Regular readers will be aware I am a big fan of Alloah who did us a favour at Thurles on Wednesday but I must admit to not being as impressed as the layers with BetVictor cutting the Willie Mullins horse to 9/2 favouritism for the Ryanair – from 7/1 – with 10bet 6s from 15/2.
Min remains the 11/2 favourite with Unibet and let’s not forget he nearly lapped Alloah in the John Durkan at Punchestown last month although the latter reportedly made a bad mistake out in the country – visibility poor due to thick fog – and is a better horse going left-handed.
I wrote yesterday that Alloah has a habit of jumping out to his left yet both Paul Townend and Patrick Mullins – who both have quite close links to the yard! – when interviewed by “The Voice” on Racing TV post-race seemed mystified that he had jumped out to his left at Thurles. Funny old game.
Today’s Wetherby card must pass an 8am inspection with conditions thawing out although there is the prospect of further rain on top of ground described as heavy on Wednesday morning.
Sue Smith has had a disappointing season but has several potentially well handicapped horses including Absolutely Dylan who is 13lbs lower than when last successful over today’s trip at Haydock although that was a couple of years ago. He hinted at a return to form at Hexham over 2m 4f last time and looks sure to appreciate the return to three miles.
The vote, however, goes to hat-trick seeking Sigurd (2.05) who has been raised a stone for running away with a Catterick handicap last time but remains well treated on old form when trained by Jonjo O’Neill. Brian Hughes keeps the ride. O’Neill saddles last time out winner The Manuscript who has been hit with a 12lbs hike for scoring at Market Rasen and was taken out of a recent engagement at Exeter on heavy ground. There was 5/2 available about the selection on Tuesday afternoon but he is into 2/1 with BetVictor at the time of posting.
Week two of the Dubai Carnival and Godolphin own over half of the 15-runner field in the 10f turf handicap. Cape Cavalli was posted wide throughout and ran a promising race when runner up over C&D three weeks ago but my two against the field are owned by the Boys In Blue and preference for Ya Hayati (3.40) over Star Safari is marginal.
Ya Hayati has been gelded since finishing down the field at Royal Ascot on soft ground back in June but has an excellent record fresh and did win over today’s C&D from a 7lbs lower mark back in February. The each way recommendation – 16/1 with William Hill 4 places – pulled hard but still had enough in hand to run out a convincing winner on that occasion and he is well drawn in stall five. Mickael Barzalona takes over in the saddle with William Buick, seemingly, sweet on the chances of another lightly raced Charlie Appleby inmate.
Star Safari has not seen the track for 11 months but has won two of four career starts including over C&D from a 5lbs lower mark back in February. He has a terrific draw in stall two, but he is short enough in the betting – 4/1 – in such a competitive heat with the ew selection four times the price.
Godolphin have owned the winner of the G2 Cape Verdi for the last five years with Charlie Appleby saddling the winner the last twice. Summer Romance made all to land the Gp3 Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Epsom on Derby Day and she is ideally placed in stall one to adopt similar tactics.
There are two unbeaten horses in the race, however, the mare Last Look who is three out of three but is seeing the track for the first time since landing a Ffos Las handicap back in August 2019 and the twice-raced filly Stunning Beauty (4.15) who heads the market under Frankie Dettori. The selection – 15/8 with 10bet – has 11lbs to find with Summer Romance on official figures, but she has looked potentially smart in both starts and I hope to see Dettori stalk Summer Romance and pounce inside the final furlong.
Great White Shark (2.20) did us a favour in the Cesarewitch back in the autumn and I hope to see the grey land the G2 Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran Park. Paul Townend saddles four of the 10 runners, but Paul Townend has chosen the 7-y-old who was last seen over timber landing a handicap over today’s trip at Galway back in July. The selection is 11/4 with BetVictor.
In the opener at Newcastle Idilico (3.40) is taken to improve for the step back up to 12f having finished best of all when fourth – beaten less than a length – here earlier in the month on just his second start for Phil Kirby. The gelding – 2s from 11/4 with William Hill – was a winner on the flat in his native France but struggled with ratings in the high 70s for Ian Williams although he did win over timber. Ben Curtis takes over in the saddle and I will be disappointed if he does not run a big race from a 1lb higher mark this afternoon.
Ad Libitum looks the obvious danger stepping back up to 12f and is 11lbs lower than when scoring over C&D albeit over two years ago. He looks sure to run a big race.