We have a massive Group One double to get stuck into either side of the Atlantic this week, with both the Haydock Sprint Cup and the delayed Kentucky Derby taking place.
Both races provide the distinct possibility of winners coming at good value prices, while elsewhere in England another three juicy bets can be taken on what looks like being a decent punting day ahead.
1:20 Ascot (Fillies’ Novice Stakes) - MONSOON MOON
Of course, we cannot know for certain what to expect from these young fillies but in the shape of Monsoon Moon there may be an ideal candidate for the Fillies’ Mile in the field.
Trained by John Gosden for the Khalid Abdullah team, Monsoon Moon is a daughter of Kingman out of a Daylami mare and so could hardly be better bred for the job.
A half-sister to Logician among others, she’s got that wonderful Juddmonte pedigree and is pretty much expected from the off to be top class and yet she may barely challenge for favouritism along with Love Is You.
That fully, another unraced type trained by Roger Charlton, provides the main opposition along with the race-fit Last Sunset for Godolphin but it’s worth taking a chance on a filly who could prove to be very, very good indeed.
1:45 Haydock (Superior Mile Stakes - Group 3) - KHALOOSY
While Ed Walker’s Stormy Antarctic is rock-solid in these conditions for sure, it’s no surprise that Roger Varian’s Khaloosy has been very well backed overnight for this Group 3 affair.
Coming into the season with a second and a win under his belt, the powerful son of Dubawi simply demolished his Royal Ascot field in the Britannia Stakes to mark himself out immediately as a Group performer.
Going off favourite for the Thoroughbred Stakes at Goodwood, I never felt the race would suit and regular readers will remember we instead took a punt on 10/1 winner Tilsit that day.
Going over this mile on soft ground however could bring the best out in him, a new best no doubt, making him too good for the likes of My Oberon and Top Rank as well as Stormy Antarctic.
2.00 Kempton (Sirenia Stakes - Group 3) - CLOUDBRIDGE
On a card dominated by Enable, running in the September Stakes on what will be her British finale before heading off for one last Arc, the best best may be Godolphin’s Cloudbridge.
Previously an 8/1 shot miles behind likely favourite Mystery Smiles for Andrew Balding, there should be money for Cloudbridge as he is known to be better than what he achieved last time.
A very smart winner on debut, Charlie Appleby’s colt ran no race at all when evens favourite for the Acomb Stakes at York but he can reach the top eventually with this race perhaps being an ideal stepping stone. James Doyle rides.
3.25 Haydock (Sprint Cup Stakes - Group 1) - ART POWER
Don’t get me wrong; I like facts and evidence, but sometimes you see a horse win and you just know it’s top class.
That was the case when I watched Art Power scorch home at Newcastle on the first day of racing’s resumption this year as he looked every inch a Group 1 winner of the (near) future.
The Tim Easterby team sensibly elected to go the handicap route with their three-year-old at Royal Ascot over five furlongs instead of taking in the Commonwealth Cup, a decision which was rewarded with a fantastic showing on similar ground to that which he’ll face at Haydock.
He stepped up to win in Group 3 company easily enough at Naas before disappointing in the Nunthorpe last time, but he was a leading hope against Battaash and conditions there didn’t suit so today he has a major chance of bagging his Group 1.
In behind the competition is very strong. Dream Of Dreams, Hello Youmzain, Golden Horde and Lope Y Fernandez are all capable in a deep contest, however 3yo’s do well in this and it’s an ideal chance for Silvestre De Sousa’s mount.
12.01 Churchill Downs (Kentucky Derby - Grade 1) - AUTHENTIC
They’ve dropped like flies this year, many defections and injuries meaning that at a glance this looks like the perfect chance for the very good Tiz The Law to stay on track to be the 14th Triple Crown winner.
Nadal would have been a major shout, while my own view is that Maxfield was the best sophomore in the States this year, but both are out now with knocks.
Dr Post has been rerouted, so it looks on form to come down to Tiz The Law, Honor AP and the selection, Authentic.
The race has been given a strange look since the three top contenders it seems will have to come from the widest three gates, however since they’re all in the same boat and we’re now down to 16 runners (usually 20) connections won’t be too phased.
Tiz The Law has been scintillating in winning the Florida Derby, the Belmont Stakes and the Travers, but it must be remarked that he has had a hard enough season and has failed to fire around Churchill Downs before.
He may be vulnerable on this track at odds-on to one still improving, and that is certainly the category into which Bob Baffert’s Authentic fits.
A comfortable winner of the Grade 2 San Felipe from Honor AP, he was turned over by the same horse next time in the Santa Anita Derby but was slightly injured in the process.
Back to fitness, he was a narrow winner of the Haskell Stakes last time with many unimpressed by the margin at the line, but the truth is that the performance was a good one and he can now improve plenty from that race to this.