It’s a sunny Saturday in July, and there is a wealth of top quality racing to enjoy from Newmarket and York. While we bask in the glorious sunshine of South Dublin, dreaming of a holiday and a week away from the office, there is a smash-up of racing on the box and a chance for us to make those daydreams a reality.
We’ve crunched a decade of trends to pick out a tempting double in Saturday’s two feature races, with two gee-gees who could help us swap Power Tower for the Algarve next week.
The John Smith’s Cup – York, 3.25pm
A tricky little race to kick off our double with a fiercely competitive 22-runner field. Luckily the six trends above combined with a couple more (should have had between one and four runs this year, and should have an official rating between 90-101) throw up three horses that have a decent chance of making the frame.
Our main fancy here at Power Tower is Arab Dawn (8/1). A winner of the Class 2 Duke of Edinburgh at the Royal Ascot meeting, jockey Richard Hughes said afterwards a flatter track would be beneficial – which is exactly what Arab Dawn will get at York. The grey is drawn nicely in stall 13 and has wins from a mile and a furlong up to a mile and four. Rated 101, the only trend Arab Dawn doesn’t hit is the weight trend. Ideally he’d be carrying 8-13 or less, but with just 9-1 on his back we hope he can buck the trend.
The other two gee-gees that perked our interest were Ajman Bridge (8/1) and Forgotten Hero. The former was just half a length behind Arab Dawn at Ascot and comes into this race with 5lb in hand. The only negative against his name in the trend book is once again, with Luca Cumani’s mount carrying 9-0. Forgotten Hero is a much bigger price but has a lot of trends going his way. With very little weight on his back, the Charlie Hills mount won over a mile and 2 furlongs at Newmarket before a very disappointing effort at the Royal meeting, finishing 16 lengths behind Arab Dawn. If you can forgive him that run, and if he can overcome a dodgy draw in stall seven, he might have a squeak of a place. We know that’s a lot of ‘ifs’ there, but still…
The July Cup – Newmarket, 3.45pm
The gaffer is banging the drum for his mum’s horse Sole Power (14/1), but looking at the trends we’re not giving him a chance. Too old at seven, never won at more than five furlongs, and drawn in the heavens in stall 14. Sorry boss, but there’s too much going against Sole Power for us.
The two at the top of the market – Brazen Beau (9/4) and Muhaarar (9/4) – are both very easy to back. The Australian star Brazen Beau is a dual Group 1 winner down under, and finished second in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes on his first run on these shores at Royal Ascot. He produced a mighty effort on that day and many pundits are expecting great things here, although the main concern is his draw of 15. When this race has been run on ground faster than good (as will be the case on Saturday) the last six winners have come from stall five or lower, with a definite low draw bias. Muhaarar, coming off the back of victory in the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup at Ascot, is slightly better off in stall seven, but we’re opposing both with Anthem Alexander (12/1).
Pat Smullen’s ride hasn’t won at this level before, but was just three-quarters of a length behind Tiggy Wiggy in a Group 1 at the course last September, and was third in the Commonwealth Cup behind Muhaarar last month. That run was off the back of Anthem Alexander’s reappearance at Naas on testing ground, so we fancy him to come on for that and have another pop at the market leaders.
The double of Arab Dawn and Anthem Alexander returns a tempting £645 for £5 each-way if they both win, or £60 if they both place. It’s tempting enough for us to get involved, particularly with Paddy Power paying four places on the July Cup.