After the feast of action we have had over the last few weeks, it is a fairly subdued weekend on the Racing front, with Haydock and Ascot the go-to meetings. Racing at the Curragh on Saturday provides the best quality fayre, with the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes on the cards.
I have a couple of fancies at Haydock, beginning with MR MCANN (2.25). At Royal Ascot in the Britannia Stakes, the Hugo Palmer trained three-year-old never really got into it, when ultimately well beaten on ground that was probably too quick for him anyhow. Underfoot conditions should be much more to his liking here, as he drops into much calmer waters. He won on his only previous visit to Haydock and has eased to a mark of 99. Tom Marquand has been booked for the ride and has to be taken seriously.
Later on the card, I like the claims of hattrick seeking WHITEBEAM (4.40). The Roger Charlton trained filly makes her handicap debut off a mark of 91 and should benefit from coming back to 7f. She is open to any amount of improvement for an in-form stable. David Probert takes the ride and should put up a bold bid here to make it three wins on the bounce.
Ascot hosts Shergar Cup day, and although the event itself doesn’t really float my boat, I think we could have the potential for an upset in the Stayers’ Handicap at 2.45. THEMAXWECAN is the 40/1 outsider of the field as recent form doesn’t inspire, but if the six-year-old can put his best foot forward he is not out of this. His last win came off a BHA rating of 96, and arrives into this assignment off 92. Jamie Spencer rides Ascot well, and he gets the leg up on the Mark Johnston representative who won on his only previous start over course and distance. If Themaxwecan got involved at a big price, it wouldn’t be a big shock.
I am looking forward to the action in Ireland, but I think the Phoenix Stakes is too close to call so will be a watching brief.
Enjoy your weekend!
Mr McCann, 2.25 Haydock, 1pt win 6/1 (Bet365)
Whitebeam, 4.40 Haydock, 1pt win 13/8 (Hills)
Themaxwecan, 2.45 Ascot, 0.5pts e/w 40/1 (generally)