The eyes of the racing world will be focused on the Eclipse in Sandown this Sunday. An intriguing race.
Can Enable repeat her win in the race last year? Can Ghaiyyath back up his Coronation Cup win? Can Japan put a Royal Ascot disappointment behind him? My hunch is Ghaiyyath will blow out. He seems to need extended breaks between races to give of his best.
Perhaps his dynamic, aggressive run style leave him more susceptible to the dreaded bounce. Hopefully he proves me wrong. On a going day he’s one of the most exciting, and talented, horses in training.
I do expect plenty more from Japan. He probably won’t quite have enough to overcome Enable at this trip though. There is also plenty of decent racing in Ireland to distract us. I will concentrate my tipping energies on Fairyhouse and Cork.
First to Fairyhouse. SILVERTOWN can defy the handicapper in the 10-furlong handicap. This horse has obviously done well over the winter. He was a well-supported favourite when winning on his seasonal, and handicap, bow in Tipperary a couple of weeks ago.
The form got both a knock and a boost in a Leopardstown race this week. The style of Silvertown’s win was most taking. He still looked plenty green when coming off the bridle and was value for more than the winning margin, the extra furlong here looks a positive.
Shane Crosse’s claim negates three pounds of the 9lb weight hike. I realise that can be a bit of a cod. Some of these lads can barely make a claim to be jockeys. But, Crosse looks a talented operator though.
Silvertown’s dam improved markedly when stepped up in trip during her second season. I expect her son to prove a chip off the old block.
INDIGNATION stands out in this handicap and this late developer makes his handicap debut here. He should hold a class edge.
He’s a well-bred sort and he showed plenty on his latest start in a Dundalk maiden. That race hasn’t worked out all that well, although Jerandme, who was third that day, has improved since.
The handicapper still looks to have taken a real chance with a mark of 68 though. The drop in trip on Sunday isn’t ideal.
Frankel imparts plenty of stamina to his progeny and Darragh O’Keefe has lots of experience in the jumping game. I expect him to set a searching pace. His 5lb claim is a bit of a steal too and this horse is too well handicapped to ignore.
Off to Cork and the Marble Hill Stakes has attracted just four runners. Military Style and Shalaalaa are both likely to step forward for their narrow debut wins. MINAUN might be worth chancing at a price though.
She gets a handy 5lb sex allowance and her runner up finish on debut in Leopardstown was full of promise. A slow break might well have cost her the win that day and it’s hard to know if the form is much to write home about.
There were some well-bred fillies in that race though. She showed bright speed, and a high cruising speed to get into contention. The drop to 6 furlongs shouldn’t inconvenience and she rates a sporting wager.
Search For A Song is the class act on the Cork card and she runs in the Munster Oaks. If she can recapture the form of her stunning Irish St Leger win, the opposition are playing for second.
That’s a big ‘if’ though, as she put in a lifeless effort on seasonal comeback in the Curragh. Perhaps this nervy sort has recoiled off that huge Leger effort.
YAXENI looks a good each-way play in the race, even if she was still very green when finishing third in Leopardstown recently. That experience should bring her on considerably.
The extra two furlongs on Sunday should be right up her alley.
VERMILI heads the weights in this premier handicap and he’s worth supporting. He was very well-backed on debut for the yard in a similar race on Irish Guineas weekend.
That race was unsatisfactory, and the horse was quite keen off just a steady gallop. It was encouraging to see him still in the mix a couple of furlongs out.
Unfortunately, he didn’t get a clear run and it looks likely that connections believe he’s better than a 100-rated horse. With the promise of a stronger gallop here, he can prove them right.
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