We are betting across three days this weekend, as well as over two countries. There’s group action at Haydock and in Paris, but we begin with some nice prospects at Yarmouth on Friday afternoon.
Friday 28th May 2021
2.00 Yarmouth (Novice Stakes) – NEW SCIENCE
There are plenty of unraced horses in this seven-furlong event with potential, and they should come to the fore. The likes of Find, Mr Alan and Aswan are obvious types from top yards, but there’s enough to like in the profile of New Science to take a punt here.
Charlie Appleby’s better juveniles tend to be straight for their first run and get up around the 80+ level pretty quickly, which may be a bit much for the others. New Science is very well bred, Lope De Vega’s progeny tend go on rain-softened ground as well, and he should be able to see this distance out best under William Buick.
2.30 Yarmouth (Maiden Stakes) – KEMARI
The twice-raced Ballantruan may be able to make experience count for John & Thady Gosden, but there’s a question mark as to whether he’s actually good enough.
Breccia comes with a reputation, but looking at the form of her debut second where she was sandwiched by Nash Nasha and Chiasma, that race may well have been a little overrated.
The opposite could be true of Kemari’s form. He too was runner-up on debut, ran green, and looked like an obvious big improver. Based on the true ability of easy winner Movin Time, as well as third-placed Magical Land, that race it seems has been underestimated and with natural progression this son of Dubawi may be the one this time.
Saturday 29th May 2021
2.20 Haydock (Achilles Stakes – Listed Race) – EL ASTRONAUTE
We’re still dealing with soft ground at Haydock, but that shouldn’t be a problem for El Astronaute. A few of these in opposition it seems will hate the going, so competition on the day may not be as it looks on the race card.
Trainer John Quinn has spoken lately to say that he’ll put El Astronaute in the Abbaye later this season and that he’s not there to make up the numbers! He won nicely on seasonal debut at Chester, will be cherry ripe now and in the circumstances simply looks the best of this bunch. Aljady and County D’orsay were next on the list.
2.55 Haydock (Pinnacle Stakes – Group 3) – LA LUNE
Cabaletta may be a short price for this race, but she hasn’t done overly well on soft ground and this contest will take some getting.
Salsada is another in with a chance, but really the price available about Henry Candy’s La Lune rather underestimates her ability in these conditions.
A winner last time out, La Lune is an improving mare and while that Listed success at Nottingham was achieved on fast ground, she has also done well on the heavy and this shouldn’t bother her too much. She’s capable of a mark of around 105 now and that would be enough to land this event.
3.30 Haydock (John of Gaunt Stakes – Group 3) – GLORIOUS JOURNEY
John Quinn retains faith in Safe Voyage who handles these conditions but runs under a penalty. There were excuses for him at the Breeders’ Cup and in the Lockinge, but both times he was beaten a very long way and you’d be taking a right punt on backing him to suddenly come back to the appropriate level.
Toro Strike was excellent last time and has handled soft, but his best form has been on quick ground so doubts remain.
The filly With Thanks could reach the top level and she is a danger here however we can’t be certain the ground is actually soft enough for her, a real mud lover, and this is her seasonal debut.
The one to be on at the prices is Charlie Appleby’s Glorious Journey. Hot and cold in the past, he is much more consistent now, handles the conditions and definitely has the ability.
If the six-year-old gets back to the level of any of his last three wins, or to that of his close fourth in Saudi Arabia behind Space Blues, then he should be too good for this field.
4.25 Chester (Maiden Stakes) – AL SHIBLI
The three juveniles to concentrate on, Al Shibli (Richard Hannon), I’m A Gambler (Mark Johnston) and Roman Dragon (Tom Dascombe) have each had one racecourse outing and should all be straight enough for this.
The first named however could potentially be a class above. Having been strongly fancied on debut at Newbury, Al Shibli ran very green indeed and effectively threw his race away. He should have improved a ton for that run and may be hard to live with now.
If he wins, Royal Ascot beckons and he has a nice draw and the assistance of the confident and capable Jim Crowley.
Sunday 30th May 2021
3.15 ParisLongchamp (Prix d’Ispahan – Group 1) – TILSIT
A typically muddling but fascinating French Group 1 race beckons here over nine-and-a-half furlongs.
Skalleti is very solid at this level but is not getting any younger, while Godolphin’s Victor Ludorum is consistent but has never really kicked on to a new level and will need to in this company.
Impressive QEII winner The Revenant just doesn’t seem the same horse this year having had two tries already, though he may be interesting in a stronger run race later in the year, perhaps back in Britain.
Charlie Hills is looking to bring Tilsit over for this one though and he could truly come of age now. Green on debut last year, the First Defence colt looked all over a future Group 1 winner when demolishing his Newcastle field by 19 lengths before landing a Group 3 for this page at a nice price.
He hated things in Saudi Arabia last time out, is down a furlong now and may just possess a better turn of foot than his opposition which is often what is needed in a slowly-run race, which this is likely to be.