* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.
I don’t think this one is that difficult to figure out. Cheerupsleepyjean was fairly backed on debut and bolted up ahead of Missing Matron. She didn’t look that good in her second start at the Curragh, where she finished sixth of seven. She ran an absolute cracker in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot earlier this month and did well to finish third. Cheerupsleepyjean came from a long way back to finish in the top three.
I like Midnight Fire for Eddie and Patrick Harty here. He won over six furlongs here last September and he’s had two other starts at the Curragh since, both over handicaps. He ran well both times but he was inconvenienced by the draw on both occasions. Going back up to six furlongs is going to suit and I hope that the draw doesn’t do him again. He’s coming off the back of a poor run at Fairyhouse where he was backed into favourite. Midnight Fire has a good each-way chance in this one.
I’m on Lord Riddiford in this one. John Quinn won this race a couple of years ago which is a good omen. A lot went wrong for Lord Riddiford at Epsom in the dash but the draw crucified him. He had a really difficult task on his hand and I thought he ran really well. He’s rated 90 on turf but he has a rating of 103 on the all-weather tracks. You could say he’s a good all-weather horse but those improvements have come this winter and that run at Epsom was his first run since. He’s very much capable of winning a handicap of 90 and he’s a good each-way shout.
It’s time to play the game of what price will Santa Barbara go off as! She went off favourite at the Guineas and the Oaks. Maybe experience and stamina caught her out in those races where she finished fourth and fifth respectively. She won her maiden here, it’s a 10 furlong race and she might finally realise what the market is telling us she’s about. However, from what I’ve seen, I wouldn’t want to be backing her at that price. I’m going to take her on.
Epona Plays is improving but she’s ground dependant. That improvement has come on testing ground which I doubt she’ll get on Sunday. That leaves Cayenne Pepper as the obvious pick. Her form last year was very solid and the ground was against her in her last appearance here in May, where she finished fourth. Cayenne Pepper is a good price and she’s the one to beat.
Passion will be favourite but can you really get behind her to back her? Her form last year was decent but she’ll probably be relatively short so it might not be smart to back. I wouldn’t be surprised if Sunchart or Questionare won this one. It’s a race that didn’t capture my imagination!
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