Thursday, 4 August 2022

Friday 5th & Saturday 6th August 2022: Prepare For a Thundershower at Haydock

It’s an interesting weekend, one packed with Group 1 action around the world.

Friday is a day on which there are lots of potentially informative juvenile races, mostly on a watch-only basis. If something is of interest in the markets then take note, with the likes of Local Dynasty very interesting at Newmarket.

We have two to kick us off, before lunging into a busy Saturday.

Friday 5th August 2022 

7.10 Newmarket (Handicap) – LAW OF THE SEA

Giavellotto has been the one to attract early money for this race, but at around evens when beaten fair and square more than once recently he is not a great bet. Praiano and Achnamara are similar at the weights, but the standout is Law Of The Sea.

The Gosden runner could very reasonably be around 5lbs ahead of his handicap mark now, maybe more. He is the value to come back from his break and carry on the improvement he was showing last year when sent into Group 2 company.

10.05 Saratoga (Hall of Fame Stakes – Grade 2) – TIZ THE BOMB

This is a good Grade 2 race to keep an eye on in New York.

Tiz The Bomb, a 7/2 shot on the morning line odds, is back on turf now and he’s one that has good form with 119-rated Modern Games from the Breeders’ Cup.

He had an unsuccessful attempt at the Kentucky Derby after training on Tapeta, but this surface will suit and he can prove to be better than Double Clutch and Ready To Purrform.

Saturday 6th August 2022 

3.00 Haydock (Rose of Lancaster Stakes – Group 3) – ANMAAT

In this classy looking Group 3 event, it could yet be that runaway 9-length Newbury winner Grocer Jack is simply too good.

It has to be said though that the apparent improvement he showed last time was very sudden for a five-year-old who’d already had 16 races, as good as current trainer William Haggas is.

He was visually impressive, but those in behind absolutely did not perform and he is not a guaranteed winner.

Last year’s Wood Ditton winner Peter The Great has got his act together and will be a Group horse, while Passion and Glory is proven at this sort of level.

Even more interesting however is recent John Smith’s Cup winner Anmaat and he is fancied to take the step up to Group 3 company in his stride.

Although achieved in handicaps his progression is stark. A Cambridgeshire runner-up and York winner, he’s getting better and although he has fast ground form, he is a battler who will stay all the way.

3.05 Newmarket (Handicap) – FALLING SHADOW 

Although both Kenzai Warrior and Whitefeathersfall will attract interest this 1¼-mile, class 2 contest, it could rather strangely be fought out by three Godolphin contenders representing three different trainers.

Saeed bin Suroor’s Night Of Luxury has been given a very fair 6lb rise for winning at Epsom and remains in contention for more success, while John & Thady Gosden’s Daramethos is bang in there if 100% after a long break.

The best of the trio for me however is Charlie Appleby’s Falling Shadow.

He was heading very much in the right direction when winning at Newbury in May. He didn’t get the best of runs at Royal Ascot after being gelded, but can resume progression now and should prove to be significantly better than his mark of 92.

3.35 Haydock (Dick Hern Stakes – Listed Race) – THUNDERSHOWER

We have twelve fillies in this race and although the official ratings make it look under-par, many are still improving.

Crenelle and Miss Marble can make challenges, as can the busy Oscula who has been admirable and who is the standard-setter here so far for George Boughey.

The one I like best however is Thundershower. Coming along very nicely indeed, her two wins at Nottingham have shown her to be a filly that needs more of a challenge and she is improving pretty rapidly.

When a Gosden filly is thrown from novice company into a Listed race, they are always good enough on basic ability. Conditions are fine and Thundershower’s chief opposition is much of a muchness when you consider Oscula’s 5lb penalty.

3.40 Newmarket (Sweet Solera Stakes – Group 3) – NOVAKAI 

A competitive Group 3 for the juvenile fillies, one in which there is little to choose between Ivory Madonna, Lady Alara, Lakota Sioux and Mottisfont based on a number of factors.

The one with at least the potential to be better however is first-time-out winner Novakai. Karl Burke’s impressive Doncaster scorer will have been ready to go, but won with plenty in hand and looks up to this.

4.30 Ascot (Shergar Cup Classic – Handicap) – FRANZ STRAUSS 

The Shergar Cup is of very little interest to yours truly in all honesty, though it does bring us one betting opportunity in the shape of John & Thady Gosden’s Franz Strauss.

The Classic is a mile-and-a-half handicap which looks ideal for the three-year-old son of Golden Horn who should appreciate the test.

He beat Eydon at Newcastle, was fourth to Westover in the Classic Trial, was third to Glasgow Stakes winner West Wind Blows at Nottingham and was unsuited by the race when a close second of three at Sandown, all the while improving.

Berkshire Breeze and Hamaki are the main dangers.

11.20 Saratoga (Saratoga Derby – Grade 1) – NATIONS PRIDE

Race 11 at Saratoga on Saturday is the $1,000,000 Saratoga Derby and this is a high-quality event.

The Grade 1 invitational takes place on the firm turf over 1 mile, 1½ furlongs and that’s a good thing for the selection Nations Pride.

Charlie Appelby’s runner was my original Derby fancy this year. He has tons of ability but also tons of pace, so should love this.

He got a bad ride last time under Frankie Dettori when second to Classic Causeway at Belmont. He’s better than that, though the run still represents some of the best form on offer here.

Now that William Buick is back on board, he has another run under his belt and he’s 5 gates to the inner of his old foe, he can prove to be the best of this bunch.

In behind there is little to choose between Grand Sonata, Royal Patronage, Sy Dog and Stone Age while possible favourite Annapolis has to improve a fair bit.

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