What a Saturday for Four To Follow.
Three winners, at big prices, it couldn’t have gone much better. It sets up a fantastic week for both Glorious Goodwood and the Galway Festival, a midsummer’s treat.
Here are four to look out for from both sides of the Irish Sea.
Hot Hot Hot
3:25 – Vintage Stakes (Group Two) – Iberian @ 9/2 (William Hill, BetVictor)
The Vintage Stakes is always throwing up some useful two-year-olds.
Highland Reel, Expert Eye and Pinatubo have all won this race in recent years. But the best thing is not one outfit has dominated the race, which makes the betting heat wide open.
I’ve chosen Iberian because I liked what I saw when he won on debut, travelling smartly to the two pole when everyone around him was being hurried, and looked very professional.
Charlie Hills isn’t going well at the moment, but he seems to have a knack with his two-year-olds, who have delivered a £27.50 profit to a £1 stake. The horse itself is out of Lope De Vega, so shouldn’t have a problem getting the seven furlong trip.
Keen On Ross
4:00 – Lennox Stakes (Group Two) – Kinross @ 5/4 (General)
I love Kinross. I loved him at the back-end of last season when he won three seven-furlong races on the spin. It is his true trip.
He won the Lennox two years ago, fending off Creative Force by a neck, on soft ground. He then got chinned himself when losing to Sandrine last year on good ground.
With the ground expected to be soft, and Frankie on board, I’m expecting another big performance from Kinross, and maybe we might see a repeat of last year’s feat.
Don’t Rane On His Parade
4:35 – Goodwood Cup (Group One) – Coltrane @ 10/3 (Unibet)
Courage Mon Amis was extremely impressive at Royal Ascot. Extremely impressive.
He’s unbeaten and is ridden and trained by that familiar partnership of Dettori and Gosden. He’s also won at Goodwood this season in preparation for the Gold Cup.
Why am I against him? Purely on experience and ground. He’s 4/4 and, like the Gold Cup, he’s up against some experienced rivals.
Coltrane is his nearest challenger and just couldn’t produce over the 2m 4F trip last time out. This time it’s a fairer two-mile trip and Coltrane loves a bit of juice. It’s hard to know what the favourite likes as his two wins on turf have come on good-to-firm ground. Coltrane represents far better value, and can finally show off his Group One potential.
To follow him in, I’m expecting Giavelloto to be up there. Marco Botti deliberately avoided the Gold Cup and has decided to come here. He’s versatile with the ground, so that’s not a problem and Andrea Atzeni is no jockey to be sniffed at, given his two wins on Stardivarius here.
He won the Yorkshire Cup, which is always a good early season test, and that little loinger lay-off will have him in good nick for the contest. 14/1 (William Hill) is a perfect price.
A Nice Cup For Joe
6:40 – COLM QUINN BMW Mile (Premier H’cap) – Joe Masseria @ 9/1 (William Hill)
The first big highlight of the Galway Festival is the mile handicap, which is 1m 123yds.
Last year’s winner, Soaring Monarch is rightly at the top of the betting for being set up for this race again, but I’ve decided to go down a more active route.
Joe Masseria is a soft ground specialist and a Galway C&D winner. He finished third on yielding ground, but that was after a break of the track since the early spring. It was a good set up for this race which looks tailor-made for him. Colin Keane is back on board, and he has a 2/3 record aboard him so looks set for another big performance.
Gavin Cromwell has a runner in the race that looks as though he has been targeted since the end of the jumps season. Mister Wilson is a C&D winner and also loves the soft ground. A mark of 83 shouldn’t trouble him at all, after narrowly losing to twice winner of the Mile handicap Saltonstall, at Tipperary. He looks a big price at 16/1 (William Hill, BetVictor, Betfred, 10Bet)
And it wouldn’t be an Irish premier handicap without a battalion of Adrian McGuinness’ taking up nearly half the field.
Celtic Crown catches the eye with claimer James Ryan aboard, who has a 12% strike rate which isn’t bad for a jockey with a seven-pound allowance. That takes his mark down to 84, which is a big winning mark for after he won the Emerald Mile at the Curragh in 2022 off the same mark.
Conditions might suit, although if the ground stays heavy on the West Coast of Ireland, be wary. Small stakes at 22/1 (William Hill)
The very best of luck!