We have a ton of information once again for this weekend. Irish Oaks Day takes place at the Curragh, while the Weatherbys Super Sprint is the biggie in England with Chipotle looking to strike again.
We’ve gone elsewhere looking for value however, with a massive ten selections beginning at Newbury on Friday:
Friday 16th July 2021
2.45 Newbury (Fillies’ Handicap) – GOLDEN BUGLE
A pretty competitive 1m5f+ fillies’ handicap, one in which we can expect more from Michael Bell’s Horsefly with champion jockey’s title chaser Oisin Murphy on board.
Secret Shadow is no mug and Maytal may well improve, however the one to be on could be Golden Bugle for the very familiar connections of the Gosdens, Golden Horn (sire), Anthony Oppenheimer and Frankie Dettori.
A Doncaster maiden winner last time out, she most likely wants this trip now and previously chased the useful Sayyida home. She looks to be well above her rather anaemic-looking mark of 79 and should have some weight in hand.
3.20 Newbury (Rose Bowl Stakes – Listed Race) – ORAZIO
A decent Listed contest for the juveniles, one in which as a punter you are tasked with choosing between sheer promise and proven ability.
It’s true that Caturra, Bond Chairman and Bosh have now had some experience and have already achieved good levels of form, however the debut win three weeks ago of Orazio was taking and he could prove to be the best of these.
An easy winner at Windsor, this Caravaggio colt now has Frankie on board for Charlie Hills and he undoubtedly clocked the best debut in this field, so the usual improvement from that to a Class 1 race would see him home.
4.10 Haydock (Conditions Stakes) – MUTASAABEQ
A major fancy for the 2000 Guineas at the start of May, Mutasaabeq hasn’t become a bad horse overnight. After his disappointment in the Jersey Stakes however it seems Charlie Hills wants to kind of start again but that shouldn’t be taken as a negative.
At Ascot he was drawn way out on the wrong side and hated the ground. Before the Guineas, he clocked a great time in similar conditions to this in a small field and it may be that he just runs them ragged here as he did there at Newmarket. Many will be backing Baradar which may help us as regards the price on Mutasaabeq.
4.42 Haydock (Maiden Stakes) – MONHAMMER
We’ve backed Monhammer before with no success to be fair, but he’s one of those big improving types who makes a mug of you when you stop supporting him!
After a bad debut in which nothing went right, he came to himself last time over this course and distance when finishing second and plenty more is expected now. Nine Tails and Marie Antoinette are the two dangers.
6.45 Newmarket (Handicap) – MAGICAL LAND
At the time of writing at least, it seems we are most keen on the outsider of this four-runner field. It is a close betting heat to be fair, with little to chose between Zagato, Dickens and Il Bandito.
Charlie Appleby’s Magical Land however is the standout. Despite now being rated 4lbs lower than his peak, he has improved nicely overall in six career starts. He was gelded before his run at Haydock two weeks ago and may have just needed the run.
Based on normal improvement, and what was expected last time considering he was favourite, he should have enough now to take it to this small field under William Buick.
Saturday 17th July 2021
1.50 Newbury (Steventon Stakes – Listed Race) – DERAB
This is a very competitive affair, at least on paper. Blue Cap may have wanted more rain, Real World may have been flattered by his performance in the Royal Hunt Cup to a degree while Felix and Solid Stone should run to around about their handicap marks.
That leaves a great opportunity for John & Thady Gosden’s Derab who could be a level above. A very easy winner at Newmarket in May, he was tried at Group 1 level last time but hated the going and the style of the race and so can still prove to be too good for Listed level.
2.55 Newmarket (Handicap) – IRISH ADMIRAL
Always looking like a potential Group horse, Irish Admiral has flattered to deceive a little in England so far but hasn’t had the ideal conditions.
He has them now for sure, so while Rifleman (faller) and Stunning Beauty (pulled-up after being trapped in the stalls) have scores to settle and can improve, Irish Admiral really does look the one off a mark of just 95. Finest Sound was next on the list.
3.00 Newbury (Hackwood Stakes – Group 3) – ROYAL CRUSADE
Though King’s Lynn’s form is solid and last year’s winner Tabdeed prepared well at Newcastle last time, we can afford to take a chance on Royal Crusdade at a price in this six-furlong contest.
Always held in high regard by Charlie Appleby, Royal Crusade hasn’t hit the heights yet but he ran well in Dubai back in March, he’s only four years old and he is having only his ninth career run which means we have not seen the best of him yet.
3.30 Newmarket (Aphrodite Stakes – Listed Race) – FREE WIND
Don’t be put off by the official ratings here, as had this been a handicap, I’d be telling you that Free Wind had got away with it off a mark of 92.
She’s way better than that, maybe a stone better, with John Gosden noted for not throwing them into to these Listed and Group races unless they are ready which I think Free Wind is. She can score here, with Abstinence, Golden Pass, Oriental Mystique and Talbeyah all very close.
11.16 Saratoga (Diana Stakes – Grade 1) – SUMMER ROMANCE
Charlie Appleby landed a 1-2 in the Just A Game Stakes at Belmont on Derby Day with Althiqa and Summer Romance, now he’s looking to repeat the trick with the same two fillies in this Grade 1.
There was less than a length between them last time over the mile, Althiqa coming out on top, but with a difference in the stalls, a furlong more to cover and a 4lb weight turnaround this could be Summer Romance’s day with Harvey’s Lil Goil and Lemista also fancied for places.