Last weekend saw our man Nick Luck bag the Irish Derby for the BetBright Blog readers with Capri. Here he is again ahead of Saturday’s headline racing…
Group 1 Coral-Eclipse 3.35pm
I’d be happy to row in with Barney Roy here.
Very simply he’s the horse with the most talent in the race and for such a contest I’d rather choose the horse with the most ability, even though there may be a slight worry about the extra distance. The way he finished it out in the St. James’ Palace was exceptional, producing a fantastic turn of foot and coming home strongly, so on what we’ve seen so far he has enough tactical adaptability to sit wherever his jockey wants him to.
If there’s one horse I’m frightened of, it’s Ulysses, who didn’t get best trip at Ascot and probably challenged Highland Reel too early.
2.25pm – Challenge Handicap
Greenside would be a worthy favourite here. He’s a lightly raced horse who was quite impressive last time and has nice form at Sandown. It’s the first time Henry Candy has had a nice clear run with him even though he’s 6. I wouldn’t put anyone off backing him, but I always like to look for a slightly bigger price in a race of this nature.
El Hayem for Sir Michael Stoute might be one of those horses who will forever frustrate you, but then he might have a lot more to come, so I’d be more inclined to be forgiving with him at this stage.
He got lost in the swamp at Newbury last time in a strange race where very few got into it and prior to that he should have won at Chester on ground much more suited to him. I think he’s capable of going close in a handicap off this mark and with Ryan Moore taking over the saddle, I’d say he has a very good chance at a fair price.
Lancashire Oaks 2.40pm
The filly that is making the market here is the beautifully bred Abington, who is related to Islington, one of my favourite fillies of the last 20 years. If she’s anywhere near as good as her, clearly, she’ll win a race like this standing on her head.
I quite like Hertford Dancer though and because she had an overexposed profile going into the Lingfield Oaks trial I don’t think she’s getting the respect she probably deserves.
She set sail for home too soon in the Ribblesdale Stakes and with a bit more restraint could have finished significantly closer. That for me, represents pretty strong form coming into this and if Harry Bentley bides his time, Hertford Dancer has a pretty good chance of bossing the race.
Old Newton Cup 3.15pm
There are a couple of horses to keep on side in this race. The first is Big Country, who is well suited by the track, but my worry is whether the ground will get slightly lively for him.
He’s a heavy topped horse who hits the ground quite hard though I do think he’s got a big race in him at some point.
The horse I’m going to go for in this race, at bigger each way prices, is Carntop. He was considered a classic prospect early last season, but the wheels completely fell off after Royal Ascot and there didn’t seem to be much of a recovery at the start of this season either. However it was much more like it at Epsom last time, where he was almost ridden as if he needed his confidence back – unfortunately, he only got into the race when it was all over.
This track will suit him much better, he’s got form on a fast surface and now connections can probably ride him with a bit more belief and he does appear reasonably well handicapped. I think he could be an interesting each way bet.
Four for Saturday…
Sandown 2.25 – El Hayem
Sandown 3.35 – Barney Roy
Haydock 2.40 – Hertford Dancer
Haydock 3.15 – Carntop E/W
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.