August begins with a great week of racing as two top drawer meetings take place across the UK and Ireland when Glorious Goodwood and the Galway Festival get underway, offering up some fantastic action.
We have had a good look through both cards and while we are leaving the feature race alone the support action is sufficient enough that there are three bets we like over the course of the day.
The Chesterfield Cup handicap, run over a mile & a quarter, has attracted a field of 16 and, bar the front 2 in the market, it looks wide open. Millebosc was 3rd in the French Derby 2 years ago but hasn’t been anywhere near that form since. His price is solely based on potential, a return to that form & the hope that master trainer William Haggas can find that improvement on his 3rd run for the yard. Eagles Way was as progressive as they come last year, winning all 4 handicaps which saw his mark shoot from a low of 67 to his current mark of 96. He proved that this is still a mark he’s capable of winning off when finishing a head 2nd to Cumulonimbus in the Racing League at Yarmouth last Thursday. This is a different proposition altogether with tougher opponents & a field size he is not used to.
Admittedly, Soto Sizzler has something to prove but has definite each way claims reunited with Ryan Moore. Despite finishing midfield in 2 previous runnings of this, he has winning form at the track & another downhill track, Epsom, is one he also runs well at. He hasn’t won for over 12 months, that win coming at Epsom, but it’s worth noting last time (when 3rd at that same track, running his best race for a while) was the first time he’d been back off his last winning mark. Off the same mark today, I’m hoping he ekes out a bit more improvement & with the yard in hot form and the exceptional jockey booking, that’s more than possible. Moore has been on board 3 times previously, winning twice and finishing 2nd off 6lbs higher on the other occasion, so that’s almost a tip in itself. Drawn well in 4, the selection should go well & could add to his already excellent win & placed career form (5 wins, 6 seconds in 31 starts).
Back Soto Sizzler (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 13.00 William Hill BOG (⅕ odds 1-5)
Raced over a mile, this is a handicap where the draw is absolutely crucial & I will discount half the field immediately by removing another drawn in double figures. That includes leading fancies Lady Alara, Rowayeh, Novus, Bridestones & Good Gracious. In theory, this makes market leader Stormy Sea look like a good thing & this lightly raced filly from the Sir Michael Stoute yard could easily prove to be the best of these. However, this big field could lead to a messy race &, with her inexperience, I can’t bring myself to back her at odds of around 4/1.
The Karl Burke trained Back See Daa is the one I like. She has been handed a good draw in 5 and is taken to reverse Coral Distaff form when behind Bridestones at Sandown almost 4 weeks ago. That day, she didn’t settle too well & didn’t get a clear passage around a quarter of a mile from home but was less than a length behind that rival & just 2 lengths behind the winner. She’s 1lb better off & whilst that will help, the difference in draw will be the difference. Same comments apply to formlines with Lady Alara who was over 3 lengths behind & is now 5lbs better off with our selection but is another drawn poorly. As a 2 year old, our selection finished in front of triple Group 1 winner Paddington on debut & was impressive earlier this term when landing a Newbury novice race on her first start over this trip. If the draw bias holds up, it’s really hard to see her out of the frame especially with some bookies paying 6 places.
Back Back See Daa (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 11.00 William Hill BOG (⅕ odds 1-6)
Over in Ireland, possibly the best handicap of the day takes place at the Galway Festival in the form of the BMW Mile Premier Handicap where 18 runners on heavy ground is the puzzle to solve. Ado McGuinness is responsible for 7 of those runners so that’s almost a race in itself, picking which of his will run the best. Johnny Murtagh, however, saddles the favourite in the shape of Blues Emperor who’s won a pair of handicaps this term that has seen his mark go up by almost a stone. It wouldn’t be a big race with Aiden O’Brien having one towards the top of the betting & that’s in the form of handicap debutant Salt Lake City but, whilst he brings huge potential, it’s a massive ask for a 3 year old to win a race of this nature.
Joe Masseria gets my vote and we have the assistance of Colin Keane doing the steering. He’s a pretty reliable type, who genuinely gives his running & he goes particularly well for Keane who is 2 from 2 in handicaps on this selection. His last run was 2 starts ago at Cork off just a 2lb lower mark &, last time off this mark, he ran a respectable race when 3rd at Killarney where he wasn’t best positioned when the race unfolded. He is drawn pretty well in 7 as being wide off the turn into the short straight is a significant disadvantage here, and he should be helped by all the wet weather around. Form on soft or worse reads 2-1-4-1-4-0-1 & I’m fully hoping he can add another ‘1’ to that today in a race that should be run at suit at a track where he’s already tasted success under today’s pilot.
Back Joe Masseria (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 9.50 Skybet BOG (⅕ odds 1-6)
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