Saturday produced a memorable Coral-Eclipse in which jockey Christophe Soumillon kept things simple, producing French Derby winner Vadeni on the outside to beat the unlucky Mishriff and Native Trail in a race where only a length covered the first four horses home. Add Baaeed and Desert Crown to the mix and we could be in for some tremendous showdowns in the months ahead.
The highlight of our tipping week were two successful each-way longshots at odds of 28/1 (Austrian Theory) and 10/1 (Arctic Fox), although a couple of our naps did the business at 3/1 and 7/2.
Newmarket’s three-day July meeting gets underway on Thursday, in the meantime the week begins with some fairly ordinary action from the meetings at Ayr and Worcester in the afternoon and Ripon in the evening.
“Tip of the Day” - Golden Flame (3.35pm Ayr) - 4/1 with Paddy Power
Charlie & Mark Johnston’s charge should appreciate this easier contest after failing to make his mark in two of the most competitive staying handicaps of the season at Ascot and Newcastle.
3.35pm Ayr. 1m 5f
When fit and well, horses trained by Charlie & Mark Johnston are rarely allowed an easy time of things, a remark which applies to their GOLDEN FLAME (Nap) whose last two runs came in the Ascot Stakes and Northumberland Plate.
The mount of Cieren Fallon failed to make an impact in either of those famous handicaps after making much of the early running. But back to a less competitive level and with the prospect of dictating the race from the front, the four-year-old is fancied to open his account for the season.
The son of Golden Horn drops back to 1m 5f after possibly failing to get the longer trips at Ascot and Newcastle and is fancied to see off top weight Throne Hall who, following three disappointing efforts, produced his best run of the season when beating all bar Zealandia in York’s Queen Mother’s Cup last month.
5.05pm Worcester. 2m 7f
With a field of 18, this 2m 7f handicap hurdle is possibly the most open race of the day with a host of potential winners including Gold Leader who strolled home by 19 lengths at Uttoxeter last month, top weight Bird On The Wire and Robeam, to name but a few.
On her return to hurdles however since failing to take to fences this year, the Charlie Longsdon-trained PRESENT STORM (Longshot) and champion jockey Brian Hughes should go well if able to reproduce her second here of 12 months ago off a 6lb higher mark.
The Presenting mare looked an unlucky loser on that occasion when her rider lost an iron on the run-in before going down by just half a length in a driving finish, with the short priced favourite five lengths back in third place. Tongue tied for the first time, the six-year-old is worth chancing at a double-figure price.
7.45pm Ripon. 1m 2f
The Tim Easterby-trained Myristica is on a hat-trick here following wins over today’s course and distance and at Beverley. The filly will need to defy a career-high mark of 89 however if her winning run is to continue and at the prices preference is for Roger Varian’s Claim The Clown and MATCHLESS (Nb) from the Ivan Furtado stable.
The former ran better than his odds of 200/1 would suggest when beaten a little over eight lengths in the Britannia Stakes at Royal Ascot last time. The three-year-old was running in Group races towards the end of his juvenile campaign and should be capable of winning at this level.
Dropping back to a mile and a quarter for the first time since winning a couple of handicaps at Doncaster earlier in the year, the vote goes to Matchless and jockey Lewis Edmunds. The ex Ballydoyle Galileo gelding is only 2lb higher than when making all of the running for a comfortable victory on Town Moor back in April and if allowed to take the field along on the rails from stall one, could take some pegging back.
* Odds correct at the time of writing. Subject to changes