Stewards Cup Betting Tips 6f Goodwood Saturday

Magical Memory

Magical Memory is a sprinter going places, and it would be no surprise if he becomes the first of his generation since Danetime in 1997 to lift the cup.

I hope you were on last week’s E.W. selection in the King George V1 and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Postponed. What a great ride from Andrea Atzeni, undoubtedly one of the most talented pilots riding at the moment. He exploited the Cumani colt’s reserves of stamina and courage to get back up in the shadow of the post and won by the proverbial nose. Speed rather than stamina is the prerequisite for Saturday’s test, and Charlie Hills’ yard which is doing so well with its sprinters this year is the first port of call.

His 4yo Tanzeel, who won with such authority on the Knavesmire last week is of obvious interest with a 6lbs penalty, but is not a definite runner, so perhaps the one to concentrate on is his 3yo Zebedee gelding, Magical Memory. While 3yo winners of the Stewards Cup are something of a rarity in recent years, this can be put down to the paucity of qualifiers in this age group, something that is not a problem for the very progressive Hills 3yo. He was hugely impressive in his last race, a £100,000 Cl2 handicap at Newmarket, which he took in very taking fashion by 2L, earning him a rating of 102, and comfortably qualifying him for Saturday’s contest. Magical Memory is a sprinter going places, and it would be no surprise if he becomes the first of his generation since Danetime in 1997 to lift the cup. One slight caveat would be that all his wins have come on tracks with a stiff uphill finish and it remains to be seen how he copes with Goodwood’s downhill helter skelter course, ( he finished 6th of 12 behind Son of Africa on his only course appearance ). However he seemed to cope well on the Newmarket July course, the early part of which is downhill, so perhaps any concern is misplaced and he is shortlisted.

Roger Charlton has won the race three times, so certainly knows what is required. Two of his three winners have been with 5yo’s, and he is represented by another of that generation, Huntsmans Close on Saturday. Unfortunately he got loose before the Wokingham Stakes, for which he had been strongly fancied, at Royal Ascot, and had to be withdrawn, but did redeem himself a week later when comfortably winning a competitive affair at Windsor. A winner of the Ayr Silver Cup he is very much at home in the hurly burly of these big handicaps and is another for the short list with his nice racing weight of 9st2lbs.

If getting into the race, Peter Chapple-Hyam’s 4yo, Direct Times, would be of considerable interest. Very lightly campaigned, he has only run five times, and has won three of them, last time under Saturday’s pilot, the very promising apprentice Tom Marquand. They easily won a Cl4 Newmarket handicap six weeks ago, carrying the steadier of 9st9lbs. With just 8st2lbs, (including Marquand’s 5lbs claim) on his back, Direct Times will think he’s loose, so although Saturday’s contest represents a huge step up in class, he is seriously considered.

Beaten less than 2L in a class2 5f Ascot handicap last time, and a similar distance in a very competitive 5f heat at the Curragh prior to that, Mike Murphy’s 5yo Discussiontofollow now returns to what is probably his optimum trip in a race that he finished 6th in last year, so is of definite interest.

Richard Fahey’s Tatlisu was backed in to 8/1 for the Wokingham, but disappointed badly, finishing 24th of 25. He ran much better last time off the same Mark (97) as Ascot, finishing 2nd in a Cl2 handicap at Hamilton. Racing off the same mark again at the weekend, and at a course where on his only other appearance he performed well, it would be no surprise at all to see his uber shrewd trainer taking another trophy back to Malton.

Dean Ivory’s 7yo gelding Tropics has been plying his trade at the top level, and indeed went as close to winning in this grade as you can without actually doing so in the July Cup last time. However his rating of 113 gives him a burden of 9st13lbs to carry on Saturday. As no animal, apart from Hoof It, who managed to win with the welter burden of 10st in 2011, has carried more than 9st10lbs in the past thirty seven years, the super game Ivory gelding is reluctantly passed over.

Selection : Magical Memory

E.W. : Huntsmans Close

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth I I Stakes Betting Tips 1m4f Ascot Saturday

Snow Sky

Michael Stoute’s Snow Sky ran a fine race in the Yorkshire Cup (Gp2 1m6f) beating the tenacious Brown Panther by 1/2L, but then eclipsed that performance when returned to a more suitable trip in the Hardwicke Stakes over 1m4f at Royal Ascot.

If reproducing his impressive performances in the Derby and Eclipse Stakes, Golden Horn now rated 130, would look a good thing for Saturday’s contest, but as ever in life there are certain caveats. Firstly, only two three year olds have collected in the last decade, but they were both in the hugely talented hands of Golden Horn’s trainer John Gosden, the filly Taghrooda last year, and Nathaniel in 2010. Secondly, four of the last five Derby winners who contested the Ascot race have been beaten, and none since Galileo in 2001 has been successful. However it hasn’t been a race targeted by Derby winners in recent years, with Sir Michael Stoute’s Kris Kin in 2003 the last to try, (he finished 3rd to another 3yo, Alamshar).

Recent statistics certainly give plenty of encouragement to the older generations, and the one with the best C.V. For the task would seem to be the Andre Fabre trained 5yo horse, Flintshire. He ran a great race in last years “Arc” when second to the superb mare Treve, and again ran well when finishing 1 1/4L behind her at Saint-Cloud four weeks ago. Flintshire has won twice at the top level, both times over 1m4f, and his excellent trainer has won the race before (Hurricane Run 2006), so if the favourite doesn’t bring his A game on Saturday the trophy could be going across the channel.

The Italian trained Dylan Mouth also boasts winning form at the top level, having won two Group ones, both at 1m4f, at St Siro. It is tempting to dismiss Italian form as not being up to the standard of British, Irish, French, and more recently German. However this 4yo Dylan Thomas colt was most impressive in a group one last time, winning by 5L, so it is not impossible that he might emulate his sire who won this great race eight years ago. Definitely worthy of his place in Saturday’s line up.

Sir Michael Stoute has trained five previous winners, most recently with Harbinger in 2010, and a success at the weekend would give him the all time record, so his two runners deserve the utmost respect. While it is dangerous to totally dismiss the 5yo Telescope, whose form this year has been disappointing, his best chance seems to lie with the progressive looking 4yo Snow Sky.

He ran a fine race in the Yorkshire Cup (Gp2 1m6f) beating the tenacious Brown Panther by 1/2L, but then eclipsed that performance when returned to a more suitable trip in the Hardwicke Stakes over 1m4f at Royal Ascot. Making all he beat Eagle Top and Postponed by 3 3/4L and a nose in a controversial race. Some may consider him a fortuitous winner but this observer wouldn’t agree. Considering Sir Michael’s supreme talent with the mature thoroughbred, further progress can be anticipated and it will be no surprise to see him involved on Saturday.

Another, who one feels has his best days in front of him, is the Luca Cumani trained Postponed. He has never won at the top level, but went very close at the Curragh in May. Racing over an inadequate 1m2f, he was only beaten a nk and a shd by Al Kazeem and Fascinating Rock. He was then involved in that barging match with Eagle Top in the Hardwicke Stakes where his pilot, Adam Kirby did him absolutely no favours. By the all conquering Stallion Dubawi, a much improved performance is in prospect.

Selection: Snow Sky

E.W. : Postponed

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth I I Stakes Betting Tips 1m4f Ascot Saturday.

Preview Summer Plate Market Rasen Saturday


Jonjo O’Neill has had two wins and three placed from fourteen runners over the last ten years, and is represented by two with strong credentials in this year’s renewal, Its a Gimme, and Lost Legend.

You certainly had a few heart stopping moments if you backed last week’s selection, Muhaarar in the July Cup. He didn’t act too well on the early downhill part of the course and got unbalanced, but once he hit the rising ground he fairly motored, and deservedly got his nose in front on the line. It’s unlikely Saturday’s Summer Plate at Market Rasen will be decided by such a narrow margin, but being such a tight and competitive handicap I guess you never know.

Having had a winner and two placed from nine runners in the past decade, David Pipe’s 6yo Dell’ Arca is worth considering. This very useful hurdler, winner of a Cl1 Gd3 contest at Cheltenham in November 2013 and rated 145 in that discipline, has had only three runs over the Larger obstacles. He came good last time when winning a 2m4f novices chase at Uttoxeter at the end of May. This ex French geldings future lies over fences, so racing off a mark on Saturday, 3lbs lower than over hurdles, he must come into the equation.

Considering the hugely talented Gordon Elliott failed to get a win out of the 8yo Flemensfirth Mare, Pumped Up Kicks, in sixteen attempts under rules, her new handler, Dan Skelton has performed miracles in producing her to win two of the three races she has contested since joining his terrifically successful operation. She was impressive when, despite making a mistake at the last, she trotted up in a Cl1 listed novices chase at Cheltenham in April, and followed up a week later at Warwick off a mark of 128. While she does seem inexperienced for Saturday’s test, she handled both Cheltenham’s and Warwick’s jumping test with aplomb, so off a mark of 132 she is shortlisted.

Jonjo O’Neill has had two wins and three placed from fourteen runners over the last ten years, and is represented by two with strong credentials in this years renewal, It’s a Gimme, and Lost Legend. Winner of last years race off a mark of 132, It’s a Gimme had just the one race ( finished 16th in the Galway Plate) before retiring for the season. He has had two runs this year and ran a very promising race last time finishing a close second over an inadequate 2m1f at Stratford off a mark of 140. Obviously going the right way, he seems to have been trained by the uber shrewd O’Neill with a repeat performance in mind, and just 3lb higher than Stratford is shortlisted.

Lost Legend has won twice over Kemptons flat right handed course so Market Rasen should suit. He last won in January ( Kemptons 2m4f sft) off a mark of 139. He has subsequently been campaigned over further and been disappointing but those defeats leaves him looking well handicapped on a mark of 141. He handles any ground so any market moves should be heeded.

The Paul Nichols trained Aerial was going well in a Perth handicap five weeks ago off a mark of 130 when coming down at the third last. He races off the same mark at the weekend, and considering that he has won off a 19lb higher mark three years ago, has to be of interest. However he hasn’t won under rules for over nineteen months, so perhaps a place is the best that can be hoped for.

Twice a course winner over hurdles, the Nicky Richards trained 6yo Gold Futures is progressing nicely over the larger obstacles. On only his second outing over fences ( Hexham 2m4f 6th June Gd ) he jumped soundly and won comfortably in a truly run race. Last time out, again at the same venue, he put up a very good performance on the clock, when jumping well, over an inadequate 2m, he was run out of it by Vodka Wells. Racing on Saturday off a mark of 130, giving him a nice racing weight of 10st7lbs, he is well worth considering.

Warren Greatrex’s Baby Mix is closely handicapped with Philip Hobbs’ Carrigmorna King but looks the more progressive of the two. At the Punchestown Festival he ran a fine race to finish second in an eighteen runner handicap chase (2m4f) and in his next race ( Stratford May 17th 2m4f) racing off a mark of 139, he was beaten 1/2L by Carrigmorna King. Now 3lbs better off with the Hobbs horse, and travelling right handed, (to which he seems particularly well suited) this progressive 7yo racing off a mark of 140 must have a great chance of being involved at the business end.

Selection: Its A Gimme

Each-way: Baby Mix

Darley July Stakes Betting Tips 6f Newmarket Saturday


Gimcrack winner Muhaarar is the Oddsguru’s fancy for Saturday’s big race.

First run in 1876, The July Cup is considered by many to be the 6f championship, and with names such as Green Desert, Soviet Star, Cadeaux Genereux, and Royal Academy, on the roll of honour, it is hard to disagree. Winning form at the distance has been of paramount importance, the only exception in recent years being the filly Fleeting Spirit, who had been runner up in a 6f Gp1.

With only seven 3yo’s collecting in the last twenty runnings, it can’t be said that the younger generation are having the best of it, but historically honours have been pretty evenly shared. The outstanding 3yo in this years renewal is undoubtedly the Charlie Hills trained Muhaarar. By the outstanding sire Oasis Dream, he is a product of his owner, Sheik Hamdan’s, Shadwell stud.

Muhaarar had a fine two year old career, which included a win in the 6f Gp2 Gimcrack Stakes, and a third in the 6f Gp1 Middlepark. He surprised many when winning the 7f Gp3 Greenham stakes on his reappearance, but then blotted his copybook when finishing 8th in the French Guineas. Excuses were made due to his wide draw, but, wisely returned to sprinting, he has been a revelation. In the newly inaugurated Gp1 Commonwealth Stakes, a 6f contest confined to 3yo’s at Royal Ascot, where held up off the pace, Muhaarar came with a devastating run in the final furlong to go clear, beating the high class Limato by 3 3/4L, with Saturday’s rival, Anthem Alexander, a further 3/4L back in third, in a time faster than the following days Golden Jubilee Stakes. A repeat performance at the weekend must give him great prospects of emulating his sire, who won this in 2003.

Chris Waller must have been a bemused and disappointed man following the defeat of his Australian champion, Brazen Beau, in the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot, where amazingly his rider Craig Williams chose to race all alone on the stand side. Considering he had nothing to run with he ran a marvellous race to finish second, 1/2L behind Undrafted, with Saturday’s opponent, Astaire 1 3/4L back in third. He has been twice a winner at the highest level over the distance in his native Australia, on the last occasion ( March 14th) in a blindingly fast time. One slight negative is that due to the vagaries of the breeding seasons between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, he is classified as a 4yo ( despite being only 5 months older than Muhaarar) and has to concede the weight for age 6lbs. However with James Doyle now in the plate, and sporting the Godolphin colours for the first time, this outstanding sprinter is going to take all the beating at the weekend.

David O’Meara pulled off a minor miracle when winning the Gp1 sprint at Haydock with the then 3yo, G Force last September. He has been disappointing in his three races since, but two of them have been at Ascot, a course that may well have not suited him. His other run was in the 5f Temple Stakes at Haydock where he met all sorts of trouble in running and finished 5th. His brilliant young trainer reports that the “engine is still intact” so returned to 6f on Saturday, it would be no surprise to see him involved at the business end.

Richard Fahey’s 4yo gelding Eastern Impact obviously enjoys the East Anglian air as three .of his four wins have been at headquarters. He beat last Saturday’s talented Windsor winner, Huntsman’s close, on his reappearance at Newmarket in May, but then failed to get in a blow behind Tropics at Windsor. However his close 4th in a Gp3 at Newcastle (June27) was more encouraging, so in the hands of R.Fahey, who won this with a similar type, Maysoon, three years ago, is considered.

The unlucky horse in the Newcastle race was undoubtedly Michael Appelby’s 4yo gelding Danzeno. Slowly into his stride, under a less than inspired ride from Andrew Mullen, despite stumbling after 2f, he finished 3rd, behind Aeolus and Saturday’s opponent, Mattmu. Frankie Dettori takes over riding duties at the weekend, so at odds of 20/1 he could represent some e.w. Value.

Another whose sire won the race is the Michael Lynam trained Anthem Alexander. By Starspangledbanner, who won the 2010 renewal, his 3yo daughter is proving to be a super game and talented racehorse. She ran a great race when finishing third to Muhaarar at Royal Ascot, but on paper her prospects of reversing the form look remote. However Lynam, who is such a master trainer of sprinters feels that perhaps the Ascot race had come too soon following her reappearance victory at Naas eighteen days earlier, and expects things to be closer on Saturday. It is worth pointing out that fillies and mares have a poor record in the race, with only two succeeding in the last thirty years, so perhaps a place is the best that can be hoped for.

Selection: Muhaarar.

Danger: Brazen beau.

Old Newton Cup 1m4f Haydock Saturday

Old Newton Cup

The very underrated Keith Dalgleish has done a marvellous job with the ex Sir Michael Stoute trained 5yo, Oasis Dream gelding, Pressure Point.

Luca Cumani has won the Haydock race four times since 1997, (the last time with Mad Rush, 2008) so current joint favourite, Penhill is of interest. He looked an animal to keep on the right side of when winning a Cl3 1m4f Ascot handicap, off a mark of 86 on his reappearance, when a well backed 13/8 fav. He went of at even shorter odds, 6/4, to follow up at Newmarket three weeks later off a 7lbs higher mark in a Cl2 event, but never really got competitive behind Watersmeet. He took a very strong hold, and Cumani reported that Penhill was unsuited by the course. Returned to a left handed turning track, (has won over Nottingham’s similar course) it would be no surprise to see his uber shrewd trainer in the winners enclosure on Saturday.

Andrew Balding’s very progressive 4yo Mount Nelson filly, Elbereth, looks interesting. On only her second start on turf she stepped up considerably on her first, where despite not handling Brighton’s idiosyncratic course, she was only beaten 3/4L in a Cl3 handicap off a mark of 80. Ridden by the very promising 7lb claimer Edward Greatrex, she was stepped up to Cl2 level at the Derby meeting and won cleverly off a mark of 86.(1m2f). Due to race off an 8lb higher mark at the weekend,( 7lbs will again be negated by Greatrex’s claim ) and having won over the distance, albeit on Wolverhampton’s all weather surface, this fast improving filly with just 8st4lbs (including the 7lbs claim) in the plate, has a lot in her favour, and is shortlisted.

The very underrated Keith Dalgleish has done a marvellous job with the ex Sir Michael Stoute trained 5yo, Oasis Dream gelding, Pressure Point. Beautifully bred, this full brother to the Group1 winning Visit, and half brother to the top class filly Promising Lead, who has also succeeded at the top level, was bought out of the Stoute yard, having failed to catch the judges eye as a 3yo. under the Dalgleish tutelage he picked up a Cl5 handicap at Mussellburgh last September off a mark of 67. He won a similar contest at Newcastle in April this year off 70, but it was his last run which emphasised the progress that has been made. Stepped up to Cl3 level at York at the end of May (1m4f) he stayed on well to beat Dance King off a mark of 83. It is quite probable that there is plenty more to come from this very well connected animal, and it will be no surprise to see him staying on strongly up the long Haydock straight at the weekend. Definitely one for the short list.

Roger Varian, whose horses invariably perform well at Haydock, runs his 4yo Galileo colt, Battersea. He won a Cl2 Ascot handicap (1m4f) off a mark of 90 in very taking fashion last September, but disappointed six weeks later in a similar contest, off a 10lbs higher mark at Newmarket. The Newmarket effort was too bad to be true, so considering normal improvement from three to four, he doesn’t look badly treated on 99. Perhaps he is one best caught fresh, so is well worth a second look.

Amanda Perrett’s Sea the Stars 4yo colt, Astronereus, ran a fine race in the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes at Royal Ascot to finish 3rd off a mark of 100. He has been raised 2lbs for Saturday’s contest, giving him an intimidating burden of 9st5lbs to carry. However the Ascot race has been a good guide to this, so provided the two above him in the handicap don’t come out (triggering a further weight rise), his chance has to be respected.

Alan Swinbank, who won with Collier Hill way back in 2003, runs his 4yo Galileo gelding, Kinema. He showed how well suited he is by a truly run race at the trip, when winning over Carlisle’s testing track (1m3 1/2f) last week off a mark of 84. Having run seventeen times he is quite exposed, but he has been mostly campaigned at shorter, so perhaps the step up in trip has elicited improvement. Again partnered by the very talented Ben Curtis, he is worth keeping an eye on.

Selection: Pressure Point.

E.W. Elbereth.