Last weekend was big enough with a Sprint Cup and a Kentucky Derby to entertain us, but this weekend is simply huge with Group 1 action galore across three countries.
Watch out for the brilliant Ghaiyyath in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown, while Stradivarius puts his Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe credentials on the line over 1m4f in the Prix Foy in Paris on Sunday.
The St Leger takes place at Doncaster on Saturday but isn’t a betting race for me, with Pyledriver, Santiago and Hukum all close should conditions be to their liking.
We still have plenty to get stuck into however, with four Saturday bets and two Sunday wagers to look forward to.
Saturday 11th September 2020
1:50 Doncaster (Champagne Stakes - Group 2) - ALBASHEER
This is a race that often throws up a genuinely top-class juvenile, and Owen Burrows’ Albasheer looked just that when landing the odds over course and distance on his debut in July.
He’s a proper sort, a son of Shamardal, with extra confidence coming from the fact that the solid third-favourite Mujbar has been overlooked by Jim Crowley in favour of this horse and so he’s bound to carry plenty of confidence from his yard.
2:40 Chester (Handicap) - MAYDANNY
David Simcock’s Prejudice is solid enough at the top of the market for this 1m2f handicap, but in Maydanny it’s felt we have a horse who could bounce back in typical Mark Johnston fashion having been down the field on soft ground at York last time.
Given that he won at Yarmouth at the start of the season then monstered his Glorious Goodwood field it’s clear this horse is ahead of the handicapper overall, and it’ll be no surprise if he is to bounce out, hit the lead and never lose it around this track.
3:00 Doncaster (Park Stakes - Group 2) - WICHITA
I’m slightly surprised by the overnight odds being offered on Aidan O’Brien’s Wichita in this Group 2 race, especially given that he has already proven himself to be a genuine Group 1 horse on several occasions.
A winner in the Tattersalls Stakes last season at Newmarket by seven lengths, Wichita began this season by splitting Kameko and Pinatubo in what was a good quality 2000 Guineas, form that arguably makes him one of the better three-year-old colts in Europe.
He repeated that level of form when finishing just behind Palace Pier and Pinatubo in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Ascot which puts him a cut above his rivals here for certain, even the likes of Limato and One Master who are more used to this seven furlong trip.
He has his conditions now, he’s been better rested and should go very strongly indeed under Frankie Dettori at a value price.
3:20 Lingfield (Conditions Stakes) - EL MISK
Others, including Sextant who I feel may be the one for money in this near 1m4f event, have the ability to make their mark but in these particular race conditions El Misk looks the one to side with.
Previously thought of as potentially top-class, John Gosden’s four-year-old Dansili colt has taken down races at Newcastle and Kempton and narrowly failed in an unsuitably small race at Newmarket recently.
He was ahead of subsequent Group 3 winner Pablo Escobarr that day though and will be better suited by how this race looks to be shaping up, meaning it would be no surprise should he be coaxed into contention by Rab Havlin before kicking clear late on.
Sunday 13th September 2020
2:55 ParisLongchamp (Grand Prix de Paris - Group 1) - ENGLISH KING
It’s an important day in Paris with various Arc trials taking place. This race is of course a top level event in its own right and it’s one in which the Derby form is finally truly tested.
English King, who looked a star when winning at Newcastle and at Lingfield in the Derby Trial, simply got too far back at Epsom like many others with Frankie Dettori inexplicably allowing the same thing to happen again in the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood.
He remains a colt of some promise however, a Group One type who would have stood a huge chance in the St Leger had he gone to Doncaster instead, and if ridden closer to the pace this time he is very capable of turning the tables on Derby winner Serpentine who may well be making the running once more.
4:10 Curragh (National Stakes - Group 1) - MASTER OF THE SEAS
This is a well trodden path for Charlie Appleby and the Godolphin team, though I’m not necessarily saying at this stage that Master Of The Seas is a Quorto or a Pinatubo.
That said, he was very impressive in winning the Superlative Stakes (Group 2) at Newmarket last time on the track and really looks like a proper horse. He should stay the trip better than the admittedly very good Lucky Vega and already appears to be up to his level.
It’ll be close in the betting market between the two aforementioned runners and Aidan O’Brien’s Battleground, but it’s the well-bred son of Dubawi who comes out on top for us and that’s there the money will be going.