Friday 25 May 2018

Saturday 26th May: Elarqam Can In Irish 2000

Its Group racing galore on Saturday as the Irish 2000 Guineas marks the highlight of the racing weekend, however over in the UK we also have top class action at Haydock and York and it’s on the Knavesmire we start with a great value Group 3 bet:

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3.05 York (Bronte Cup – Group 3) – PRECIOUS RAMOTSWE

John Gosden’s filly proved exactly why she should have been kept in training with an impressive enough win at Brighton on her comeback and the very well-bred Nathaniel filly can go on again here.

She got herself in a pocket at the south coast track and ran all over the place once hitting the front yet still got there by a good couple of lengths over an apparently inadequate mile-and-a-quarter trip.  She is stepped right up to a mile and six here and it could be the making of her.

Gosden is well adept at preparing these fillies and tends not to throw them into Listed or Group company unless they have a winning chance, so her price could be a real touch of value up against Isabel De Urbina.

She has no other fancy entries at this stage but looks sure to keep climbing the ladder and she will get better and better with more racecourse experience.

3.25 Haydock (Sandy Lane Stakes – Group 2) – HEARTACHE

Last season’s Queen Mary Stakes winner at Royal Ascot beat a stellar field that day and really looked the part.  She complemented that victory with a win in the Flying Childers at Doncaster later in the season and appears to be the real deal.

With speed to burn, Heartache looks a potential Group 1 performer at sprinting distances and is nowhere near her best yet so could account for these before perhaps heading back to the Royal meeting next month for the Commonwealth Cup.

Her chief rival would appear to be James Tate’s Invincible Army who has been impressive of late; however he has also been placed pretty well by his trainer to win his races thus far and he may not live with the fact that he has to give away three pounds to the filly this time around.

Heartache could prove to be a lovely sprinting amuse-bouche to the return of Battaash in the Temple Stakes at 4PM, though his price would prohibit us from backing him in the big race.

3.30 Chester – PRECISION

This is a decent little handicap over 1m5½ furlongs around the bends of the Roodeye and in this one it could be worth taking a chance on Sir Michael Stoute’s raider, Precision.

Stevie Donohoe takes the ride on the four-year-old son of Galileo who had a run at Salisbury back in April but completely bombed out, finishing 7th of eight and beaten nearly 70 lengths.  He utterly hated the heavy ground that day though and was asked for no effort whatsoever after his chance had gone and this will be a different matter on the quicker ground.

He can resume his improvement and gets the vote at hopefully a decent price ahead of likely favourite Redicean for the Alan King yard.

3.45 Goodwood (Tapster Stakes – Listed) – MIRAGE DANCER

He may not go off a particularly big price, but the point about Mirage Dancer is that true competition in this race is very thin on the ground and having had a season opener two weeks ago, there is little doubt he will improve now from race one to race two this year in typical Sir Michael Stoute fashion.

Euginio may well prove to be best of the rest for Richard Hannon and Andrea Atzeni but in truth it looks like being Pat Dobbs’ race to lose and he is terrific in these situations.

4.10 Curragh (Irish 2000 Guineas – Group 1) – ELARQAM

Mark Johnston’s regally bred colt by Frankel out of Attraction was my pick for the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and, despite the best horse winning on the day in Saxon Warrior, he lost nothing in defeat as it turns out.

Saxon had the form in the book and was strongly backed to do what he did, yet Elarqam managed to finish only 2¼ lengths behind on his third ever racecourse start having gotten unbalanced in the dip and remains a very definite Group One winner in waiting.

In time he is likely to step up to middle distances but for now he brings the best recent form over a mile into this race and carries the absolute confidence of the Johnston team as well as that of Richard Hills, assistant racing manager and former top jock to the owner Sheikh Hamdan who says he “should win”.

It would be no surprise to see Elarqam run the legs off this lot, though watch out for an improved run from last year’s Dewhurst winner US Navy Flag for the Aidan O’Brien team who perhaps didn’t get enough credit for that win at Newmarket last backend.

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