With the foot of our regular columnist Tom Lee firmly to the floor of the Galway bandwagon as it roars its way towards the finishing line of the seven day jamboree of racing on the west coast of Ireland, the RTE and Channel 4 Racing presenter has asked the Betting Directory team to step in to provide selections for Saturday’s racing.
In Tom’s absence, both of Saturday’s picks come from Goodwood on the final day of the five day ‘Glorious’ meeting at the Sussex track, the first of which is in the Nassau Stakes where we’re taking French Raider, Narniyn, to land the £113,000 first prize in this fillies and mares Group One for Alain de Royer-Dupré and the Aga Khan.
We’re siding with the daughter of Dubawi to bounce back to winning ways after she came unstuck against the boys in the Group One Grand Prix De Saint-Cloud last time out, a race in which she finished fourth but was far from disgraced just two lengths behind winner, Spirit Jim, in what was her first try over 1m 4f. Prior to that, the four-year-old had enjoyed a four race winning streak stretching back to last September and it has to be thought that her most recent outing at the end of June will have done her more good than harm and dropped back to 10 furlongs, she is taken to bounce back to winning ways as the trip certainly won’t pause a problem and at odds of 4/1 with Bet Victor, she looks a solid pick.
Competition comes in the form of the Sir Michael Stoute trained Mango Diva who won a Group Two over nine furlongs at the Curragh last time out and the Aidan O’Brien trained Venus De Milo, who came second behind Thistle Bird in the Pretty Polly Stakes last time out but whilst this race lacks a proven Group One performer, Narniyn looks the value pick of the leading protagonists.
The next selection comes in the 32 Red Cup, which was controversially renamed recently after 174 years of being known as the Stewards Cup. However, a cavalry charge of 28 runners is still on the cards, something that has become synonymous with the race since it was first run in 1840 and this year we’re calling that it will go the way of Intrinsic, an intriguing entry from the little known Cambridgeshire trainer Robert Cowell, who’s better known for his runners on the All Weather than he is for prestigious handicaps as his record of three group wins in five years illustrates. However, the fact that Richard Hughes has overlooked the two Richard Hannon entries in this race in favour of the ride on Intrinsic speaks volumes about the potential of this four-year-old.
It took three attempts for this son of Oasis Dream to lose his maiden tag 12 months ago but when he did, he did so in style with a three and a quarter length victory at Newcastle in the final start as a three-year-old after missing his entire juvenile campaign. He re-appeared in an 18 runner handicap at Ascot in May, in which he saw off some seasoned rivals with an eye-catching victory. He followed that up just two weeks later with a victory over six furlongs at Goodwood and it looks as though that course and distance victory was enough to convince connections to put him away for a tilt at the Stewards Cup.
Up a total of 23lbs since that win at Newcastle last October, this late developer certainly looks to be on an upwards curve. With that, it is difficult to quantify just how much he has in hand on the handicapper but for a horse clearly heading in the right direction, it’s worth taking a chance that he’s capable of getting the better of 27 rivals in the hands of the champion jockey at odds 7/1 with bet365 with just three runners below him at the weights in the race. It’s not an original pick plumbing for the likely favourite in a race of this nature but given how competitive this field looks, an unexposed type of this nature stands out more so than any other and we’re happy to take an each way chance.
Saturday’s best bets from Goodwood
3:15 – Nassau Stakes – Narniyn @ 4/1 with Bet Victor
3:50 – 32Red Cup (Stewards Cup) – Intrinsic @ 7/1 (each way) with bet365