SEE HOW THEY WON: Daqman’s test of the two-year-old trials opens this week with the Ballydoyle domination of the Beresford Stakes and a shock report on the Mill Reef Stakes.
TOMORROW: The top two-year-olds so far.
WEDNESDAY: Ayr Gold Cup stats and preview
FIVE-YEAR CRASH ON THE REEF
⭕ 2.30 Curragh, Saturday (Beresford Stakes) Won 21 times by Aidan O’Brien, including 11 years running (2011 to 2021), when Capri, Saxon Warrior, Japan and Luxembourg were among his winners.
But those who interrupted his run were the absolute top notchers: John Oxx with Azamour (2003) and Oxx again with Sea The Stars (2008).
POSITIVE The above were winners of the 2,000 Guineas (2), Epsom Derby, Irish Derby, Doncaster St Leger, Juddmonte International, Grand Prix de Paris, Doncaster Futurity, Irish Champion Stakes (2), St James’s Palace Stakes, Prince Of Wales’s Stakes, King George, Tattersalls Gold Cup and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
⭕ 3.15 Newbury, Saturday (Mill Reef Stakes) Karl Burke (2), Clive Cox (2), Richard Fahey (2), Roger Varian (2).
POSITIVE: Ribchester (2015 for Richard Fahey) and Harry Angel (2016 for Clive Cox).
Ribchester won four Group 1, breaking the course record in the Queen Anne. Harry Angel took two Group 1: the July Cup and Haydock Sprint Cup.
NEGATIVE Be warned that winning this has been the dead end, or nearly so, for the last five winners.
Sakheer (2022, Roger Varian) Aimed high this year but only 7th of 14 in the 2,000 Guineas and last of 13 in the Commonwealth Cup
Wings Of War (2021, Clive Cox) Failed to score again in 13 attempts
Alkumait (2020 Marcus Tregoning) Beaten a total of 33 lengths in two runs since his Mill Reef.
Pierre Lapin (2019 Roger Varian) Just one win on AW from 32 subsequent runs.
Kessaar (2018 John Gosden) His next race would be his last: flopped in the Criterium International at Chantilly.
FALLING FOR VICTORIA
⭕ 5.15 Thirsk Apart from what looks a point and shoot for the Crisfords at 4.40pm with Mezzo Soprano – the rest of the Thirsk card (soft ground) looks more competitive.
In the 3.30 Zabriskie Point brings very solid York class 2 form to the table for Charles Hills and might go off at odds on on Betdaq Betting Exchange but he has no form with give in the ground and I can’t be playing at short odds with that caveat – no matter how strong the form is.
I’ll save my one bet on the card for Victoria Falls in the fillies handicap over a mile. She was really impressive when bolting home by four lengths at Newmarket last time out and might be able to defy her hike in the weights for the in-form stable of Hugo Palmer.
Crucially she also has good form on soft ground including when second to Temper Trap at Doncaster and that one went on to win his next two races.
Purple Gown won’t mind the conditions and seems to have held her form well since joining Adam Nicol’s stable from Jim Bolger in Ireland. The only thing that puts me off her is she did swish her tail in the closing stages at Hamilton last time out which can often be considered a sign of not wanting to go through with the effort. Equally it could just be an off day and she might prove me wrong.
A REILLE GOOD CHANCE
⭕ 5.20 Brighton Like London buses we wait until 5.15 for the first bet of the week and then five minutes later there’s another one!
I thought Areille looked the answer here after a really strong run at Redcar last time out when fourth. She now needs to do it over the sprint trip but will be aided by the contours of the rollercoaster track.
Areille’s trainer Jack Jones has had two winners from his last three runners in the past fortnight.
Voodoo Ray is also down in trip having won a modest event here last time in a bunch finish and makes limited appeal with a 2lb rise in the weights whilst Notre Maison is a solid performer whose course record reads 1322 and she should again fill a podium position.
MUSING OVER NAP
⭕ 6.25 Fairyhouse (Blenheim Stakes) I’ll save my nap for this Listed contest at Fairyhouse. Mansa Musa shaped well when winning a class 2 maiden at 20/1 at Glorious Goodwood and built on that effort with a half length second to Letsbefrankaboutit in the Group 3 Round Tower Stakes at Curragh. The winner has Group 1 entries and the form looks rock solid.
Aidan O’Brien’s Edwardian looked an awkward ride when last of six in the Group 3 Acomb Stakes at York.
5.15 Thirsk (win 10)
BET 3.3pts win VICTORIA FALLS
5.20 Brighton (win 10)
BET 2pts win AREILLE
6.25 Fairyhouse (win 10, nap)
BET 8.1pts win MANSA MUSA
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