It’s a busy weekend across both sides of the Irish Sea. Over at the Curragh, it’s the first of their classics with the 2000 Guineas taking place on Saturday, featuring some British raiders. Whilst back in Blighty, Haydock takes centre stage with two Group sprints, with York and Goodwood supporting. There are loads of races to choose from, here are four of the Best Bets on Saturday.
2:25 Haydock – Betfred Silver Bowl (Heritage Handicap) – Defence Of Fort @ 7/1 (BetVictor, Boylesports)
I’m not a fan of three-year-old handicaps at this stage of the season, because many of them haven’t raced already, and are yet to discover their true handicap mark. That being said, Defence Of Fort has some things going for him. For one, the ground will be perfect for him, as his only win in three starts came on firm ground. The form from the Solario managed to work itself out, with the winner going to the Guineas – but not performing well – and the second winning next time out. Peter Chapple-Hyam doesn’t have the biggest of stables, but that doesn’t mean to say they’re not quality racehorses. Jason Watson managed to end a bad run by picking up a winner this week, so things are string to work out, and 7/1 isn’t a bad shout of a price.
3:30 Haydock – Betfred Temple Stakes (Group Two) – Dramatised @ 5/1 (General)
The key form that Dramatised has is the last year’s Lowther. Mawj has gone on to win the Guineas, which boosts the form of the race massively. Matilde Picotte has also added to the form, after being placed twice this year too. Six furlongs that day looked a bit too step, and five should be her trip from now on. She gets both the three-year-old and mares’ allowance, with no penalty. William Buick is the eye-catching jockey booking as well. The Platinum Queen had a great campaign for the Richard Fahey team last year, but I’ve reservations about her being moved the Roger Varian stable.
3:15 York – William Hill Bronte Cup (Group Three) – Moon Daisy @ 16/1 (William Hill)
Mimikyu seems the most likely winner of the race. She’s the best rated horse in the race. But she’s lightly raced and after a break of 50+ days, she never seems to do well on reappearance. Moon Daisy has had two runs this year, and beat Emily Dickinson last time out when finishing fourth in a group three in Ireland. Her last win came on firm ground, which should be the ground run on at York, and the opposition – bar Mimikyu – don’t seems to look group three level on paper. Also, Donnacha O’Brien won’t be sending over Moon Daisy just to get a run out of her. It’s a winnable race, even at inflated odds.
3:40 Curragh – Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas (GROUP ONE) – Proud And Regal @ 5/1 (William Hill, Boylesports)
Royal Scotsman ran brilliantly in the 2000 Guineas a few weeks ago. There’s no doubt about that. What did surprise me is that he’s coming here, instead of being layed off for the St James’s Palace at the Royal meeting. That being said, he is the one to beat. Hi Royal ran a big race, but is 115 his true mark? He’s the likely pace setter, but can he do what he did at Newmarket again? I’m not sure.
For the Irish 2000 Guineas, the winner comes, primarily, from two different races. Either the English 2000 Guineas, or Derrinstown Derby Trial at Leopardstown. Proud And Regal, went the Derby trial route. It was clear that he ran well, but the ground was not for him. Today, it will be. He has form behind Al Riffa, who would have scored them here, had he not been scratched, and he likes the Curragh. He hasn’t finished outside the top three on all starts, and comes from a decent family who can get further.
Galeron is one I’d consider at an each-way price, after coming here and winning the Goffs Million last September. 14/1 (BetVictor, William Hill) are good odds, considering he ran fourth in the English 2000 at 150/1.
If you begged me for a tricast, it would be; Proud And Regal; Royal Scotsman; Galeron.
The very best of luck, on a busy Saturday.