You’d be forgiven for expecting a quiet weekend as we go hurtling towards Royal Ascot, for which we’ll have plenty of information next week. Luckily however, that is not the case!
Between Friday and Saturday’s key British meetings, along with a stunning card over at Belmont in New York featuring many Grade 1 races, the action remains relentless and we have a very busy betting weekend on our hands.
Friday 10th June 2022
1.45 Sandown (Maiden Stakes) – ONE NATION
The betting here will be interesting as there are some dangerous-looking newcomers, notably than Hannon horse Forca Timao who you’d think will be ready to rock and roll.
Natural improvement however should see One Nation home and in fact he was expected to win the hot novice event in which he was third on debut.
3.30 York (Ganton Stakes – Listed Race) – MOHAAFETH
This is a very interesting little Listed race. Godolphin pair Art Du Val and Valiant Prince can go well, especially the latter who is better than he showed at Ascot last time, while Brunch will be backed too.
The excellent William Haggas team however have quite rightly not given up on Mohaafeth, and neither have I. After finding out he was a rig and not a colt, causing him discomfort, he has had his ailments solved.
He didn’t enjoy Dubai in March, but even on last year’s form he would arguably be too good for this field. There is still more to come from a Royal Ascot winner, one-time Derby hope, and a horse whose ‘worst performance’ as described by his trained came when he was fourth to Mishriff in a Group 1.
3.55 Sandown (Handicap) – TRUE ACCOLADE
There are a few unknowns as far as the main contenders here are concerned, especially regarding pedigrees in the context of seeing out Sandown’s mile and a quarter.
Roger Varian’s First Officer is by Galileo and has the Coolmore connection, though he needs to improve plenty which remains possible.
True Accolade though has been keeping company with, and doing well against, winners such as Salvator Mundi and Deciduous, as well as London Gold Cup runner-up Surrey Mist and can prove to be well handicapped.
9.42 Belmont Park (Belmont Gold Cup – Grade 2) – OUTBOX
On Belmont’s spectacular card Archie Watson sends his popular seven-year-old Outbox to the valuable two-mile Belmont Gold Cup and he has an outstanding chance for he and rider Hollie Doyle.
This trip and the firm ground should be ideal, though there will be challenges from Germany’s Loft and the Todd Pletcher-trained Abaan.
One tissue price here matches NYRA’s 2/1 morning line odds, while another has Outbox at 6/1, so it’ll be interesting to see what price we get come post time.
Saturday 11th June 2022
3.05 York (Grand Cup Stakes – Listed Race) – KEMARI
This is a good quality race, make no mistake about that, so look out for its influence on 1½ to 2-mile races during the rest of the campaign.
I love Mandoob, I did when he was owned by Shadwell, and he’s beginning to peak now but is no longer a dark horse.
Queen’s Vase winner Kemari simply has a better mixture of speed, stamina, class and scope and looks good value to take this ahead of Brian Meehan’s challenger. Without A Fight, John Leeper and Euchen Glen will all have support.
4.00 Sandown (Handicap) – GOLDEN VOICE
This is a competitive three-year-old handicap over the seven-furlong trip, but it’s one I can envisage going to Derby-winning owner Saeed Suhail, top trainer William Haggas and excellent jockey Tom Marquand.
In terms of his handicap mark, speed, potential for improvement and likelihood to go well in these conditions, Golden Voice looks the most probable winner and rates as a bet.
Windseeker is interesting, as is Odisseo, while there is likely to be money for Lethal Nymph.
4.35 Sandown (Maiden Stakes) – HONITON
I wanted to back red-hot John & Thady Gosden’s Honiton in a good handicap last week, though he was pulled out there and it’s interesting that they go for a maiden race this time instead.
We have a big enough field here however and hopefully a proper pace, and I’m looking for Honiton to see them off well and pay a good compliment to Eldar Eldarov before next week’s King Edward VII Stakes having run well behind him at Newcastle.
5.33 Belmont Park (Acorn Stakes – Grade 1) – MATAREYA
This looks like a two-horse race on the book, with Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Echo Zulu sure to be all the rage ahead of the up-and-coming Matareya.
I wanted to back Matareya for that very race, though as it turns out she took a little longer to get going for Brad Cox and was showing more speed than stamina back then.
She has come into her own this year in no uncertain terms and was scintillating on Kentucky Oaks day. She can now land her first Grade 1.
8.05 Belmont Park (Ogden Phipps Stakes – Grade 1) – MALATHAAT
This is a potentially close race. Letruska has been brilliant and is still in winning form, but she’s not getting any younger and is vulnerable against Clairiere and Search Results.
The one who stands out for me is last year’s Kentucky Oaks winner Malathaat. She didn’t win at the Breeders’ Cup as I expected her to do, but she’s still improving and can yet again prove her class.
11.44 Belmont Park (Belmont Stakes – Grade 1) – WE THE PEOPLE
We won’t see a Triple Crown winner this year, though the last leg of the series is always fascinating and there is one stand out horse who may improve past the rest.
It looks close to me between Preakness third Creative Minister and Kentucky Derby winner and fifth Rich Strike and Mo Donegal, though hopefully that’s the battle for place money.
We The People is hard to judge having won so easily in lesser company to this point, but you don’t have to dig too deep into those he’s beaten and his past times to know he may be the best of this bunch. His granddaddy is Tapit, who has a fantastic record in this tough one-and-a-half-mile race.