It’s Irish Guineas weekend and I’m looking forward to the next few days, not just for the action at the Curragh, but some great races from Haydock and York have perked my interest.
But first, let’s take a look back at last week’s The Top Three article.
Hands up, I got My Prospero wrong. The return to a mile wasn’t his gig, unfortunately, and the way he stayed on to the line having looked a lost cause at the two-furlong pole suggested to me that he will be tough to beat in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.
My Prospero was fourth in the Lockinge. Trainer William Haggas hinted beforehand that he felt he was a 10-furlong horse. He ran like that trip would be ideal, too. A sterling effort and a major player in the Prince of Wales's Stakes! pic.twitter.com/nihtgN8vC8
— Simon Milham (@simonmilham) May 20, 2023
And as for Loyal Touch, my sole representative in the London Gold Cup after Silver Sword was declared a non-runner, he finished just three lengths off the winner, who looks like a very good horse, in ninth; we didn’t get paid out on the day, but I’ll be keen to keep with him on his next start.
The two losses put us at a small loss heading into week three on the P&L, but it is early stages and we are down 0.375 to a one-pound level stake.
Anyway, let’s dive into Irish Guineas weekend with four horses to shout about.
3:15 Haydock (today) – GET AHEAD at 15/8 with BetUK – 3pt win
Kicking off Irish Guineas weekend, I’m with a horse who I have mentioned for Bestofbets.com before and I’m retaining the faith, as well as slightly cheating by putting up a horse for Friday rather than Saturday, but she is my best bet of the weekend so it’s only right to be on this list.
GET AHEAD was the NAP for me at Newmarket in the Palace House Stakes and having been put up at double-figure odds before shortening to 7/1, the four-year-old went off at 10/1 due to the late rain that dampened her chances.
Still, only being beaten four lengths by Vadream is not a bad result.
Vadream is a force to be reckoned with on softer ground and shows real dash to land the Group 3 Howden Palace House Stakes for @KShoemark and @FellowesRacing at @NewmarketRace pic.twitter.com/YdGohPmqK1
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) May 6, 2023
Fast forward to today and she is set to make a step up in trip to six furlongs and run on the good to firm ground of Haydock, something that is music to my ears.
I won’t go over her case again in the same detail as I did before, though you can click here to read the explanation from last time out, but it looks like conditions seem to be in her favour today and that step up in trip should suit well on pedigree (she is a half-sister to the Guineas winner Chaldean).
She has also shaped like a horse who wouldn’t mind the test of six furlongs son at 7/4, Get Ahead is the best bet of the weekend for me.
2:40 York (Saturday) – ZARZYNI at 14/1 with BetVictor – 0.5pt EW
If Get Ahead makes us proud today, this could have a link to the chances of ZARZYNI in the valuable five-furlong handicap at York tomorrow as Silky Wilkie, the four-year who was ahead of Get Ahead at Newmarket, beat Zarzyni on his last start. That is collateral form, admittedly, but it still counts for something.
Silky Wilkie trounces the field to win the tote World Pool Scottish Sprint Cup Handicap!#ITVRacing | @MusselburghRace |@karl_burke | @CliffordleexLee pic.twitter.com/XukWcB5i8f
— ITV Racing (@itvracing) April 8, 2023
Unfortunately for myself, and others who have had enough of me talking about horse racing, this David & Nicola Barron-trained six-year-old is a cliff horse of mine, however, I think today could be the day to catch him.
Examining his last run on good to soft, a going description he maybe isn’t the most effective on, he had a horrid run through from the rear of the field and once it opened up, Silky Wilkie was too far gone and Ben Curtis was able to guide him home to finish a staying-on fifth.
The handicapper kindly dropped him one pound for the run and he rocks up to York on Saturday with an official rating of 96, three pounds below his last winning mark.
🏇 Zarzyni strikes late to secure the Betway Holyrood Handicap in thrilling style for Ben Curtis and David & Nicola Barron 👏@betway @njbarron pic.twitter.com/drkiQoz5Tx
— Musselburgh Racecourse (@MusselburghRace) April 16, 2022
Therefore, with a run under his belt and race fitness hopefully at 100%, the 14/1 for Zarzyni is attractive and is worth the each-way bet at York.
3:00 Haydock (Saturday) – Little Big Bear at 7/4 with BetVictor – 2pt win
Little Big Bear is the joint-shortest-priced horse I will be backing this weekend and again, he is another whom I have mentioned in a Bestofbets.com article, however, that time it was for the Guineas and tomorrow, he returns to a former-winning distance of six furlongs.
The run at Newmarket was too bad to be true; he was keen from the start, had to deal with soft ground (which is still a small unknown), was trying a mile for the first time, and he was struck into, something that resulted in him being lame after the race. Pick and choose which excuse you want to use for the Guineas because he does have them, and they are real excuses.
2000 Guineas fallout: Aidan O’Brien has confirmed to me that Little Big Bear was lame post-race after being struck into in the early stages. He will be assessed in the coming days before future plans are made.
Contrary to some reports, Auguste Rodin DID NOT burst blood vessels.… pic.twitter.com/tdSJ3xrHy1
— Kevin Blake (@kevinblake2011) May 6, 2023
I’ve seen a few people wonder if the son of No Nay Never has trained on from his superstar two-year-old season, and I see no reason to suggest why he wouldn’t have.
His dam, Adventure Seeker, only raced as a three-year-old, as did his half-brother American Graffiti, and she won a Listed event in France on her penultimate start.
Of course, his sire was unbeaten as a juvenile before losing on his first start at three, but he still won the Group 3 Woodford in Keeneland before finishing second in a Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, a run that was his career-best performance on RPRs.
Relive No Nay Never's 2013 Norfolk Stakes win for Wesley Ward! He finished 2nd in the #BreedersCup Turf Sprint the following year. #WaybackWednesday
What #FutureStar will win tomorrow's Norfolk Stakes & a spot in the Juvenile Turf? #WinandYoureIN
📽️ @coolmorestud pic.twitter.com/fkO7xi4NFR
— Breeders' Cup (@BreedersCup) June 19, 2019
Aidan O’Brien’s European champion two-year-old has already beaten Bradsell, who reappears tomorrow in the Sandy Lane, and there aren’t many others in the contest that would worry me, so I’m hoping that ‘The Bear’ can put in a performance to savour at Haydock tomorrow for the Irish on their Guineas weekend.
3:30 Haydock (Saturday) – Dramatised at 9/2 with BetVictor – 2pt win
Remember when we all thought Dramatised was a world-beater after her Royal Ascot win in the Queen Mary?
Although the form may not be the strongest now, the head-to-head record between Dramatised and The Platinum Queen reads 2-0 in favour of the Karl Burke runner having also beaten tomorrow’s favourite in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint.
Seriously impressive filly! Dramatised sparkles in the Queen Mary for @karl_burke and gives Danny Tudhope his third #RoyalAscot winner of the week! pic.twitter.com/QU0w7gFX1E
— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) June 15, 2022
Both times, The Platinum Queen was running off the same weight as the Showcasing filly and both times she was well beaten, so with the now Roger Varian-trained three-year-old set to give five pounds away, I think there is plenty of reason to take her on with Dramatised and hope that the scoreline lengthens by the time Saturday is finished.
Of course, there are 12 other runners for Dramatised to try and beat, but similarly, they are having to give weight away to a horse that is officially the joint-third highest-rated horse in the contest and I think the angle that she is coming into the race fresh and on the quick ground should suit very well.
What a start to #BC22 for team @godolphin! Mischief Magic lands the Juvenile Turf Sprint for Charlie Appleby and William Buick at @keenelandracing! @BreedersCup pic.twitter.com/03J3A3eeN3
— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) November 4, 2022
If you can get 5/1 anywhere, the each-way play doesn’t look too bad at all, but I will be siding with the 9/2 available with Betvictor for Dramatised in the Group 2 Temple Stakes as a win bet.
P&L: -0.375 (after two weeks)