Sir Michael Stoute’s Telescope is the 6-4 favourite to win Thursday’s Dante Stakes as the colt bids to stake his claim as a leading contender for the Investec Derby on June 1st.
The twice-raced son of Galileo – who is currently priced at 5-1 joint second favourite in Betfair’s ante-post Derby market – was an impressive winner of a hot Newmarket maiden at the back end of last season and has been the subject of good reports from the Stoute stable.
Luca Cumani’s Greatwood is also expected to line-up after the three-year-old was a late withdrawal from Saturday’s Lingfield Derby Trial because of soft ground, while Aidan O’Brien’s Indian Chief and Mark Johnson’s unbeaten Windhoek give the race a strong feel.
Betfair spokesman Barry Orr said today: ‘’As expected, Thursday’s Dante Stakes is looking like another informative Derby trial and the winner will surely become the a leading challenger to current Derby favourite Dawn Approach”
To win the Dante Stakes – Betfair Sportsbook: 6-4 Telescope, 4-1 Windhoek, 5-1 Indian Chief, Greatwood, 7-1 Secret Number, Trading Leather, 8-1 Mars, 10-1 Ghurair, 12-1 Festive Cheer, 20-1 Bar
StanJames.com have made Farhh their 2/1 favourite for Saturday’s Lockinge Stakes with the Godolphin five-year-old set to face up to 12 rivals at Newbury.
The firm’s Rory Jiwani said, “Fencing has been supplemented meaning there are a total of 13 entries for Saturday’s Lockinge. It certainly looks a competitive renewal but there is no superstar following the retirements of Frankel and Nathaniel.
“Farhh has finished second on his previous four starts but he’s 2/1 to go one better at Newbury with Aidan O’Brien’s Declaration of War and Roger Charlton’s Cityscape next best at 3/1.
“It could be a big week for Roger Charlton with Mince heading 18 declarations for Wednesday’s Duke Of York Stakes. The four-year-old was supremely progressive last season and she will relish the forecast quick ground. She’s our 11/4 favourite with another filly, Sir Henry Cecil’s Tickled Pink, next best at 5/1 after being supplemented for the race following her Abernant win on seasonal debut.
“Last year’s Haydock Sprint Cup hero Society Rock is a 6/1 shot with Champions Day victor Maarek 8/1 although he would definitely need the rain to fall on Wednesday to be seen to best effect. From 9am on raceday, we will be top price every runner in Duke Of York Stakes.
“Telescope has been all the rage for Thursday’s Dante Stakes with Sir Michael Stoute’s Derby fancy now 5/4 favourite having been 7/4 on Saturday. After missing his intended engagement in the Lingfield Derby Trial due to ground, Luca Cumani’s Greatwood is 5/1 along with Mark Johnston’s Windhoek and Indian Chief. The latter could be yet another Ballydoyle contender at Epsom and he’s 20/1 from 25/1 for the big race after support this morning.”
Lockinge Stakes antepost (EW 1/5 1,2,3): 2 Farhh 3 Cityscape, Declaration Of War 8 Aljamaaheer, Beauty Parlour 10 Trumpet Major 16 Amaron, Fencing, Penitent 20 bar
Duke Of York Stakes NRNB (EW 1/4 1,2,3): 11/4 Mince 5 Tickled Pink 6 Society Rock 8 Maarek 10 Gordon Lord Byron 12 Swiss Spirit 14 Hawkeyethenoo 16 Lethal Force, Ladies Are Forever 20 bar
Dante Stakes antepost (EW 1/5 1,2,3): 5/4 Telescope 5 Windhoek, Indian Chief, Greatwood 8 Trading Leather, Secret Number 10 Ghurair 25 bar
A small field of five line up to put their Derby credentials on the line in the Betfred Derby Trial Stakes at Lingfield tomorrow, and Mark Duncan tries to point you in direction of the most likely winner!
The Betfred Derby Trial Stakes was downgraded from a Group 3 to a Listed event this year,which came as no surprise with only eight winners going on to achieve victory in the Derby since its first running in 1932. The most recent of those was the Luca Cumani-trained High Rise in 1998. This years race has turned into a five runner tactical affair, and on paper would suggest that the 15 year duck won’t be broken tomorrow. However that’s not to say the five runners are not good quality racehorses in their own right.
Current favourite is Greatwood, trained by the aforementioned Luca Cumani. His form behind Windhoek at Newmarket over 1m2f looks rock solid with Windhoek looking a top quality horse, since winning comfortably off a mark of 104. On that run alone, Greatwood holds a solid chance, and if improving for the additional distance, he could take all the beating.
Second favourite on the tissue is the Aidan O’Brien trained Nevis. He won a weak maiden at Leopardstown, and then raced in the National Stakes at the Curragh in behind Dawn Approach. He never got involved in the that race over seven furlongs, with this longer trip sure to suit. He’s a son of Irish Oaks winner Moonstone, and could easily step up on the National Stakes effort. Aidan O’Brien clearly has his string coming to the boil nicely following a successful Chester May Meeting. At 5/2, he looks short enough to prove whether he can step up on that.
Elidor and Pasaka Boy both look up against it and it would be a massive shock if they took this trial. The final horse in the line-up who certainly deserves a mention is Hughie Morrison-trained Another Cocktail, who is a sister to Irish Derby winner Fame And Glory. His easy victory over 1m4f over C&D was visually impressive, however the quality of the race looks weak.
For me this looks a race for GREATWOOD to lose. He has rock solid form in the book, and with a trainer who knows how to win this race. The early 5/6 on offer has already disappeared, and the value looks to have gone. If he drifts on the day I may have a nibble, but for the sake of value I’ll recommend Greatwood to beat Nevis in the straight forecast!
3.25 Lingfield Betfred Derby Trial Stakes – Greatwood to beat Nevis
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Rory Jiwani of StanJames.com said, “Ruler Of The World won well under Ryan Moore, stretching clear of his rivals impressively in the home straight. That was just his second run and he looks an excellent prospect.
“We’ve cut him from 20/1 to 8/1 for the Derby for which Dawn Approach is our 6/4 favourite. Battle Of Marengo runs for O’Brien in the Derrinstown Derby Trial on Sunday and, at present, he appears to be the stable’s main hope for Epsom. We’ll find out how good he is then but we like what we’ve seen from Ruler Of The World so far.”
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The Horse Racing Tavern has teamed up with Ayr Racecourse to offer a pair of tickets to their Scottish Sun Raceday on 22nd June 2013!
Scottish Sun Raceday at Ayr Racecourse is one of the very best race days at Ayr throughout the year. Feature races are The Scottish Sun Handicap Stakes and The EBF Land O’ Burns Fillies Stakes and there are always large entries for all contests throughout the card!
The day is also a superb social occasion – a leading local band will play in the Horseshoe Bar after racing with a disco in the Ayrshire Suite to make sure everyone has a day to remember.
Best Dressed Ladies Competition
The Scottish Sun Raceday sees the launch of the 2013 Best Dressed Ladies Competition with the first prize – a Vauxhall Adam Jam 1.4 with an ‘Urban Pack’ ‘Intellinik Infotainment System’ in white with ‘I’ll be black roof’!
One of Ayr’s most popular fixtures, not to be missed!
For your chance to win a pair of tickets, you need to do the following:
1. Go to the Horse Racing Tavern Facebook Page below and ‘like’ the page or competition link!
2. Send your name, address and contact details (including your mobile number) to email@example.com.
Competition closes on Friday 8 June 2013! Get your entries in early!
Follow Ayr Racecourse on Twitter @ayrracecourse!
T & C’s:
1) Only one entry per household.
2) To be included in the prize draw, the successful entrant must have completed both elements for entry into the prize draw (Facebook and Email).
2) The competition closes on Friday 8th June 2013 at 12 noon. Any entries after this time will not be included in the draw.
3) The winner is entitled to two grandstand enclosure tickets for Ayr Scottish Sun Raceday.
4) The decision of the Horse Racing Tavern & Ayr Racecourse is final.
Mark Duncan is back with his preview and tips for the Stanjames.com Chester Cup on Wednesday, which looks set to be a good quality renewal.
The STANJAMES.COM CHESTER CUP (Heritage Handicap) is run over 2 miles 2 furlongs at the charismatic Chester racecourse. It’s always a fascinating race as it attracts the top hunt and flat racing stables which can make it an interesting puzzle to solve. Donald McCain has dominated the past two years, with Ile De Re beating 2011 winner Overturn in a one-two most recently. Donald McCain looks to hold a good chance to land the hat-trick with Ile De Re bidding to retain his crown. However the ground looks to be against him this year, as he’s much better on soft or heavy going. He looks short at 8/1.
There are a few other horses in the line-up that certainly catch the eye – Justification for the Aidan O’Brien yard is likely to be bang there if taking his place. With Ryan Moore booked to ride and Group 1 entries in the Coronation Cup and Ascot Gold Cup penciled in, O’Brien clearly thinks a lot of this son of Montjeu. He looks plenty short enough in the market at 7/1 for what he’s achieved though.
Countrywide Flame is the current 6/1 favourite, and based on the form book, he should take all the beating. He stepped up on all form last season over hurdles, and if reproducing his four and a half length defeat to Hurricane Fly in the Champion Hurdle, he could prove to be the handicap blot of the season off 92. He likes the course (1 win from 1 run) which is always beneficial around the tight bends of Chester; You know he’ll stay which is more than others in the race, and trainer John Quinn has a solid 21% strike rate with his runners at the track (7 wins from 33 runners). Concerns? Well the forecast going of good to firm is a worry – he’s not won on ground better than good to soft. The draw is always a huge obstacle at Chester and can often ruin a horses chance before the race start, so must be taken into consideration when backing at this stage, and finally the long season he’s already had performing at the highest level must be a concern. Despite all of those negatives, I’m still confident of a good showing and at an each way backable price of 6/1 (4 places , ¼ odds), I would not put anyone off having a bet at that price.
Of the other dangers in the field, Simenon and Montaser will be sure to run their race, whilst Olympiad was subject of strong support prior to the Cesarewitch last season, but he failed to shine and is still open to plenty of improvement over this staying trip under a master trainer. I expect him to go off shorter than the 10/1 currently available.
However I will be putting up another selection for the race at bigger odds as a value call. The David Pipe-trained Investissement is currently trading at 25/1 with the sponsor Stan James, and there’s a few reasons why I think he’s been lined up for this race for a while. He was a decent enough juvenile in France, before moving to Evan Williams yard in 2010. He disappointed when pitched into top company for two hurdle runs at Cheltenham, before moving back to the flat with John Gosden. He apparently had breathing problems and also picked up a broken pelvis for his troubles. He then finally showed his quality over staying trips when eventually placing third in the 2011 York Ebor for John Gosden, good enough to have an entry for the Irish St Leger at one stage. He unfortunately picked up another injury after that excellent Ebor run, and after returning to the Pipe stable, straight away there were concerns he wasn’t taking to the hurdling game again. This was proven by three sub-standard runs over hurdles in weak races. It’s no surprise to see David Pipe reverting back to the flat to try and get the best out of him. He runs off a 2lb lower mark than his Ebor third and he gets his preferred good to firm ground.
If there’s a trainer who can ready his horses for the big handicaps, it’s David Pipe. He won the race three years ago with Mamlook, who was a much better horse over hurdles than Investissement, but Mamlook won the Chester Heritage Handicap race off the back of two average runs (beaten 15 and 27 lengths). Investissement comes into the race off the back of three poor runs. He has the useful Willy Twiston-Davies taking off another 5lbs, which means he races off a fly-weight of 8 stone 7lbs. He does have a lay-off to overcome, but he defied a lengthy break to win a Goodwood handicap on his first start for John Gosden. Investissement has clearly had his problems and is difficult to get right, but he looks lined up for a punt for the Pipe yard, and I think the 25/1 will evaporate in the coming days. For the multi-lingual amongst you, Investissement translates to ‘Investment’ in French. This looks like a good Investissement opportunity.
Chester Heritage Cup – Investissement 25/1 EW (Bet with Stan James, 4 places ¼ odds)
Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkduncanHRT!
Il De Re wins 2012 Chester Cup www.telegraph.co.uk
David Pipe www.guardian.co.uk
Dawn Approach is the new 5-2 favourite, from 12-1, to win the Investec Derby on Betfair’s Sportsbook after thrashing his rivals in the Qipco 2000 Guineas.
The Jim Bolger-trained favourite never looked in danger as he breezed to the front with over a furlong to go before pulling five lengths clear of the field to remain unbeaten, making it seven wins from seven races.
Betfair Spokesman Barry Orr commented immediately after the race, “It’s impossible to knock that performance and with Bolger having trained his sire, New Approach, to win the 2008 Derby, he is virtually certain to try 1m 4f for the first time in Epsom’’
‘’At this stage he is the one they’ll all have to beat and with 4 of the first 5 in the betting all trained in Ireland it’s looks a particularly strong year for Irish three year olds’’.
To win the Derby – Betfair Sportsbook: 5-2 Dawn Approach, 5-1 Battle Of Marengo, Telescope, 8-1 Mars, 10-1 Kingsbarns, 12-1 Toronado, 20-1 Bar
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2000 GUINEAS: DAWN APPROACH AND TORONADO SET TO DOMINATE, SAY TIMEFORM
TIMEFORM, the leading horse racing form experts, believe that the unbeaten colts, Dawn Approach and Toronado, are set to dominate the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday.
Their weight-adjusted figures, confirmed today, show that Dawn Approach is top rated on 140, 2 lb ahead of Toronado (who carries a ‘p’), with the pair at least 6 lb clear of the rest.
Although currently trading at 11/8 and 9/4 respectively, Timeform Handicapper Pat Jupp suggests that there won’t be as much between them in the race: “Dawn Approach had a long 2-y-o campaign, culminating with success in the Dewhurst, and he fully deserves the accolade of Timeform’s top juvenile of 2012. The form he has already shown is of a level good enough to have won three of the last five renewals of the Guineas, but for perhaps the first time since the Coventry he faces a very serious rival in Toronado, who produced not only a taking visual display in the Craven, but one backed up by sectional time analysis – Toronado is potentially a high-class miler.”
Ballydoyle’s best hopes are likely to rest with Mars and Cristoforo Colombo. Of the O’Brien runners, Jupp said: “Mars is all about style over substance at present with just a maiden win to his name, and though Golan took this race with a similar profile, that was a substandard renewal and it’s asking a lot for such an inexperienced horse to win a classic.
“Although Cristoforo Colombo has something to find with Dawn Approach on the Coventry form, he ended his 2-y-o campaign with an air of unfinished business, having been unsuited by the drop in trip in the Middle Park, and should progress now tackling a mile.”
Richard Fahey’s Free Handicap winner Garswood is third in Timeform’s ratings, behind Dawn Approach and Toronado, but his stamina for the trip is a concern. Jupp added: “Garswood put up an effort that comfortably exceeded recent standards for the Free Handicap, but his running style and pedigree suggest he’s not sure to stay the longer trip.”
2000 Guineas (all ratings weight-adjusted)
140 DAWN APPROACH (IRE)
138p TORONADO (IRE)
131 LEITIR MOR (IRE)
130p CRISTOFORO COLOMBO (USA)
130 MOOHAAJIM (IRE)
130 GEORGE VANCOUVER (USA)
129 VAN DER NEER
118P MARS (IRE)
116 DONT BOTHER ME (IRE)
111 GLORY AWAITS (IRE)
100p KYLLACHY RISE
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Dawn Approach – www.guardian.co.uk & GETTY IMAGES
If Skybet’s deposit free £10 free bet wasn’t enough, they’ve just stepped it up and doubled their freebies!
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So what are you waiting for?!
Darren Fleming brings us five of his ante-post wagers for the up and coming Cheltenham Festival!
For those of you who want a small stakes wager with potentially nice rewards I will be looking to find a bet each day that costs no more than £5 so if you lose you won’t need to sell the family jewels or even cancel your RUK subscription but if the choices are successful you may have enough to pay for you to go to Cheltenham in 2014.
To start with, everyone likes a nice Lucky 15/31 so here is my Lucky 31 for the week:
Un Atout Supreme Tuesday 7-1
Cinder and Ashes Champion Hurdle Tuesday 12 -1
Edeymi Coral Cup Weds 12-1
Catch Me Pertemps Thursday 16-1
First Lieutenant Ryanair Thursday 9-2
At a unit stake of 16p the cost is £4.96
I’ve used Paddy Powers prices, and if these 5 win we are looking at well over £30,000 – good luck!