We’ve got one hell of a busy betting weekend this time around, beginning on Friday at Doncaster and Haydock before charging straight into Sandown’s Group 1 Coral-Eclipse card.
Friday 2nd July 2021
1.00 Doncaster (Handicap) – URAIB
Now set to go off at an attractive price, Uraib may well have handicapped to perfection for this low-grade race.
Never a middle-distance horse on breeding, Ed Dunlop’s filly was sent over 1¼ and 1½ miles to no great effect, her third run an improved effort over a mile at Goodwood. She’s getting better and her real ability puts her around half a stone better than her official rating.
1.35 Doncaster (Novice Stakes) – NEPTUNE SEAS
The Gosdens’ pair Gooner Boy and Jack Kennedy are hard to split on what we know so far, while much is expected of Moshaawer.
At a glance Moshaawer’s form is best, though a closer look just devalues it ever so slightly and he does have to give away 6lbs to our other contenders.
The one who can improve past them, especially with the weight pull, is Godolphin’s Neptune Seas. Third over course and distance last month, the gelding rather ran in snatches but will naturally be much more straightforward now and can begin to show the Charlie Appleby team what the future holds.
6.08 Haydock (Maiden Fillies’ Stakes) – BANSHEE
It appears most people think this is likely to come down to Attagirl and Banshee, as do I. The former, trained by Karl Burke, was pretty forward for her debut run when she was third over this course and distance last month. She can show a little improvement, but the value is with Banshee.
Also third on debut, Banshee produced a better speed rating at Goodwood, was 40/1 and unfancied and ran green to boot. Clearly there is more improvement to come from her this time and it’s interesting that Oisin Murphy is on board.
8.08 Haydock (Novice Stakes) – MONHAMMER
Any number of these three-year-old novices could improve and/or come back to form. Exceedingly Regal, Bakersboy, Lightening Company, Fabricated and Dinoo are all interesting in their own way but a combination of a mixed bag of form and the weights put some doubts on them.
Monhammer is interesting for William Haggas and Tom Marquand though. He was very well backed over six furlongs on debut, but ran very green and got into bad trouble. He’s up a furlong, will be much better for the experience and has a lot more to offer yet.
Saturday 3rd July 2021
1.50 Sandown (Coral Charge – Group 3) – LAZULI
Naturally there are some doubts about the soft ground on the sprint course here, but Lazuli has done us a couple of favours in the past and has always been held in rather high regard by trainer Charlie Appleby.
Furthermore, the team at Moulton Paddocks have been very patient with him and elected not to head to Group 1 company too quickly, something that is bound to pay off in the long run.
Lazuli was a good winner at this level last year and again at Newmarket at the beginning of this season. He’s improving all the time and can reach new career heights here, something that may allow him to give away 3lbs to Arecibo and Came From The Dark.
2.05 Haydock (Handicap) – DHUSHAN
The improving Dhushan is well fancied for this race, but he’s not without big rivals. At the weights plenty may be expected of Summer’s Knight, Harlem Soul and Kondo Isami, but William Haggas’s grey Sea The Stars colt hasn’t really had to hit top gear yet and will be well suited by going up to 1¾ miles.
2.25 Sandown (Coral Challenge – Handicap) – RANSOM
This is a valuable and competitive one-mile handicap. Magical Morning has more to give, Montatham is fancied to go well and Plantadream may have been underestimated in this line-up. The most interesting profile however is that of Ransom.
A Juddmonte horse trained by Sir Michael Stoute, Ransom is a four-year-old who has certainly not peaked yet. His four runs so far have yielded two wins, one either side of his winter break and gelding operation, while his two handicap runs have seen him beaten by just over three lengths each time off this mark of 88.
He was keeping on well last time over this course and distance without ever looking dangerous, is learning on the job and can finally show that he has matured into a horse capable of challenging in a race of this nature with a stronger pace to aim at.
2.40 Haydock (Lancashire Oaks – Group 2) – DUBAI FOUNTAIN
Alpinista will be the one most punters take aim at, but Cheshire Oaks winner Dubai Fountain looks great value. As well as beating Zeyaadah at Chester who has since won the Group 3 Hoppings Stakes at Newcastle, Dubai Fountain was a close fourth in the Group 1 Fillies’ Mile last term and if the ground isn’t too quick, she may prove to be a class above her opposition.
3.15 Haydock (Old Newton Cup – Handicap) – GRAND BAZAAR
Whenever Grand Bazaar has tackled this sort of trip and ground that isn’t too soft, he has continued to get better. That can be the case again for the Gosden horse who was taken out of Royal Ascot because of the rain.
If the clouds stay away, Grand Bazaar can prove he is a good deal better than his current rating of 97 and may take some stopping in this mile-and-a-half handicap.
3.35 Sandown (Coral-Eclipse – Group 1) – ADDEYBB
Only four runners for the Eclipse this year, but all of them have ability. St Mark’s Basilica comes in as the French Guineas and Derby winner, while Mishriff has landed two Group 1’s and £10 million in prize money.
We all know Addeybb is at his best when there is ‘soft’ in the going description though and this may be his day. The ground wasn’t to his liking in Australia, but he still picked up his fourth Group 1 win. He’s here as the winner of last season’s Champion Stakes, has tons of quality and is third-favourite in a four-runner race, offering us a touch of value.