We get going with a 4.5-furlong sprint for the two-year-olds on the dirt. There is a lot of nicely-bred types, but the one that really catches the eye is INGEST. Doug O’Neill’s debutant has got plenty of speed in his pedigree being by Square Eddie, whose juveniles have won at a rate of 20% first time out. Ingest is a full-brother to Octofy, who was fast enough to win over 5 furlongs, so the trip should be no problem. Doug O’Neill also has a superb strike rate in these types of events, he is 14-for-38 over the past five seasons. All the signs point to a big run from Ingest, who will be hoping to blast home from stall number 5.
This is the first turf race on the card and it’s a 5.5-furlong Allowance Optional Claimer. A lot of the runners are closely matched on previous form, but a chance should be taken with SQUARE PEGGY to put a disappointing recent run behind her. Vladimir Cerin’s four-year-old loves nothing more than getting out early and setting hot fractions, but last time out the race conditions suited the closers and she finished down the field, as she was swamped in the home straight. She has now been given a nice 61-day rest by her trainer and will once again attempt to make all from a nice draw in stall 3. Square Peggy has won three times already in this grade and is more than capable of burning off all these rivals.
A maiden claimer over the extended mile on the dirt track is next on our list. MANRESA has been very unlucky so far in her career not to end up in the winner’s enclosure, but this looks like the perfect opportunity here. Thomas Bell’s four-year-old is a daughter of Coil has been second in two of her four runs and put up a career best when an unlucky second to Pasito last time out. On that occasion, Manresa and the eventual winner battled it out all the way to the line, pulling over 10 lengths ahead of the third-place finisher. That form is head and shoulders above anything else on offer in this field, and with the blinkers now applied, Manresa can break her maiden tag at the fifth time of asking.
There’s a six-furlong claimer on the dirt next and there will be plenty of early speed in this one with the likes of Mayan Warrior and Music To My Ears battling it out. However, they could all be setting this up for CAPTAIN BUZZKILL, who was an emphatic winner of a better race at Santa Anita back in February 2019. Gary Mandella’s five-year-old gelding has been disappointing since then when running against superior rivals than he faces today. But, Captain Buzzkill can take advantage of a drop in grade here, and if recapturing his old course form, can mix it with these and run into a place at decent odds.
Our last race on the card is a mile maiden on the turf. The likely favourite Goodtingscominpink has been very unlucky in her career so far, finishing second three times. She just always seems to bump into one that is just too good for her. That could be the case again here too with ON MARS. Philip D’Amato’s three-year-old filly ran a superb race last time out when she was switched to the turf having ran her first two career starts on the dirt track. Different tactics were also applied, and this previous front-runner was dropped in behind and finished second. The switch to the turf looks to be the key to this filly, and in what looks an ordinary enough affair, she can take the finale under hall of fame jockey Mike Smith.
- Horse Racing tips: The Racing Post’s best bets for EVERY Gulfstream race on Friday
- Horse Racing tips: The best-backed horses for the UK Classics in Paddy’s book
- Football Tips: Infogol’s 4 best bets for Saturday’s Bundesliga games
* All odds correct at time of posting and are subject to change.