory on this course so far.

Enlace looks a little too big in the market. Mark Johnston had a good day yesterday with Resonant and Lumiere, in the Maiden, both winning from the front. She disappointed only six days ago at Haydock but I’m putting that down to the cut in the ground and therefore am ignoring that line of form. Her two wins last month came at Chester and Goodwood where she made all. Those tactics are going to be employed here and as we saw yesterday they are effective on this July course. She has attempted the mile trip and her last start over that distance was a good effort in fourth behind Basem, who won the Coral Challenge at Sandown on Saturday. With running style and tactics suiting this track she is the one at a big price.

Spangled won by 6l last time out in a Class 6 Median Auction Maiden Stakes. The second from that race won on her next start however it’s a hard race to judge or really get excited about but she did what she had to do. Her debut in May was a more competitive Newbury maiden but in terms of form it isn’t much to shout about. Taqneyya could be overpriced despite this being her return from a 286 day absence. In the Maiden she won she beat Pamona, who has since finished third in a Listed race behind Crystal Zvezda and third in the Ribblesdale Stakes, so that could be strong form. The third from that Maiden was Jazzi Top and she won a Newmarket Listed race before going on to finish fifth in the Oaks, so the form is there. The only concern is whether she’ll be fit first time up.

Advice: Enlace (14/1 each-way)


14:40 Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes

This is a race that could be about the front two in the market with Illuminate and Easton Angel.

The Albany winner Illuminate comes here after showing a fine turn of foot at Royal Ascot beating some nice types. It was a quick gallop set and Richard Hughes gave her a patient ride before using that turn of foot to very good effect to win by over a length. She did get warm at the start, so don’t let that be a negative if you see her sweating today. That win gives her obvious claims but I’m preferring to side with the other co-favourite.

Easton Angel quite simply bumped into one at Royal Ascot. That one was Acapulco for Wes Ward and Ryan Moore. Despite finishing second she was still very impressive herself. She was beaten by over a length while she came over two lengths clear of Besharah back in third, which sums up how far the front two pulled clear. She still looks like a Group horse after that performance and her victory in the Hilary Needler at Beverley where she stayed on strongly at the line suggesting that a step-up to six furlongs would suit and that’s what she gets here.

Easton Angel (left) finishing second behind Acapulco. Image Sportinglife.com

Easton Angel (left) finishing second behind Acapulco. Image Sportinglife.com

The Queen Mary form will get a good looking at here with Besharah, Kurland, Rah Rah and Silk Bow all running in this race. In this race you’d expect Rah Rah set the fractions early on. She is also stepping up in trip here and if she gets an easy lead she could keep finding more in the hands of William Buick in front and there could be more to come here. Besharah won her first two starts and she beat a smart Richard Hannon filly in Whatdoiwantthatfor prior to going to Royal Ascot. Kurland won first time up for Martyn Meade on the Rowley mile course. The third from that Maiden won on her next start then finished fourth behind Buratino in the Woodcote at Epsom.

Overall this is probably the race I’m most looking forward to watching this afternoon with lots of Royal Ascot form on offer.

Advice: Easton Angel (7/4 win)


15:15 Falmouth Stakes

An intriguing renewal of the Falmouth with three French runners travelling across the Channel while Lucida represents the Irish.

It’s worth starting with Lucida as she has the best form in the book and is the right favourite. She was third in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot after finishing second behind Legatissimo in the 1000 Guineas. We know the 1000 Guineas form looks strong, so there are obvious claims based on that. She’ll act on the quick ground too, which a few have question marks next to there names. At Royal Ascot she was closing in on Ervedya and Found at the finish and was beaten by those pair by under a length. Here though I’m not sure she’ll get the run of the race, especially if Kevin Manning holds her up in the rear.

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I do hold concerns over Avenir Certain and Bawina on fast ground. The French pair have generally raced on nothing quicker than good. They’ve both won on good ground but it is a slight concern they’ve never experienced rattling fast ground. Fintry on the other hand has raced on it when finishing fifth in the Dahlia Stakes, raced over an extra furlong. On last season’s form Avenir Certain would be the one however she disappointed on her reappearance, in a race won by Bawina, and was second behind Fintry last time out. Therefore it is hard to judge the pair that won last time out. Overall the trio do hold ground concerns.

If loading into the stall then Euro Charline looks like a player in this race. She has been improving run after run and built on that to win the Valiant Stakes (Listed Race) at Ascot, in which she asserted herself towards the business end of the race. After that she was sent to America and picked up a Grade 1 win when Ryan Moore steered her to the Beverly D Sakes at Arlington Park where she stayed on strongly to beat Stephanie’s Kitten, a useful yardstick for American racing. That win came over 1m1f, so has that extra stamina to call upon in a race of this nature. In March she ran against the males in Meydan. She finished fourth in the Dubai Turf, which was won by Solow with The Grey Gatsby in second. That form looks impressive and strong considering Solow winning the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot while The Grey Gatsby lay down a firm challenge to Golden Horn in the Eclipse on Saturday.

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Arabian Queen is the pace angle and could get a soft lead, which after yesterday could see her massively overpriced. Silvestre De Sousa is a fine judge of pace and is one of the stronger jockeys in the finish. On top of that she has a win on this course when she was able to lead and dictate the gallop when winning the Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes. Amazing Maria will be looking to back up her Duke Of Cambridge win after David O’Meara had work his magic. This may be a bit more of a task but one she could be capable of managing after she did show a good enough turn of foot to take the victory at Ascot.

Advice: Euro Charline (12/1 each-way)

15:45 Betfred Mobile (Heritage Handicap)

This is a race where you can get your Racing Post and throw a dart to see where it lands. I’m putting forward two picks for each-way purposes.

John Best’s Mullionheir comes into this on the back of a win at Windsor. The horse he beat that night was Acolyte and he won at Kempton on Wednesday, somewhat strengthening that form. After that Windsor win Kieren Fox said about him requiring more cover, which he’ll get here today plus he added he’s progressive and will be better later in the season. This season he has improved and has won four of his five starts, two of which have been on turf. His only defeat came at Goodwood when he was outpaced at the finish to finish third however that was over seven furlongs, so that can be somewhat forgiven. If Enlace wins the first then that would strengthen his claims here. A positive is that he races prominent meaning he shouldn’t have too many to pass in the closing stages. He will need to find a bit of improvement from his last start but deserves a shot at this prize.

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Primrose Valley has done her winning on the all-weather but is worth a chance here considering she’s a filly in form. She comes off a welcomed 98-day break after a busy start to the year winning on her first four starts of 2015. Tactically she can be ridden in two ways, either held up near the rear or prominent and has shown that by her wins on the all-weather. Here it will be a little different however she has been putting in some good wins and for me could be one that is overpriced in a wide-open field. In recent races she has beaten a number of these including Harry Hurricane, Mukhmal and Merdon Castle. I think this filly can run a huge race for connections.

Primrose Valley to bring all-weather form here. Image AWchampionships.co.uk

Primrose Valley to bring all-weather form here. Image AWchampionships.co.uk

Grandad’s World and Magical Memory were both second and third in a York race behind Twilight Son last time out. They are both near the fore in the market, with the latter being the more consistent of the two. Navigate is a tracker horse but I think he prefers cut in the ground plus he’s one to come off the pace, which this track may not suit. Mukhmal won on the other course two starts ago in impressive fashion however he can be hit and miss with missing the break and being keen. This is a big drop in class for Glenalmond, who has been in Group company on five of his seven career starts. He is highly thought of and is an interesting runner in this race.

Advice: Mullionheir (10/1 each-way)

            Primrose Valley (33/1 each-way)


16:20 EBF Stallions Maiden Stakes

A 14-runner Maiden and only two of these have ran previously and they head the market.

Von Blucher was second behind Albernathy on debut at Sandown. That came after dwelling in the stalls but made good progress through the field but just couldn’t catch the winner. Over the same trip he is the most likely winner of this race and the tongue-tie is on first time. He is a half-brother to Tropical Mist, who was a winner over this distance.

House Of Commons is the other runner with experience. The Maiden he ran in recorded a good figure and the form looks slightly better. The winner was Twin Sails, who won impressively in a Conditions race at Salisbury. He’ll come on for that run and despite not showing much late-on in that race it was a stronger gallop therefore should be a lot better here. At the prices I’d much prefer this one for an each-way bet than the short price on the favourite.

Beast Mode could be well named. However his trainer hasn’t had a juvenile winner so far this season and will be one to come on for the run. In time he is one that could go up in trip. On pedigree he has claims as he is out of a half-sister to Favourable Terms.

Manaafidh and Lovell were expensive yearlings and both have really nice pedigrees. Manaafidh is a half-brother to six winners and is from a yard that can get winners first time out. Lovell is from a dam that won over further and is a half-sister to Splashdown, who is Aktabantay’s dam. They both have potential to go well here and are well worth looking at in the market prior to the off.

Advice: House Of Commons (13/2 each-way)

16:55 Silver Bunbury Cup

Another difficult handicap as the penultimate race of the day. Here there are another two that I’m willing to put forward.

Lunar Deity could be overpriced considering he does have equally as good form on turf as he does the all-weather. Andrea Atzeni takes the ride and has a 50% strike rate on the horse, four rides, two wins. He has form over a mile, so should be prominent throughout, which should be suited by how the track has ridden. He was well beaten in the Victoria Cup and was fourth of nine last time out. His mark is falling and running off 89 here gives him a fantastic opportunity to go close considering he has won off 91 previously.

Fiftyshadesofgrey is in-form and could complete the hat-trick here. His last two wins have come at Goodwood and he handled the undulations there. Last time out he was ridden closer to the pace and he did enough to beat Mr Win. Despite carrying top weight he can continue his form for George Baker after a 50-day break meaning he’s coming here quite fresh, which could be useful in a race of this nature.

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Buckstay is a consistent type but one that rarely gets his head in front. It’s over a year since he last won but he is one that usually runs into the frame. His best form is over a mile, so this trip may be too sharp plus he’s one that likes to be held up, which may not be ideal on this track. Mr Win is another that hits the frame. His last four starts over this trip read 1222 plus he has a course win to his name. He looks like a threat and is likely to be competitive off his mark of 93.

Azamour heads the market and steps down in trip after running over a mile in the Britannia Stakes. He’s the least exposed of this field and could continue to improve for Ismail Mohammed. If he runs somewhere to what he did at Royal Ascot then he could go really close here. Athletic has Tom Marquand on board taking off a useful 5lb and also has course form. From his four runs here he has placed in the top three on every occasion, therefore could run a big race again.

Advice: Lunar Deity (33/1 each-way)

            Fiftyshadesofgrey (8/1 each-way)


17:30 Arrowpak International Movers Handicap

Spiriting is the only three-year-old in the field and receives weight all-round. He has shown improvement stepped up to a mile and won well last time out at Leicester when beating perennial second Silverheels. He quickened well and stayed on quite nicely at the line and could prove to be the class in the race. There looks like there is plenty more to come from him and this looks a very winnable race.

Spiriting to continue improvement at this trip. Image from lucacumani.com

Spiriting to continue improvement at this trip. Image from lucacumani.com

Express Himself looks fairly short in the market. He is a consistent type however he can be quite keen in his races. He did win at Haydock last time out from which the second has won since. He should be able to defy the 5lb rise but the keenness could prove to be a problem in this. Tizlove Regardless is the likely front-runner giving Adam Kirby something to aim at on Spiriting. This Johnston runner will need to show improvement having won a Class 5 Handicap last time with this being a Class 3. You can’t discount him easily but there could be others with a bit of class that are better here.

Mitraad is quite interesting. He returns from a two-year layoff and on his only start he was quite taking when winning a 15-runner Maiden. Due to the long lay-off he is one to watch and possibly take out of the race depending on how he goes.

Advice: Spiriting (10/3 win)

Good Luck!


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