At Naas, Final Venture gets the nod in the Sole Power Sprint Stakes at 15:15.
He may be seven now, and is taking on some interesting three- and four-year-olds, but there’s often no substitute for experience and that looks the case here. All the more so considering Paul Midgley’s charge is clear on weight-adjusted Timeform ratings.
His losing run is more an indicator of the company he keeps than any chink in his armour and he can get back to winning ways here at the main expense of Soffia and Beckford.
Sunday’s card at Auteuil features three Grade 1s, but the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris (15:25) is undoubtedly the main event. The richest and most prestigious jumps race in France, it has been dominated by Guillaume Macaire – who has won five of the last six renewals – in recent years. James Reveley has ridden the last three, and he partners Le Costaud this year in preference to stablemates Storm of Saintly and So French.
However, the Irish challenge is stronger than a pint of Absinthe, and Burrows Saint looks the pick of a Willie Mullins team that also includes the 2018 Grand National runner-up Pleasant Company and the 2019 third Rathvinden. Burrows Saint has progressed with each start over fences this season, culminating in a win in the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse last month, and like that late-night kebab, he can come back to haunt Macaire, the man who trained Burrows Saint during the horse’s formative years in France.
“Flash, I love you! But we only have fourteen hours to save the Earth!” Not a snippet from the Conservative/Labour Brexit talks between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn, but a line from the iconic Flash Gordon film starring Sam Jones. And it might be worth siding with the horse of the same name in the Lacken Stakes at 16:25. He impressed when beating 19 rivals at Naas on debut and ran at least as well when third in a listed contest at the Curragh last time. With the drop in trip in his favour, he’s fancied to improve past the Fred Darling third So Perfect.
Like a pint in the North against a pint in London, seven pounds separates the field (on Timeform ratings) in a strong-looking fillies’ handicap at Ripon at 16:55. However, preference is for Kareena Kapoor who was value for extra when getting off the mark at the third time of asking at Newcastle when last seen in January.
Named after the Indian actress whose work includes the 2012 drama Heroine, she can live up to that billing by taking advantage of an official BHA mark of 82 which looks lenient; she can make the most of the weights that she receives from the in-form pair of Gold Filigree and Isaan Queen.
- Naas 15:15 – Final Venture
- Auteuil 15:25 – Burrows Saint
- Naas 16:25 – Flash Gordon
- Ripon 16:55 – Kareena Kapoor