Grade 1 courses to the fore today, with televised racing from Haydock, York and Goodwood, together with a minor skirmish over at the Curragh.
We begin at Haddock, which features two Group 2 events, in neither of which we have a selection – so there.
The Armstrong Aggregates Sandy Lane Stakes at 3.25 has Calyx installed as the 1-6 favourite and it’s impossible to take it on, while the Armstrong Aggregates Temple Stakes at 4.00 sees a burn up between Battaash, Mabs Cross and King of the AW Kachy. Which of these three will prevail is anyone’s guess and we try not to guess. Should be a good watch, though.
The two handicaps at the start of the card are more like it and in the Amix Ready Mixed Concrete Handicap at 2.15 we like the look of Pirate King, trained by Harry Dunlop.
Very lightly raced, this 4-y-o made an excellent seasonal debut when a staying on third over 14 furlongs at Doncaster and, with an extra two furlongs to go today, can get the job done under Shane Kelly. Take the 11-2 each way.
Also, we suggest a modest each way investment on Busy Street, which is down to a mark below when winning at Kempton in March and shoud find today’s conditions ideal. 11-1 are the odds of reward.
The Amix Silver Bowl Handicap at 2.50 has a fierce look about it but for a first prize of nigh on £50grand, so it should.
Our fancy in this is the Michael Appleby trained Loch Ness Monster, which is available to back at 12-1. This consistent gelding is weighted to reverse recent form with two of the horses near the top of the market and also has the services of the latest ‘wunderkind’ Sean Davis, so, from a good draw we are hopeful, to say the least.
Now on to Goodwood and the Betfair Best Odds On ITV Races Festival Stakes at 1.55, which contains the day’s ‘good thing’ in Elarqam.
4th in the 2000 Guineas on first run as a 3-y-o it’s been a bit downhill ever since, but, after a minor injury break and a wind op, Elarqam reappeared at Newmarket to run a highly encouraging 4th in the Group 3 Earl Of Sefton, behind two subsequent Group winners. Huge class drop in to Listed company today surely will see him home and he must be backed at 11-4.
The Betfair Each Way Edge Handicap at 2.30 is the most valuable race in England today and we throw two darts at it, starting with the favourite, Flashcard at 7-2.
First time in a handicap, first time out this year but with all the potential to take this race before graduating to Group events, Andrew Balding‘s charge has been aimed at this race for some time.
We also give a squeak to the Mick Channon trained Chynna, another handicap debutante, which could just run out of her pretty skin at odds of 18-1.
Finally to York, where, if you think we are goona try to sort out the 5f sprint at 3.45, then think again.
The William Hill Bronte Cup Fillies’ Stakes at 3.05, however, is a different cauldron of tuna and we are content to leave this to yet another rapidly improving filly of John Gosden, in the shape of Enbihaar.
An easy win in a Listed race at Goodwood on reappearance, Enbihaar should take this step up to Group 3 in her stride and should be thumped at 6-4.
That’s it – off to put some money on Boris.
Pirate King 2.15 Haydock 1pt e/w @ 11-2
Busy Street 2.15 Haydock 0.5pt e/w @ 11-1
Loch Ness Monster 2.50 Haydock 2pts e/w @ 12-1 (5 places)
Elarqam 1.55 Goodwood 6pts win @ 11-4
Flashcard 2.30 Goodwood 2pts win @ 7-2
Chynna 2.30 Goodwood 0.5pt e/w @ 18-1 (4 places)
Enbihaar 3.05 York 6pts win @ 6-4