BELMONT AVENUE was a 120,00 guineas yearling, a half-brother to Duhail, who has run to a useful level in France this season and he ran a most encouraging debut at Cork two weeks ago.
Held up off the pace, he just failed to run down Malysian – who got a little bit of an easy lead – and with another stride Belmont Avenue would have got up. They were well clear of the third, and the fifth from that race got off the mark at Listowel earlier this week.
Belmont Avenue looks very likely to improve for that debut and he looks the one to beat here.
Aidan O’Brien has won the last nine renewals of this race and HIGH DEFINITION looks the one most likely to make it 10-in-a-row. A brother to Innisfree who won this race last year, he was ultimately an impressive winner here on debut over a mile.
Held up out the back, he came off it over two furlongs out as the win looked very unlikely. But, once the penny dropped, he quickened up in taking fashion and ran down his more fancied stablemate Wordsworth to win going away.
O’Brien’s two-year-old’s haven’t been improving for their first run like other seasons, but High Definition might well turn out to be one of his best and might well develop into his main Derby hope over the winter.
MILLTOWN STAR caught the eye on both his starts this season, not getting an overly aggressive ride on either occasion. He looks likely to be bagging a handicap before the autumn is out.
A highly tried juvenile, he found Group company too hot for him last season, but he did win at Listed level in France to end the season. Easy ground suits and both starts this season have been over 7 furlongs. He is ready for the step up to a mile though, and could well improve for it.
He looks worth following until the end of the season.
MID WINSTER did this column a favour last week at Ayr when wining nicely off a mark of 76.
She is up 5lbs to a mark of 81 here and this is a better race, but she bolted up in a Fairyhouse handicap last season off a mark of 82, so it is quite possible that she can follow up despite the penalty.
Count D’orsay and Came From The Dark are big dangers, however Mid Winster should hit the frame at least.
LUCKY VEGA brings the strongest form to the table here, yet he was third in the betting for most of the week.
He is starting to head towards favouritism now, but should be clear favourite. Impressive on debut at Naas when beating eight subsequent winners despite being green, he was off the track for seven weeks before a lack of match practice caught him out when just touched off in the Group 2 Railway Stakes.
He improved massively for that run when absolutely bolting up in the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh, where he travelled like a weapon and when Shane Foley pushed the button he quickened away from the field in the fashion of a top class performer.
Last time out in the Group 1 National Stakes he was very badly impeded when the tempo quickened and he never had a chance, finishing fifth beaten two-and-a-half lengths.
With a clear run he would have gone close at least and the rest have to improve to reach his level. I will be really disappointed if he is beaten.
Paddy is giving us seven places here and I’m going to take a chance on one at a massive price here.
KRYPTOS was a really progressive handicapper in 2017, winning three of his four races and only being beaten a neck on his other start. On one of those wins, he slammed Mountain Angel by 5 lengths despite conceding 3lbs to him and also won at Doncaster off a mark of 95 – showing a really potent turn of foot to beat some nice horses like Battered, Master Carpenter, Just Hiss and Battle Of Marathon among others.
He then met with an injury which led to him spending three years off the track, but he has shown ability on some of his runs since his comeback. On his reappearance at Newmarket, on ground that would have been lively enough for him, he travelled well and wasn’t beaten far in fifth despite shaping like he needed the run. It’s his outing at Chester two runs back that really catches the eye.
On that occasion he travelled all over the field but didn’t quite see out the extended 10-furlong trip and was beaten a neck in third. The horse in second that day was Strait of Hormuz who was an impressive winner of a very competitive Doncaster handicap on his next start, in which he had Derevo in second.
Derevo is among the market leaders here and with the 9-furlong trip looking to be ideal for Kryptos, he looks worth an each-way interest at a massive price.
* Prices on our snazzy new bet widget are bang up to date.
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