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Yesterday saw King Vega run a decent race, but wasn't quite up to winning. He was slightly inconvenienced, but I don't think it was enough to make the difference. Either way, if he comes on for the run, he'll have a nice chance next time out.
This race looks to be a cracking renewal of the Fitzdares Royal Whip Stakes with 13 runners being declared. I'm going to be siding with my cliff horse, OODNADATTA, who has been frustrating to follow this season.
This filly is a Group 1 standard horse in my opinion, but she hasn't been able to prove it so far this campaign. She was pitched into the Pretty Polly Stakes Group 1 for her opening race of the season, and it was clear as day that it was a pipe opener for a race later down the line, as she wasn't knocked about and Colin Keane was very quiet on her, but she wasn't disgraced by any means. I then tipped her up for her next run, as I was sure that was the race she was aimed at. It was a drop in class, I was expecting a big performance, and she unseated Shane Foley when coming out of the gates…how annoying. Here I am again, tipping her up, for the third time this season, and I'm hoping for a change in luck on her and she is a talented filly on her day. Today's race is arguably another drop in Class, as this is now a Group 3. She is a 3yo filly, which means she gets all the weight allowances, and is racing off bottom weight, and when you consider she is officially rated 106, the weight she gets is quite criminal, as she comes off better with every horse.
The ground should dry out and might even reach Good ground all around the track, as there is no expected rainfall at the Curragh. At the worst, the ground should be Good To Yielding, unless the weather forecast is completely wrong. I think this filly is better on a sound surface, so she should be fine with these conditions. The trip is still a question mark, but the way she travelled through the Pretty Polly, it convinced me that she is definitely worth another try. The form of that race has also been franked with Santa Barbara recently winning a Group 1 in America, and Insinuendo (4th) winning a Group 2.
Shane Foley, who is the stable jockey, has decided to ride Leo De Fury. You can't blame him for that, as he ran well on the back of a long layoff, and he clearly thinks there's more to come. Frankly, I'd rather be on Oodnadatta, as she is much better than what we've seen this year, and she is getting weight from every horse in the race, but also she is still unexposed at this trip. Wayne Lordan takes the ride, and that is a quality replacement, as Wayne is a brilliant pilot and it wouldn't put me off from backing her.
Back up to 14f should see WORDSWORTH at his best, as he has always appeared to be a strong stayer over 12f.
He is a full brother to Kew Gardens, who was a strong stayer, so it doesn't come as a surprise that this lad is following in his footsteps. I think he is the better option than backing Princess Zoe, as I think she is much better over further, and if she is to be effective over this trip, I think she would want it to be bottomless ground, which she won't get. This form which Wordsworth has isn't bad by any means. He has finished behind Kemari, who has the potential to be a Group 1 horse, and then he finished behind Hurricane Lane in the Irish Derby and then the Grand Prix De Paris. He was hampered by the winner in the Irish Derby, as he squeezed for room when Hurricane Lane came down the outside to build up his momentum, but nevertheless he ran well to finish 3rd. In France, the winner was very impressive, but was positioned well behind the leader. Wordsworth wasn't miles away from the pace, but he kept on well to grab 2nd in the final 100 yards. He looked like he needed a longer trip that day, and they went a good pace, so that goes to show his strength in stamina. I don't think Goodwood suited him last time out, and I don't think they went hard in front, so I think you can look past that.
There is a strong pace expected in this race, as Amhran Na Bhfiann likes to run from the front, but also there are many horses who will be pesting him if he's not going fast enough, as there are a few who like to race prominently. This should make this a real test of stamina, which should suit Wordsworth, who will probably be coming off the pace and making his challenge late on. He seems to be versatile in terms of ground, but I think the quicker it will be, the better his chances are.
Aidan O'Brien has farmed this race in recent years, winning the last 7 renewals of this race, all with favourites.
12:00 Newton Abbot - Race: 1
12:10 Hamilton - Race: 1
12:20 Roscommon - Race: 1