Another topsy turvy day for selections as all six suffered majorly different fortunes throughout the day. Having gone close with Mother Earth and China Princess, it was left to The Big Lense to bring home the bacon in the Midlands National at 20/1. He was a late drifter, which is usually not a good sign, but on this evidence it just boosted the coffers for those that backed him. I was delighted to supply WhichBookie with a big price winner, and hopefully it will be the first of many.
Like we have done the last two days, we will be starting off by looking through the Newmarket action today. The July Cup Stakes is the feature race on the card, and I will be looking through that race in the next paragraph. However, I will be looking at the Bunbury Cup first – which is the 3.50 on the Newmarket card. This heritage handicap is as tough as you could expect for races of this nature. This time out I am quite interested in Boardman, who has been in fine form this summer so far for Tim Easterby. The way this horse won at Chester two starts ago was in the style of a horse who had finished with his winning just yet. Despite an average effort at Royal Ascot, there were clear excuses for that run and he should be given a second chance in this. At a price of 16/1 with Paddy Power with a generous 6 places being offered, I’ll be backing him each way.
I am probably a little bit too sentimental when it comes to betting, but I love backing horses to try and win again having backed them last time out. This brings us to the July Cup (4.25), where I’m hoping for the Cinderella story to be complete with a win for Rohaan, who delivered in such spectacular form at Royal Ascot. This represents a completely different type of race this time out, with this progressive type having never taken on Group 1 company before. However, he has some of the best form coming into this contest. At a backable price of 9/1 with Paddy Power with 5 places available, I’ll take that chance.
Moving onto York now for one selection, from their action packed John Smith’s Cup day card. The featured John Smith’s Cup looks awfully tricky and a race that I haven’t been able to get to the bottom of. Instead, I have decided to plump for the Listed Sprint at 4.40, where we see Winter Power reappear, after slightly disappointing in the King’s Stand Stakes. That was an ambitious race to be pitched into, and she probably was not able to sustain a blistering early speed which ultimately accounted for herself and for Battaash. This is a completely different calibre of opposition that she faces today, and I am hoping that this ease in grade can get this exciting filly back to winning ways. Getting weight from the majority, a price of 9/4 with Bet365 seems generous.
It is finally time to get back to the bread and butter and to tackle this Limerick card, which looks typically tricky and a puzzle that I love trying to work out. Starting off in the 2.30, a Beginners Chase over the middle distance of 2m4f. I was obsessed with Druid’s Altar last season, where I had dreams of ante-post dockets being collected for the Fred Winter Handicap for a long time. That didn’t come to pass and he has now gone down the chasing route at an early age. He put in a very good start over fences last time out, when finishing an honest second at Clonmel, and he should be better for that experience. At a general price of 11/4, I will be backing him to get off the mark over fences today.
Moving onto the 4.15 at Limerick, we are back to sticking to what I know, and backing the most in-form trainer of the season so far in Ireland. That man is Paul Nolan, who has two in here for Jim Coffey. Both would have to have chances, but Our Friend looks up against it to try and get into the race despite winning last time out. Therefore preference has to be with the progressive Mister Bells, who has had a lucrative summer so far. His last two starts have been superb, when winning over this C&D two starts back before finishing a game second at Kilbeggan last time out. He probably didn’t see that trip out, so the return to this trip should be perfect. At a price of 10/1, with SkyBet offering 5 places, I’ll be backing Each Way.
Last but not least is the 5.25 at Limerick, which is another handicap chase over the inbetween trip of 2m6f. This is the second division of this contest, and I’ll be siding with Cash Me Outside, who has shown some very solid form so far this summer. The key to this mare is decent ground, and she ran superbly on her first start of the summer when just being edged out over this C&D. She then went onto Wexford, where seemingly not quite getting home over 3m1f. She is now back down to a trip that she prefers and is on a track that we know she can produce at. At 9/1 with 5 places again provided by Sky Bet, I’ll be having a play.