It’s yet another huge weekend of racing, but we have to wait until Sunday to see most of the big-hitters.
The Scottish Grand National card at Ayr and Newbury’s Greenham Stakes day have been moved to accommodate the funeral of Prince Phillip on Saturday.
We have a (very) early bet from Australia on Saturday morning, with all of our other information saved for the two big Sunday meetings.
Saturday 17th April 2021
6.50 Randwick (Queen Elizabeth Stakes – Group 1) - ADDEYBB
This is the fourth battle between William Haggas’ Addeybb and Australian “wondermare” Verry Elleegant. The score currently stands at 3-1 to Addeybb with the mare winning last time out, but there are few things that need to be picked up on here.
First of all, Verry Elleegant is no wonder mare. She is decent, good in the context of Australian Group races, but no wonder.
Addeybb had a foot problem last time out and perhaps should not have run. He’s working a lot sharper now, as you’d expect, wears different headgear and Tom Marquand is happy with him.
At anywhere near his best, he wins this race without any problem. The only worry is the drying weather, but with any ‘soft’ listed in the going description he should manage to win his fourth Group 1 race before we’ve even woken up on Saturday morning!
Addeybb beat his big rival twice last season. While she has remained at pretty much the same level according to the clock and the numbers, Addeybb actually improved quite a lot to ultimately win the Champion Stakes in October. If’s near his ‘A’ game, we should see him get back on track.
Sunday 18th April 2021
1.35 Newbury (John Porter Stakes – Group 3) – AL AASY
Al Aasy had a problem last year which curtailed his improvement as a three-year-old, but should come back to the track with a bang.
Both of his main rivals, Deja and Without A Fight, are coming off similar layoffs and so there is no disadvantage there, and we must remember that Al Aasy was thought of by the William Haggas team as a potential Group 1 horse last campaign.
This particular mile-and-a-half should be ideal and he can win this before being aimed at bigger targets later in the season, the Hardwicke at Royal Ascot perhaps being what the team has in mind.
The highest rated horse here officially is Deja (112). It is interesting to note that Al Aasy reached 108 as far back as last July when winning the Bahrain Trophy (Group 3), and so even with basic and natural progression from three to four, he’d be a fair bit better than 112 now.
2.25 Ayr (Scottish Champion Hurdle – Grade 2 Handicap) – THYME WHITE
At these prices, a chance can be taken on Paul Nicholls’ runner Thyme White. His form figures this season of 1U90 would have the casual observer believing he’s out of form and/or has lost his way, but that is not the truth at all.
His 9th was in the Betfair Hurdle against 22 rivals in what was a solid performance, while his 0 was actually a 12th of 25 in the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
His form remains solid in fact, but in a slightly easier race, on this track, against fewer rivals and on quicker ground we can see Thyme White’s superior pace between flights of hurdles kick in and he looks on that basis to be very good value indeed.
Milkwood, who is favourite for Neil Mulholland, and Calico of Dan Skelton’s yard are both fancied and indeed rate as Thyme White’s biggest dangers.
2.45 Newbury (Greenham Stakes – Group 1) – ALKUMAIT
This is an interesting one and a genuine 2000 Guineas trial. Chindit has some of the best form in the book, but at around 2/1 he seems mightily short in the market.
Fundamental could improve for having had a run this season and may sneak a place, but there are some interesting links between Alkumait and Mujbar to look more closely at.
Both are Shadwell horses, with Alkumait having the better form and being shorter in the market. Strangely, Jim Crowley appears to be saddled up on Mujbar but even with his Horris Hill form, on ground he didn’t like, he just doesn’t seem to be at the same level as Alkumait.
That colt was an excellent juvenile and was brilliant at this track when landing the Mill Reef from out wide. He is by Showcasing, who was also the sire of the awesome Mohaather who won this race for the same trainer, Marcus Tregoning.
I think his pace will win this but he’ll be able to see it out, with Dane O’Neill able to take the plaudits this time before Crowley no doubt takes over in the Guineas in two weeks’ time.
3.35 Ayr (Scottish Grand National – Grade 3) – DINGO DOLLAR
This is a very tough race, naturally, but there are logical reasons to believe that Sandy Thomson’s Dingo Dollar will be very well handicapped for the event.
Having joined from Alan King’s stable, Dingo Dollar came right back to his best first time up for Thomson when winning easily at Newcastle. Given how facile the win was and that it was his first for the yard, it is very hard to believe that it was as good as it’s going to get for the nine-year-old.
Dingo Dollar will stay, he’ll appreciate the dry ground and has the assistance up top of Brian Hughes who is still fighting Harry Skelton for the jockey’s championship.
Of the others, there are plenty in with chances of course. Eider Chase winner Sam’s Adventure could go well having been given time to recover from his exploits, while Aye Right is very consistent and is a relatively short-priced favourite for the race.
Somewhat of a Grand National specialist now is Lucinda Russel’s Mighty Thunder, while at a bigger price there may be some great each-way value in Coup De Pinceau. Dingo Dollar it is who gets the vote however, hopefully at something close to a double-figure price.