We’ve teamed up with BetVictor and Charlie McCann to preview the day’s racing.
The rematch between Newmarket Guineas scorer Galileo Gold and the vanquished beaten odds-on favourite Air Force Blue is the highlight on a wonderful classic card from the Curragh this afternoon.
Galileo Gold (5.40) wouldn’t get a-mile-and-a-half in a horsebox on breeding and I am delighted that connections appear, after much deliberation, to have put any talk about running in the Derby to one side. We recommended backing the colt, albeit without the favourite, at Newmarket and I see no reason to desert him now although 7/4 with Air Force Blue in the field rather than 6/1 without Air Force Blue is a big turn-around in the market.
Frankie Dettori was drawn in stall one (not ideal) at HQ and he has again been allocated stall one and the hope is that the combination can follow up. Under normal circumstances a fluent Guineas winner would not be allowed to go off 7/4 at BetVictor to do the double but Air Force Blue is surely better than he showed at Newmarket and is a big danger.
Trainer Aidan O’Brien is looking for a record 11th win in the classic and saddles half of the eight-runner field but Air Force Blue is the mount of Ryan Moore and this is very much a home game for the colt who was unbeaten in three starts at the track as a two-year-old.
The colt is 5/2 at BetVictor to return to winning ways but he has 15 lengths to make up on the selection and there is the possibility of further heavy showers on Saturday morning which would help the selection rather than Air Force Blue.
The Group 2 Temple Stakes at Haydock’s a wide-open affair with 16 runners. If there was significant rain I would want to be with the mare Mecca’s Angel but the forecast suggests just a few showers on Friday evening and my two against the field are the three-year-old Kachy (16/1 at BetVictor) and Waady (7s) with marginal preference for the latter who ran an excellent third at Newmarket on his reappearance and can reverse the placings with Profitable.
The valuable Silver Bowl can go to Chief Whip (3.05) despite the fact that he has been raised 6lbs for finishing runner up at York over 7f last time; the selection is well drawn, should appreciate the return to a mile and at 5/1 with BetVictor I would be disappointed if he didn’t make the frame.
Despite finishing runner up in the corresponding race last year David Lanigan reported that Interception needed the run and with that in mind she is overlooked in the Cecil Frail although she does head the market at 9/4.
Ridge Ranger carries a penalty for winning a similar contest at Nottingham a fortnight ago and I am going to take a chance on Thetis (3.40) on her first start over six furlongs having been campaigned over further including when second in the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes (7f) as a juvenile. At 5/1 with BetVictor she gets the vote.
There is a good card at York, and Forever Popular is likely to improve on her reappearance at Ascot but I was taken with the recent win over C&D of Appeared (3.15) and he is taken to follow up for Roger Varian and champion jockey Silvestre de Sousa.
Minding (1.55) I am pleased to see is running in the Irish 1000 Guineas on Sunday and is 2/5 to add the classic to her emphatic Newmarket success. It does look as if connections are still considering running her in the Oaks in less than a fortnight’s time although I still believe that 12f trip will tax her stamina.
At Stratford this evening, I think Kilmurvy (5.30) can go close running from a 3lbs lower mark than when running a good race at Newton Abbot where a bad mistake halted him in his tracks before he ran on well.
Hassle (3.50 Fakenham Sunday) was a decent Flat performer at one time and it is interesting that Dr Richard Newland bought him for 20,000 Guineas back in October yet the gelding hasn’t run since, until now. He is taken to land the maiden hurdle with Sam Twiston-Davies in the plate.
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