This week, the eyes of the sporting nation is on Edgbaston as The Ashes gets underway, read our preview here, which puts the racing towards the back of our minds. It’s a quiet week, but there’s action from York and Sandown to get stuck into, including a big sprint handicap. Here’s four to follow this weekend.
Better Be Quick
York – 3:05 – Race To The Ebor Grand Cup (Listed) – QUICKTHORN @ 7/4 (BetVictor, William Hill, BetUK)
The ground at York won’t be similar to the Ashes wicket this weekend. Hard and fast, dust will be flying. And one that could scorch the turf is Quickthorn, who’s name suggests is pretty fast. His Yorkshire Cup win, which was his last, was just under three and a half minutes, which was considered fast by the clock. He also looks to be the horse that is most suited to firm ground, despite never winning on the surface. Jason Hart picks up the ride in decent form, and last rode him when desperately losing the 2021 Ebor to Sonnyboyliston. It’s not a great renewal of the race, and the field shouldn’t be able to keep up.
Caught Paddy, Bowled Ryan
York – 3:40 – Macmillan Sprint Heritage Handicap – Catch The Paddy @ 10/1 (10Bet)
Once again, the firm ground will play a key factor in this sprint. High draws should favour, but don’t forget the low numbers too, they’ve dominated the last few years. But the pace looks to come from the high draws, and Catch The Paddy will be up for it. Firm ground is his friend, after winning last season over C&D in a 2-Y-O handicap. The form from the Gimcrack has worked a treat, and almost paid off at the Dante meeting. He’s been risen a lenient 2lbs, and might be hard to stop on the rattling ground at York. Kevin Ryan could discover his form he left behind at York last May.
There are also two Tim Easterby runners, who just adores having winners in Yorkshire, and had a purple patch in this race between 2013 and 2017, winning three out of five. He runs Spirit Of Applause, who’s form shows that firm ground is perfect for him. Despite being at his highest mark, he has been dealt a good card in the weights. He’s drawn on the inside in stall six, which won’t be a problem, and can keep the Yorkshire winners coming for the Easterby team. The Great Habton trainer has had seven of his last nine winners in God’s Own County. 12/1 is a general price.
Buccabay also looks an interesting each-way shout. Harry Davies is a great claiming jockey, having a Saturday winner last week at Haydock. Eve Johnson-Houghton is in good form too. A great partnership like that can produce a winner, and Buccabay looks to be on the improve. Fourth at Windsor shook a few more cobwebs off, and can pick up a place at 20/1 (General).
Buick And Boughey To Scurry Away
Sandown – 2:50 – Scurry Stakes (Listed) – Perdika @ 3/1 (General)
I’ve been following this horse for a while, and she came into her own when winning at Chantilly last time out. The ground described was ‘good’, but as is with French going readings they are always wrong. Good means good-to-firm in our reading. Which might explain why she’s always not got close enough to the winner. Firm ground is unexplored territory in this country, but it looks like her friend, along with the allowances she receives. A high draw is not bad on the sprint track at Sandown, particularly on firm ground.
Watch out for Katey Kontent who loves the firm ground, after winning her first two races on it as a juvenile. She’s a quick horse, and could set a blistering time if she’s on song. Might be worth to have theses two in a reverse forecast too. But she’s overpriced at 18/1 (BetVictor).
My Oaks pick Running Lion didn’t fancy running in the English Oaks, which caused Oisin Murphy to give us his best John McEnroe impression. But David Howden revealed before the Epsom Classic that this was the preferred target. She has plenty of talent, there’s no doubt, and can run on the ground if the French haven’t deceived us with the going report again. Blue Rose Cen is her main rival after her success in the French 1000 Guineas, and may look for bigger things for the Head team. Novakai would also be good each-way money, after Soul Sister pumped up the Musidora form. Novakai, for Karl Burke, is 25/1 (BetUK)
The very best of luck!