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Hurricane to blow away opposition


Hurricane to blow away opposition

WE are now approaching the end of the flat racing season and this really is a weekend to savour with the final Classic of the season at York and a mouth-watering Champion Stakes both down for decision on this coming Saturday.
It is unfortunate that two top class group ones have to be run on the same day as we are likely to be deprived of presence of a jockey like Frankie Dettori at Leopardstown on Saturday as he will be on board Leger favourite Sixties Icon for Jeremy Noseda.
Before taking a look at the value bets in the weekend’s big events there is a decent listed race at Haydock on Thursday where Goodricke should make his debut for Godolphin in what is a competitive event.
However, the ground looks like it may be on the heavy side and he may need the run so preference is for Short Dance from the Barry Hills yard whose best form is when there has been a bit of cut in the ground. He won a listed race at York over a mile in May but this drop back to seven furlongs shouldn’t inconvenience. Richard Hughes is down to ride. Mac Love is one of the obvious dangers.
Friday sees the first group races of the Leger meeting at York which of course has been transferred from Doncaster due to ongoing works there.
The Park Hill Stakes looks very competitive and the market should be very open but I think there is more to come from Guadalajara now that Godolphin would seem to have hit form. The former French trained filly only went down by a half a length to Admiral’s Cruise last time out in a messy race but she’ll like the soft ground and will see out the trip. The big dangers in an open race would seem to be Allegretto and Quenched.
The Doncaster Cup will certainly be a true test of stamina if the rain continues but there’s no doubting that the hugely brave Sergeant Cecil is probably the one they all have to beat. However, this two miles two furlongs distance may just catch him out so a chance is taken on Ermine Sea taking advantage of his light weight for John Gosden. He ran a cracker behind Soapy Danger in the Queen’s Vase before flopping in a bog in France. But he is unexposed and he could go well at a very big price in a race where a lot of the main protagonists have had a tough season.
I am very much looking forward to attending what has the makings of a brilliant card at Leopardstown on Saturday. The first group race on the card is the Kilternan Stakes which could be an intriguing clash between the likes of Cool Touch, Danak and Royal Intrigue. Preference is for John Oxx’s unbeaten Danak who has been very impressive on all three starts and should be suited by the trip and ground conditions.
The Group One Matron Stakes has attracted a cracking line up and with some great English challengers in the shape of Red Evie, Nannina and Flashy Wings. I think Jim Bolger will take his chance with Alexander Goldrun in the Champion Stakes as he has an able deputy here in Modeeroch. However, Mick Channon has been patient with Flashy Wings and he could be the one this time. This is still only her ninth race course appearance and she is taken to reverse Coronation Stakes form with Nannina on the basis she has had an easier season.
The Champion Stakes roll of honour reads like a who’s who of Europe’s best ever ten furlong horses and this year’s renewal is also top quality. Alexander Goldrun, Dylan Thomas and Ouija Board are all worthy challengers but I just can’t see Hurricane Run been overturned. His King George win will live long in the memory and on decent ground he has that turn of foot that will have most of these in bother, even over this shorter distance. I think Dylan Thomas could give him most to do.
Finally, Sixties Icon is a raging hot favourite for the St Leger and rightly so after a whole list of withdrawals. It may pay to put him in a double with Hurricane Run but if you are looking for an each way bet then try Red Rocks, who ran a cracker in the Great Voltigeur. If he is ridden more patiently from off the pace, he may have a finishing kick to trouble even Sixties Icon. It promises to be a weekend of top class action. Enjoy.

Short Dance, Haydock, 3.55
Guadalajara, York, 2.40
Ermine Sea, York, 3.15
Danak, Leopardstown, 2.40
Flashy Wings, Leopardstown, 3.15
Red Rocks, York, 3.45
Hurricane Run, Leopardstown, 3.55


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