The Charlie Hills trained 4yo gelding, Magical Memory is the Oddsguru’s selection for Saturday.
32Red Sprint Cup Stakes Group1 6f Haydock Saturday – First run in 1966, it was promoted to Group 1 status in 1988, and having bagged nine of the intervening twenty seven renewals, the classic generation have certainly had their fair share of the spoils. They are strongly represented again this year by the three fillies, Dancing Star, Only Mine, and Quiet Reflection. Henry Candy has been the most successful handler with two winners, the 7yo Markab in 2010, and last year with the 3yo, Twilight Son. It hasn’t been a great contest for the Irish with Tom Hogan’s, Gordon Lord Byron in 2013, being their sole winner since Vincent O’Brien collected with Abergwaun in 1972.
The Candy yard runs two with leading chances, last year’s victor, Twilight Son, and the hugely impressive winner of the Group1 6f July Stakes, Limato. This 4yo gelding cruised home over Newmarket’s 6f but couldn’t cope with the speedy Mecca’s Angel when dropped back to 5f in York’s Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes last time. However there was no disgrace in coming second and if he gets his “must have” fast conditions at the weekend will be hard to beat. If the ground softens Twilight Son will be the preferred candidate, and this 4yo colt has strong credentials. Having won this last year by a Shd from Strath Burn, he went on to further Group1 glory when taking the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at the Royal Meeting in a Blanket finish, with Saturday’s opponent Magical Memory less than 1/2L further back in 4th. Back on fast ground in the July Cup he finished a disappointing 14th behind stable companion Limato, but given his preferred easy surface at the weekend he could quite possibly add another Group1 to his already burgeoning C.V. enhancing further, his already attractiveness, as a future stallion.
The Charlie Hills trained 4yo gelding, Magical Memory finished third, less than a length behind Twilight Son in this last year, and made a great start to this season, winning the Group 3 Abernant Stakes, and the Group2 Duke of York Stakes in his first two races. He looked a tad unlucky when finishing a close 4th in the Diamond Jubilee, and again didn’t get the best of runs when finishing 7th in the July Cup. A slight setback has given him an enforced eight week holiday, a break from which his trainer thinks he has definitely benefited, and if this impressive winner of last years Stewards Cup turns up with his A game he is going to trouble them all.
This year’s winner of the Goodwood cavalry charge, the3yo filly Dancing Star, also came home in great style and looked a group class filly in the making. However she did have the best of the draw in the Stewards Cup and it remains to be seen how she will cope in this her first run at the top level.
The other 3yo filly Quiet Reflection has already run in two Group 1s, winning the first of them, the Commonwealth Cup at the Royal Meeting, and finishing 3rd last time, in the July Cup. This was a particularly meritorious effort as the suspicion lingers that she wasn’t well suited by that her first run on fast ground so if the rain arrives she will make them all go.
The 4yo gelding Strath Burn nearly caused an upset in this last year when going down by a Shd at odds of 33/1. Having disappointed in his next three runs he moved from Charlie Hills to sprint maestro Robert Cowell. His first run for his new yard was disappointing but he showed rather more last time, when a running on 3rd behind veteran, Kingsgate Native over an inadequate 5f. Substantial further progress is required but Cowell may be the man to find it and that blinding performance in last year’s renewal on his only course appearance makes him one to consider.
Four of the last 12 winners of this came from the Group1 Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deuville and this year’s race saw the Richard Fahey trained Donjuan Triumphant finish 2nd with David O’Meara’s 5yo gelding Suedois a couple of necks further back in 4th. The O’Meara horse had previously run a great race to finish second in The July Cup And meets Donjuan Triumphant on 4lbs better terms. Close up behind Twilight Son in the Diamond Jubilee and only 1/2L behind Magical Memory in the Duke of York he doesn’t have a lot to find and it wouldn’t be a great surprise if his talented trainer found it.
Selection: Magical Memory
E.W. : Suedois