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After a torrid two weeks, and probably the worst I've ever been over a period of time it was nice to finally get some winners on Friday with three doing the business. A couple of shorties won with a fair amount in hand and Maysong won on the bridle and if you managed to get the 13/2 on offer that was a steal. Addeybb doesn't look the force of old, which was to be expected but I did think he would've won yesterday. I don't think you can blame the ground as he was beaten convincingly.
A horse who I overlooked the last two time times he has run is MITBAAHY. He won a Classified Stakes race at Hamilton at the start of May and I thought he wasn't going to win that, but he looked a much better version of himself when having a solid pace to aim at on a stiff track, and he managed to win with plenty in hand. The same applied to his latest run over C&D in a Class 1 Listed event. He was held up from off the pace, made a strong run down the outside, and won with plenty of authority, in the shape of a horse with more to come.
He is drawn in stall 1 today which could be problematic. He is a hold-up horse so ideally, I would want David Egan to take him back in the first furlong and position him at the rear of the field, and not to bunch up on the rail where he will more than likely meet traffic problems. If he gets a clear run I think he could be very difficult to beat, especially with the weight-for-age allowance.
The Coral-Eclipse is a fascinating race with the unexposed 3yo's taking on the older horses. We have the Irish 2000 Guineas Winner and English Guineas runner-up in the form of NATIVE TRAIL and we have the French Derby winner Vadeni making a strong case for the French. Of the older horses, we have multiple Group 1 wins between Alenquer, Lord North and Mishriff and then Bay Bridge who has looked like a machine before finishing 2nd at Royal Ascot in a race which wasn't run to suit.
As you can tell from the bold lettering I have gone for the Godolphin 3yo runner Native Trail. He was the champion juvenile last year, going the entire season unbeaten, but he eventually lost the unbeaten tag in the English 2000 Guineas, narrowly missing out to his stablemate, Coroebus. I think this race could be run to suit Native Trail more than the others in the race. There is no noticeable front runner so it could turn into a bit of a sprint, which should suit Native Trail who has form over shorter and won a Group 1 over 7f as a 2yo.
The form of his three runs this year has worked out well. Claymore who was 2nd in the Craven went on to win a Royal Ascot Group 3. Hoo Ya Mal who was back in third went on to finish runner-up in the Epsom Derby, which looks rock-solid form. The 2000 Guineas form is yet to be fully tested but the winner went on to win another Group 1 at Royal Ascot, and Perfect Power back in 7th won the Commonwealth Cup (Group 1). The Irish 2000 Guineas looks decent as well with the 2nd running well in the same race as Coroebus at Royal Ascot and the fourth Wexford Native recently won a strong Listed race.
A horse who is being massively overlooked in this race is STAY ALERT. I can't quite understand why she is around 8/1 in this as she has done nothing wrong in her career to date and has some decent form from her runs, with the step up in trip likely to bring out even more improvement.
This 3yo filly of Fastnet Rock has only been raced four times, which shows the ability she has as she is currently rated 104 and has already won a Class 1 Listed Filles' race. I thought the manner in which she won over 10f at Newbury last time out was impressive and looked like she had more in the tank. When she hit the front it looked like she dawdled slightly and saved a bit for herself knowing that the job was already done. The run before, where she finished 1.75L behind Nashwa, is clearly a very good effort in hindsight. Knowing what we know now, that was a very good run as Nashwa has gone on to run well in the Epsom Oaks and then went on to become a classic winning horse by winning the French Oaks.
Stay Alert is by Fastnet Rock, a sire who does very well with his progeny who run on soft ground. The ground will get testing with the rain expected to come at Haydock, and combined with the extra 2f I think you could see a big performance from Hughie Morrison's unexposed filly.
IT'S GOOD TO LAUGH has been a tip for me the last two times he has run at Chester, where on both occasions it didn't go to plan, so now he is returning to a more conventional track I think he is worth another go.
This is the Old Newton Cup, with the winner getting a prize of £77,310 which makes it a well-contested race. However, I still believe my selection is still extremely well handicapped, and I thought that the last two times he's run, which came off a mark 1lb higher. The handicapper dropped him 1lb for last time out, but Harry Davies partners him, which means he will take off a further 5lbs, effectively making him run off a mark of 87. A mark of 87 makes him well treated considering he won off a mark of 90 on soft ground last year.
He gets on well with the testing ground, and at the prices, I make him a very decent EW bet. Obviously, it's a tough race, and luck in running is going to be needed with the number of runners, but I can't help but think with a clear run he goes extremely close in this.
Watching YOUNG FIRE run the way he did on his seasonal reappearance, it's tough not to back him as he will go close to winning this if he repeats that run.
David O'Meara's horse won this race last year so it's no surprise to see him rocking up to defend his crown. This race has clearly been the plan for the start of the season, and his run at York last time out would've been a prep run for this, so I'm fairly certain they would've been chuffed to bits to see him run so well on the ground which wouldn't have been ideal. They were clearly not expecting that kind of run as he was 25/1 in the market, which goes to show the level of form he is in to do that with the stable not expecting it.
With the ground turning soft, he is of major interest and I think he will shorten in the market, even though this is a strong race.