It’s a very, very busy betting weekend this week. Spread across three days and two continents, we have 13 tips on horses who are all value for what they have achieved and/or can achieve, so spread your stakes out accordingly.
Friday 17th September 2021
2.10 Ayr (Harry Rosebery Stakes – Listed Race) – PROJECT DANTE
On the second day of Ayr’s fabulous Gold Cup meeting, this Listed juvenile sprint gives us our first betting opportunity in the shape of Bryan Smart’s Project Dante.
Well named, he was a good winner at York first time up where I backed him to score and he’s since run a very good third in the Norfolk at Royal Ascot.
He’s rock-solid, can improve further, and has the speed to see off Canonized, who’s also entered in a Group 3 on Saturday, as well as Geocentric and Peggy Sioux.
2.45 Ayr (Arran Scottish Sprint Fillies’ Stakes – Listed Race) – WHITE LAVENDER
Immediately after the juveniles it’s the turn of the sprinting fillies. There’s little to choose on my book between Operatic, Blackberry, Tweet Tweet and Keep Busy at the weights, but the Irish-trained White Lavender stands out.
A winner on debut, White Lavender showed great speed to run on for second in a 15-runner Listed race last time out and any further improvement in that department would see her burn this field off under Gary Carroll.
2.55 Newbury (Conditions Stakes) – KING OF CONQUEST
There’s been plenty of talk about Ralph Beckett’s Westover in the build-up to this conditions event, but even more impressive on debut was Godolphin’s King Of Conquest and the Vertem Futurity entry can take another step up the ladder here under the title-chasing William Buick.
Conditions should be ideal for the Lope De Vega/Teofilo cross and the mile trip should be perfect for him now. Westover is indeed next on the list, ahead of Bolthole and Zechariah.
3.30 Newbury (Dubai Duty Free Cup Stakes – Listed Race) – AL SUHAIL
This is a good quality seven-furlong race despite being at Listed level, and it’s one that Al Suhail can take down.
Charlie Appleby’s runner has always been held in very high regard, he still has Group 2 and Group 1 entries, had an excellent prep for this when winning at Haydock and previously chased home Tilsit in a Group 2 who very nearly went on to land a Group 1 of his own.
Silent Escape cannot be ignored at the weights, D’bai is solid, while Ace Aussie, Albasheer and Baradar may all get competitive at some stage.
Saturday 18th September 2021
2.15 Newbury (World Trophy Stakes – Group 3) – KHAADEM
Last weekend’s Portland Handicap winner Hurricane Ivor is in the field and he may be up to the job, but on paper the half-furlong drop back in trip as well as the prospect of faster ground aren’t in his favour.
King’s Lynn is another who may need just a tad further, while Tis Marvellous will challenge the selection for favouritism.
That selection however is Khaadem who is now showing signs of getting back to his best. When dropped to five furlongs last time he was in his element and an even better performance is in the offing here.
3.25 Newbury (Handicap) – KING LEONIDAS
Top horses no longer need a run after a long break to show their best, and no training yard is more adept at getting such types ready than that of the Gosdens.
Their King Leonidas has 2020 form with several horses that would lead me to believe he could be several pounds well in, and at the early prices quoted we can afford to take a chance on that being the case.
Aramaic is the main danger ahead of Mo’assess.
3.40 Ayr (Ayr Gold Cup – Heritage Handicap) – POPMASTER
In the big betting handicap of the weekend there is a strong hand held by Starman trainer Ed Walker. He trains likely market leader Great Ambassador, but even more appealing is his improving three-year-old Popmaster.
The way in which he won a decent race with the minimum of fuss at Ascot last time suggested he has plenty more to give, he’s officially 2lbs well in and will have the assistance of Hollie Doyle in the saddle. Big chance.
3.50 Newmarket (Fillies’ Handicap) – SAMMARR
Roger Varian’s filly Sammarr hasn’t been seen for over 200 days but that shouldn’t put anyone off. Having made a good winning debut at the end of 2019 there was plenty expected of her before she suffered a setback.
Given natural improvement she should be way better than her mark of 87 now, with another good pointer being that had she not been in the field, I’d have had Tarroob a few pounds clear of the rest and yet it’s Sammarr who carries the owner’s first colours.
4.00 Newbury (Mill Reef Stakes – Group 2) – DHABAB
I backed Dhabab for the Coventry Stakes and thought he was very unlucky in running that day. That gives him some top form, while it was the seven furlongs that got him beaten in the Superlative Stakes in July.
The winner that day was Native Trail, now the highest rated juvenile around, and this track and trip should be perfect for the Gosden horse. Gis A Sub, Gubbass and Fearby are all capable of places.
10.14 Belmont Park (Jockey Club Oaks – Invitational Stakes) – CREATIVE FLAIR
Charlie Appleby is sweeping all before him and he has at least five chances of big wins in North American over the weekend.
I’m staying away from the Canadian International, but in this $700,000 race Creative Flair is value. Now drawn alongside her old rival Higher Truth rather than out wide, she can gain revenge on her after the pair finished second and third in the Saratoga Oaks last month.
10.45 Belmont Park (Jockey Club Derby – Invitational Stakes) – YIBIR
Straight after comes the $1 million Jockey Club Derby and it’s one in which Yibir can make his presence felt.
Aidan O’Brien’s Bolshoi Ballet came into the season with a big reputation, but his form over here didn’t match up to it while his Grade 1 win at Belmont over the summer equally didn’t set hearts racing.
Yibir has achieved more in the Sandown Classic Trial and especially in winning the Great Voltigeur at York and gets the vote again.
Sunday 19th September 2021
10.06 Woodbine (Natalma Stakes – Grade 1) – WILD BEAUTY
Charlie Appleby has won this before and now sends Sweet Solera runner-up Wild Beauty to represent the yard. This one will be tough, but she has the ability and crucially is good value against the home team.
10.39 Woodbine (Summer Stakes – Grade 1) – ALBAHR
Albahr is already right up with the best of the home runners on speed figures, he’s thought of as a Group 1 horse and can take what is seen as a key trial for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf in November in which we may see the son of Dubawi again. Frankie Dettori rides.