Category Archives: Pattern Racing

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The Irish Oaks (G1)

Thundery heavy showers in Dublin last night. The step-up in trip proved the key for Iridessa. She’d won the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket last October beating Hermosa, in May in the 1000 Guineas, and again at the Curragh for the … Continue reading

July Cup (G1)

Lightening quick at Newmarket today, Raffle Prize set a new course record of 1m 9.09s in the G2 Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes over the 6F July Course, bettering the 1m 09.11 Lethal Force clocked winning this in 2013.

It could fall again tomorrow. The race brings the meeting of the three-year-old’s and their older brethren.

The older brigade sees Limato back, winner in 2016, second in 2017, he showed his well being winning the G3 Criterion Stakes over 7F here two weeks ago. Likewise Brando, second last year, third the year before, he had a confidence booster with a Hamilton win over the trip a month ago. They’ll have to defy history as no seven-year-olds have won this.

If it is to go to an older horse, the five-year-old’s Dream Of Dreams, a typical Sir Micheal Stoute improver, just failed to catch Blue Point in the G1 Diamond Jubilee, and Cape Byron, the Wokingham winner must come into the reckoning.

Of of five three-year-olds, Advertise with Frankie Dettori in the plate heads the market at 3/1, he commands the highest respect, racing against his own age group he was a convincing winner of the G1 Commonwealth Cup, (Ten Sovereigns, 2½L behind in fourth), beaten only by Too Darn Hot and Calyx as a two-year-old, he was a G1 winner in Ireland in the Pheonix Stakes from So Perfect (re-opposes here).

The other three-year-old’s, Pretty Pollyanna and Fairyland, both fillies, were pacey sorts as juveniles, Pretty Pollyanna took the Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes here last year following up in the G1 Prix Morny, Fairyland bagged the G1 Cheveley Park here in September. Both were tried at a mile, Fairyland ran fifth at Newmarket in the 1000 Guineas, sixth at the Curragh in the Irish 1000 Guineas, then dropped to 5F where she’d a good run behind Blue Point in the G1 King’s Stand Stakes. Pretty Pollyanna second at the Curragh, showed a nice turn of foot, ran seventh in the Coronation Stakes, the drop in trip will surely be to her benefit.

The three-year-olds have had the upper hand in the last five years, three wins, Muhaarar in 2015, Harry Angel in 2017 and US Navy Flag in 2018, all colt’s. The trend could continue, with a twist, one of the fillies, getting a 3 lb pull from their peers and more from the older one’s might outpace them, turning Newmarket into a Fairyland.

Recommendation: Fairyland 8/1 win

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Belmont Stars and Stripes Day

A lovely days racing in prospect at Belmont Park for the Stars and Stripes meeting, a beautiful track out on New York’s Long Island where we had a very pleasurable visit for Belmont Stakes Day. Whilst today’s card can’t boast the eight Grade 1’s of a few weeks ago it does nevertheless dish up a pair of Grade 1’s, a pair of Grade 2’s and a Grade 3, quality.

Promises Fulfilled in the ring at Belmont before the G1 Metropolitan Handicap
Promises Fulfilled leaves the ring at Belmont before the G1 Metropolitan Handicap

Belmont Stakes day saw the running of the G1 Metropolitan Handicap over a mile. It was a high-class affair won by Mitole from McKinzie and Thunder Blue. Promises Fulfilled ran fourth, drops to 7f in the G2 John A. Nerud Stakes today while Pavel sixth, steps up in distance to 1m2f in the other G2, the Suburban Stakes, both are capable of capitalising on the drop in grade.

Pavel in the ring at Belmont before the G1 Metropolitan Handicap

The Belmont Oaks Invitational over 1m2f on turf has attracted a trio of Europeans fillies and a Japanese filly to take on five American fillies.

Coral Beach on her way out to win the Killavullan Stakes at Leopardstown last October

Of the traveling pack Pascal Bary’s Olendon brings the best form, second over the distance to Siyarafina in May in the G1 Prix Saint Alary at Lonchamp. Aidan O’Brien is double-handed, Just Wonderful and Coral Beach have made the trip across the pond, neither yet have matched expectation at three, they nonetheless boast some good juvenile form. Just Wonderful took the G2 Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket while Coral Beech took the G3 Killavullan Stakes at Leopardstown.

They’ve both had three runs this year, Just Wonderful contested the Newmarket Guineas, the Irish Guineas and Coronation Stakes, all at G1 level. Coral Beech contested the French and Irish Guineas and was then dropped into handicap company for the Sandringham Stakes. Both have raced exclusively over a mile this season and it is hoped the step up in trip here will suit as it did Iridessa (behind Just Wonderful at Newmarket), who won the G1 Pretty Polly at the Curragh last weekend. In the Irish Guineas, there was just a ½L between the pair when seventh and eight behind Hermosa.

The Japanese filly Jodie put in her best performance when third in the G2 Flora Stakes in Tokyo, however she’ll have to be forgiven finishing well down the field in the Yushun Himba, the Japanese Oaks last time out.

Chad Brown’s Newspaperofrecord, the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner like the Ballydoyle pair has to overcome a disappointing start to the season, beaten twice she’s got to overturn her run with stablemate Cambier Park in the Wonder Again Stakes here in June. The unbeaten twice raced Cafe Americano also joins the fray for Chad Brown.

Concrete Rose has a 4-5 record including the G2 Jessamine at Keenland last year and Dyna Passer justified favoritism in a juvenile maiden here also.

It could be a big day for Ballydoyle with Magical taking on Enable at Sandown in the Coral-Eclipse, only ¾L separated them in the Breeders’ Cup Turf last year, Magical has race fitness on her side, having 3-4 record this term, the soft ground against her at Ascot last time, Enable the dual Arc winner makes her much-anticipated return.

Master Fencer leaving the ring for the Belmont Stakes

In the other G1, The Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes, Aidan O’Brien is represented by Cape Of Good Hope and Blenheim Palace. They’ll face a quartet of Chad Brown runners led by the unbeaten Digital Age, a G2 winner of the American Turf Stakes at Churchill Downs in May and Demarchelier, also unbeaten in three runs including here in the G3 Pennine Ridge Stakes where he had a neck over the reopposing Seismic Wave. Japan is also represented by Master Fencer, last seen in the Belmont Stakes where he was a staying on fifth to Sir Winston. A return to turf could see him go close here.

Recommendations:

G1 Coral-Eclipse: Magical 3/1 win

G1 Belmont Oaks Invitational: Coral Beach 25/1 ew

G2 John A. Nerud Stakes: Promises Fulfilled 6/4 win

G1 Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes: Master Fencer 25/1 ew

G2 Suburban Stakes: Pavel 14/1 ew

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Pretty Polly Stakes (G1)

Who’s Steph last year’s winner of the Derrinstown Stud 1,000 Guineas Trial 

A small select field for the first of two G1’s at the Curragh this weekend, the Pretty Polly serves as the starter to the main course tomorrow, the Irish Derby.

Restricted to fillies and mares it’s the first generational meeting at top-level here in Ireland this season. The three-year-old Pink Dogwood will start favourite at 11/10, she steps back in trip to 10F after her second in the Oaks at Epsom. She travelled strongly in the straight looking like a winner, she was collared close home going down a neck to Anapurna.

She’s accompanied by her stablemates, the older Magic Wand, a 10/1 shot and Happen, another three-year-old priced at 33/1, both ran at Royal Ascot last week. Magic Wand was dropped to Listed class in the Wolverton Stakes, she finished second going down 2½ L to Addeybb. She was last year’s Ribblesdale winner over Wild Illusion. Happen ran in the Coronation Stakes, she found the pace too sharp, well beaten in sixth, prior to that she took the Ashasi Stakes here having run second to Lady Kaya in the Guineas Trial at Leopardstown in April.

Godolphin’s Wild Illusion, second favourite at 5/2 went on from last year’s Ribblesdale defeat to greater things. She took the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood and then the Prix de l’Opera at Longchamp on Arc day, overturning the defeat with Magic Wand in the process. She found only Sistercharlie too good in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at the end of last season. Sixth on her return in the Prix d’Ispahan, she needed the run fading only in the last furlong.

Worth Waiting, 9/1 is an intriguing runner. David Lanigan’s mare is a five-time winner from eight starts and comes into the mix having taken the G2 Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket first time out this year, she was also an easy G3 winner at Deauville last year.

Iridessa 14/1, found the mile too sharp as a three-year-old in both Irish and English Guineas having been a winner over the distance as a two-year-old in the Fillies’ Mile where she beat the dual Guineas winner Hermosa. Joseph O’Brien will be hoping the step up in trip will play to her strengths.

Ger Lyons skipped Royal Ascot with Who’s Steph 66/1, instead sending her to Cork the week before where she was a very comfortable winner of the Munster Oaks, her third win at G3 level. She was also a G2 second in the Blandford Stakes last September beaten ¾ L by Eziyra. This will be her third Curragh run.

It’s a short turnaround since Ascot, only a week, and while Aidan O’Brien has proved with Circus Maximus short turnarounds can be overcome, it’s still a lot to ask for both Magic Wand and Happen. Pink Dogwood might just feel the effects of a hard run race in the Oaks while the best filly in the race Wild Illusion really came into her own in the autumn last year.

This opens the possibility for a surprise, the improving Worth Waiting is worthy of consideration, off since May, she might just need the race however Who’s Steph, disregarded by the market, has had a nice break since Cork and is capable of belying her price.

Recommendation: Who’s Steph 66/1 e/w

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