From a two-mile maiden hurdler to a five-furlong sprinter, SIRJACK THOMAS (25/1) has been around the racing block for his three trainers. I once contacted Mr Murtagh to suggest that he was a six-furlong speedster pure and simple and was met with a total look of disdain.
I actually think that the great man then campaigned him on purpose over a mile and seven furlongs just to annoy me, which of course he didn’t. However, I am determined to have the last word and the son of Fast Company finally returns to his optimum set-up when he runs in the valuable opening Bold Lad Sprint Handicap at 1.20 over……………….yep SIX FURLONGS!!!!
Adrian McGuinness got it spot on when he ran his lad over five and a half furlongs when absolutely hacking up at Sligo three outings back and although this quite obviously requires more off a rating of 88, in a better race, I fancy a huge each-way run from him at a double-figure price.
The feature Irish St Leger has me in a quandary as I backed KEW GARDENS (11/4)for the Melbourne Cup before the weights came out. Top weight means he is probably less than 50:50 to make the trip to the other side of the earth, but should he beat the 2018 Flemington Park hero Cross Counter readily then the trip down under could be back on.
The last named has been campaigned in the Cup races this season, but he is much more of a middle-distance speed horse as he showed in Oz last year where they didn’t go very quickly yet again and he simply out speeded his rivals at the business end of that world famous race. If the field doesn’t make this a good, even gallop there is every chance the boys in blue will foil my cunning Melbourne plan!
I think that PINATUBO (4/9) is impossible to oppose in the National Stakes at 3.35. This unbeaten juvenile has everything, a high cruising speed, a cracking attitude and a turn of foot right out of the top drawer. The Aidan O’Brien team are sure to test him to the hilt here, but I think the son of Shamardal is up to the challenge.
A slowly run race over a mile and a quarter was never going to suit hold-up merchant ANTILLES last time out at Leopardstown and with a load more pace likely in the finale at 6.00 I expect the O’Brien/Moore axis to end the weekend on a high with a convincing victory.
This beautifully bred son of War Front strangely ran his best race of his career first time out this season when second in a valuable handicap at Chelmsford City, but has constantly been thwarted by slowly run races which include a fair fourth in the Gallinule at the Curragh. Any kind of double-figure price must be taken and then taken again as he is undoubtedly the best each-way play throughout this fabulous weekend of racing.
*All odds correct at time of posting