One of the best weeks racing of the whole year begins with the opening day of the week-long Galway Festival with Glorious Goodwood joining the party tomorrow.
We begin today’s preview at Ayr, however, where I hope to see Kylie Rules (4.30) put behind what was a moderate run at Musselburgh last time from a 2lbs higher mark. The mare is extremely well handicapped on her best form, and I thought she was unlucky when fourth at Thirsk under Tom Eaves at the beginning of June.
The ew recommendation – 12s with BetVictor 4 places – is drawn next door to Mi Capricho who is in the form of his life and looked ready for a return to a mile when going down by just a head to Klopp Of The Kop over 7f here last week.
In the opener at Lingfield I am looking forward to the handicap debut of Harston (1.55) who was not exactly knocked about when fifth beaten over 10L at Nottingham last time. The fourth horse home has subsequently won to give the form a boost and the selection is the half-sister to six winners.
There is the possibility of thundery showers but that is not a concern given she was only beaten a length over C&D on her penultimate start. She is bred to be a bit better than a 66-rated animal and, after just three career starts, she is open to significant improvement. There was 7/2 available on Sunday afternoon but the recommendation is 5/2 with Boylesports at the time of posting.
Handsome (2.25) is fitted with a hood for the first time as he bids to break his maiden tag in the four-runner 3-y-old handicap over just shy of 12f. The selection has finished runner up in his last couple of starts – and been raised 6lbs as a result – but the feeling is there is more to come from this well-bred gelding. Dual champion jockey Oisin Murphy keeps the ride and I hope he makes plenty of use of his mount given there is plenty of stamina in his pedigree. There was 6/4 available at the time of posting but he is a general 5/4 shot including with MansionBet.
At Galway I thought Mandarin (5.45) ran a promising race on his first start for Joseph O’Brien over 10f at Fairyhouse earlier in the month. The each way selection – 12s with 10Bet 5 places – is thrown in on his best form and this step back up in distance will suit. The 7-y-old missed the break last time but I would suggest Shane Crosse and his mount will be more alert from the gates this afternoon.
Anything that Willie Mullins saddles is much respected this week but Mr Coldstone – who has a cracking draw – is likely to be too short in the betting for what he has achieved on the level for Johnny Murtagh or over timber for Mullins.
Another Mullins inmate Hook Up (6.15) appreciated the return to the flat – hasn’t really taken to hurdles yet – when a staying on third at Killarney when last seen back in May. This is likely to have been the plan since and the yard have won this corresponding race three times in the last four years.
Mullins saddles six in the race and it is possible that My Sister Sarah will head the betting with Jamie Codd taking the ride, but that mare has been raised 10lbs for her latest success at Listowel. The sole tissue I have seen for Hook Up is 20/1 but I would be surprised if she went off a double-figure price.
** The ew recommendation opened up at 14/1 but is 13/2 with Boylesports at the time of posting.