Four To Follow: Northern Territory

This week is the come-down from Epsom, and the build-up starts for Royal Ascot. But there is still racing to be run, and this Saturday the action comes from up North. The John of Gaunt is the feature at Haydock, whilst at Beverley it’s early two-year-old action on Hilary Needler Day. Here is Saturday’s Four To Follow.

The Forza Is Strong

Haydock: 2:25 – Better Betting With Sky Bet Handicap – Forza Orta @ 15/2 (Boylesports, Betfred, BetVictor, BetUK)

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Kevin Ryan hasn’t had a winner since the Dante Festival, which is odd for trainer like him. He’s normally a shrewd operator, but maybe the handicapper has just got the better of him of late. But Forza Orta represents a great chance for the Hambleton trainer. The firm ground won’t be problem for Forza Orta, with one win and two seconds on the going. Plus he’s on a respectable mark, one pound higher than his last winning mark. It was also the same rating when he was eighth in last year’s race, but the ground wasn’t rattling that day. It will be today so be prepared to watch him fly.

Keep an eye out for Live Your Dream, representing Godolphin and Saeed bin Suroor. He’s been off the track for 609 days, last seen finishing towards the rear in the 2021 Cesarewitch. Firm ground is his preferred ground and his mark of 100 doesn’t put him at the top of the weights. Each-way swing at 12/1 (10Bet, BetVictor)

The Stars Could Align

Haydock: 3:35 – John Of Gaunt Stakes (Group Three) – The Astrologist @ 11/4 (William Hill)

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Everyone’s eyes lit up when they saw an Aussie sprinter turn up at the Dante Festival. But The Astrologist didn’t ruffle any feathers finishing in the middle of the pack. On his form, he came name near to scalping a Group One sprint in Dubai, but in reality, he’s a Group Three level sprinter. And this being a Group Three, you feel that this is his level. Firm ground will help him, and the seven furlong trip won’t be a problem either, with his last win coming over seven down under. Ryan Moore has been riding out of his skin lately and gets the leg up again on the foreign raider.

Bermuda In Bloom

Beverley: 2:05 – Hilary Needler Fillies’ Stakes – Flora Of Bermuda @ 5/1 (BetVictor, William Hill)

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There is one rule about Beverley for anyone wanting to put a bet on. If your horse is drawn high, you can forget it. Near side horses power up the hill to win a flurry of races. But three horses bucked the trend when winning from high-drawn stalls. The other thing is that these two-year-old winners are all by sprinters. They are all bred to be sprinters, not to be classic winners. Which brings me to Flora of Bermuda; by Dark Angel (Sprint-bred); Drawn in stall two (Low Draw) and has an in-form jockey in Oisin Murphy teaming up with Andrew Balding. It’s a slight negative that Balding trains him, as the last nine winners have all been trained up North. But, clearly, Balding thinks highly of this horse to bring her to the Westwood, and she’s been dealt a decent hand.

From Bombay to Beverley

Beverley: 3:15 – bet365 Two Year Old Trophy – Bombay Bazaar @ 100/30 (10Bet, Boylesports, BetVictor, William Hill)

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If we apply the small checklist for Beverley sprint winners to Bombay Bazaar he is by a sprinter, Kodiac, he is drawn low, in stall three, and he is trained up North by Richard Fahey. To make him even more appealing, he’s a C&D winner. Breaking well out of stall eight, he sat in behind the leaders, waited for a gap, got the gap and couldn’t be caught. He certainly came on from his debut at Thirsk. Stable jockey Oisin Orr gets the leg up instead of Jack Garrity, but Orr will know him well from home and should deliver another good win for the Fahey team.

The very best of luck!


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