While much of this weekend’s high-class Flat racing action takes place across the Irish Sea, due to Derby day at the Curragh, there are a couple of smart sprints set for the box this weekend, plus one or two headscratching handicaps.
Having cast a keen eye over the cards, we’ve indentified three high-value wagers to get you through Saturday on Channel 4.
Short-priced runners have a great record in this 6f Group 3 over the past three years, with two favourites/co-favourites taking the laurels and this year’s jolly Danzeno winning at 9/4 12 months ago.
Michael Appleby’s four-year-old finished 1¾l clear of 2/1 market leader Saayerr that day, whose jockey Graham Lee was on a three-timer in this race, having booted home well-fancied pair Jack Dexter and Maarek in 2012 and 2013.
The Galway native has to be respected in this renewal, and Lee’s mount That Is The Spirit has some decent form in his back catalogue, including three wins from his first three races between May and June last year.
After five reverses on the spin since, That Is The Spirit got back to winning ways at Haydock at the start of last month, before finding a few too good at the same track three weeks later. With Lee on board for the first time, he looks a cracking each-way punt.
Richard Hannon senior landed this 7f Group 3 in each of his last three years as a trainer, but his son’s runner Emell ranks as something of a no-hoper in this race, with Kieran O’Neill on board as Richard Hughes goes on Mick Channon’s inconsistent four-year-old Lincoln.
Outback Traveller was a long way behind Lincoln when 17th of 26 runners last time out at Ascot in early May, but Jeremy Noseda’s charge looks set to go off at a shorter price than Channon’s runner now he’s back on ground that suits.
Conditions were clearly too quick for Outback Traveller, who won on good ground and was beaten a head on Kempton’s All-Weather prior to his Ascot failure. Expect better from him here.
When Willie Mullins goes to the trouble of sending a single runner to an English meeting during the Flat season, it’s best to sit up and take notice.
Furthermore, this race has been won by National Hunt trainers such as Jonjo O’Neill, Tony Martin and Donald McCain in four of the past seven years.
Mullins gained a measure of success at Royal Ascot, winning the Ascot Stakes Handicap with Clondaw Warrior and claiming respectable fourth-place finishes in the Gold Cup and Queen Alexandra Stakes with Simenon and Wicklow Brave.
Sticking by the County Carlow handler looks the way to play in the north east.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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