May 14 2016 @ 10:10
Hi, it’s been a cracking week up at York for their Dante Festival – plenty for Classic clues on offer and a few new names have burst onto the scene. It’s been a top week for the pocket Italian as Frankie Dettori fired in winner-after-winner.
He teamed-up again with his old pal, John Gosden to land the Musidora in eye-catching fashion on the classy So Mi Dar – next stop the Epsom Oaks, where she’s now into a Best Price 5/2 with sponsors Betway, but still second favourite behind the 1,000 Guineas winner – Minding (11/10).
The Derby picture also got a shake-up this week as the well-touted Midterm could only manage fifth in the Dante Stakes – a race that has been a great trial in recent years and, don’t forget, threw-up last year’s Derby Winner – Golden Horn. It was another Dettori/Gosden horse that did the business here as Wings Of Desire announced his name to the Epsom Derby picture – winning by a neck from Aidan O’Brien’s Deauville. That win saw him shoot straight to the head of the Derby market at 9/2 with Betway, with last week’s Chester winner, US Army Ranger, still just ahead of him at 7/2. Midterm is now out to 16/1, while the Dante runner-up, Deauville is 10/1.
So – a fascinating week that’s certainly given punters a few Classic clues, plus a few Classic headaches – it all looks set to be a cracking match-up between the powerful Aidan O’Brien and John Gosden yards………………in BOTH races…….Roll On June!!!
Right – onto this weekend’s action…
It’s Lockinge Weekend at Newbury
3.55 – Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes (British Champions Series) (Group 1) Cl1 1m CH4
13/13 – Won over a mile before
12/13 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
11/13 – Returned 4/1 or shorter in the betting
10/13 – Had won a Group One race before
10/13 – Had won at least 4 times before
10/13 – Having their first run of the season
9/13 – Aged 4 years-old
9/13 – Winning favourites
7/13 – Unplaced last time out
3/13 – Won by a mare
3/13 – Ran at Newmarket last time out
3/13 – Won by a Cheveley Park stud-owned horse (won it 5 times in all)
4/13 – Won by the Hannon yard
2/13 – Won by Sir Michael Stoute (Has won the race 7 times in all)
2/13 – Ridden by Kieren Fallon
0/13 – No winners from stall 1 or 2
The average winning SP in the last 10 runnings is 3/1
No winner aged 7 or older since 1958
VERDICT: The Richard Hannon stable have a cracking record in this race – having won it four times in the last six runnings and they look to have another big chance, this time with TOORMORE.
This 5 year-old is the highest-rated runner in the line-up (119) and heads here in decent order after a win at Sandown on his first run back in the Group Two Bet365 Mile. We can expect the horse to have come on for that outing – being it was his first since last term, while he was only beaten ¼ of a length in this race 12 months ago.
Of the rest, Kodi Bear was a real improver last season and wasn’t disgraced behind the classy Solow at Ascot in the Group One QEII Stakes on his last run – he won first time out last season. Limato will be another popular choice from the in-form Henry Candy team – especially with the ground to his liking now. He’s yet to finish out of the top two from nine career starts and rounded-off last season with a close second in the Prix de la Foret at Longchamp.
He does, however, need to prove he can stay this 1 mile trip that he’s trying for the first time in his career. Finally, as well as having Toormore, Godolphin also send Barchan, Dutch Connection and Belardo to post, with the past course winner, Belardo, slightly preferred as their second pick – but we’ll stick with Toormore here to improve on his second in this race 12 months ago.
4.30 – Al Zubarah London Gold Cup (Open Handicap) Cl2 1m2f6y CH4
13/13 – Had won between 1-2 times before
12/13 – Finished in the top 3 last time out
10/13 – Rated 90 or lower
10/13 – Had raced within the last 5 weeks
10/13 – Carried 8-10 or more
10/13 – Winners from stall 8 or lower
8/13 – Returned 7/1 or shorter in the betting
7/13 – Winning distance – 1 length or less
7/13 – Won last time out
7/13 – Had won over 1m2f before
6/13 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
5/13 – Irish bred
5/13 – Raced at Newbury before (2 won)
3/13 – Winning favourites
2/13 – Ridden by Ryan Moore
2/13 – Trained by Roger Charlton
2/13 – Trained by Ed Dunlop
2/13 – Trained by Mark Johnston
2/13 – Trained by Sir Michael Stoute
2/13 – Ridden by Steve Drowne
The average winning SP in the last 10 years is 8/1
VERDICT: Top pilot, Ryan Moore, has ridden the winner of this race for the past two years and he looks to have a cracking chance of making it three with the hat-trick-seeking VIVRE POUR VIVRE.
This 3 year-old has improved bundles in the last few months and really caught the eye with a 7 length victory at Leicester last time out. Yes, that was in heavy ground, but he won the time before on the AW at Wolverhampton to suggest that he’s a colt that goes on most ground conditions. This will be his hardest test but the Ed Dunlop team, who also have a great record in this race (won it in 2009 & 2013), could not be in much better form.
The horse also holds an entry in the Group Two King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot next month so connections clearly feel he’s a bit better than this grade. Of the rest, the Roger Charlton team are another to note with two recent wins in the race, including 12 months ago. They run Imperial Aviator – another that won well last time out at Leicester, but makes his handicap debut here today.
The boys in blue of Godolphin run two – Ebtihaal and Good Run – on jockey bookings then the last name looks their main hope with James Doyle riding. However, with key trends like weight, draw, recent form, track form, plus trainer and jockey pluses then Vivre Pour Vivre is the pick.
Best Bets – Other Saturday TV Races
2.45 – AYRAD
3.20 – DREAM DUBAI
3.00 – DESERT ENCOUNTER
3.35 – THIKRIYAAT
4.10 – MR LUPTON