UK racing looks to the weekend

Two winners out of two in may last article and a week off playing golf since to recuperate resulting in an unhappy liver and an empty wallet, but a good time was had by all, especially those selling golf balls.

Coming back to find out what I had missed and how good it was to see that racing cannot organise the proverbial in a brewery – so nothing has really changed. 

n Thursday afternoon my eldest son Charlie went off with his mates to go racing at Lingfield and for reasons unknown. That made me have a closer look at the other meetings of the day, possibly in case jockey bookings gave any hints towards a winner to help him to pay his racecourse entry fee, and I was horrified. 

On a nice sunny afternoon (and evening) we had five meetings in the UK – with Chepstow the furthest north of them all. Those in the South like me were over catered for with Lingfield and Goodwood in the afternoon closely followed by Sandown and Chelmsford in the evening, but all that does in reality is cannibalise the crowd numbers with five meetings to choose from for those wanting a day at the track. Meanwhile, anyone living north of Watford was left with a journey and a half to get to a meeting and those in Scotland may well have been quicker heading over the Irish Sea to the Tipperary meeting than travelling that far south to back themselves a loser – totally ridiculous and something that should never happen again, but we all know it will.

On to the racing this weekend and I now have a lot to live up to, but thankfully we have some pretty decent stuff to look at from the likes of Chester Goodwood York and Haydock – as well as the little matter of the Irish 1000 and 2000 Guineas from The Curragh of course. 

On Saturday afternoon the 2000 Guineas over the mile sees English Guineas winner Magna Grecia v Dante Stakes runner up Too Darn Hot in a straight match according to the betting in a race well worth watching, but with plenty of other unexposed runners in the field I won’t be getting involved at those prices and will watch with a cold beer instead. 

What I will have, because the prices are so poor, is a Haydock sprint double on Calyx in the Sandy Lane Stakes at 3.25pm and then Battaash in the Temple Stakes at 4.00pm. The first named is only a three-year-old but has looked mightily impressive in winning all three career starts so far and may well be destined to go on to be a champion sprinter be that this season or next. The older gelding returns for his fourth season after a wind operation and looking to follow up his seven career wins in a race that is easily within his abilities – assuming he is race fit of course which seems the only question mark.

On to Sunday for a pleasant change and I am all over Magical in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at 3.50pm as the daughter of Galileo looks for her hat-trick for the season after wins at Naas and then over this course and distance already in 2019.  

Best in at the weights she is hard to oppose anyway and should win this with ease, leaving one more bet, and a riskier one, in the Irish 1000 Guineas, 4.25pm at The Curragh. 

Hermosa looks likely to go off favourite for Aidan O’Brien after her English 1000 Guineas win at Newmarket earlier in the month but I am rather hoping that Qabala can reverse that form from a better draw. Third and only beaten a length and a quarter that day, the winner got first run under an enterprising ride but it seems unlikely her rivals will be so generous here. 

Add the fact that my selection was having just her third ever start and there are at least grounds for optimism that there may well be a lot more to come over time, and with the stable in among the winners lately I am happy to put my money where my mouth is once again. 

Sean’s Suggestions:

Calyx 3.25pm and Battaash  4.00pm Haydock Saturday win double

Magical 3.50pm The Curragh Sunday

Qabala Pretty Baby 4.25pm The Curragh Sunday

Good luck as always.