Archive for the ‘ Flat ’ Category

09 Sep
2016

In The Sheikh Up At Donny

The 250th running of the £100,000 Doncaster Cup (3.40pm), the stayers’ Grade 2, is the focal point of this afternoon’s card at Town Moor, a quality day’s racing in itself, but also a handy aperitif for what promises to be a spectacular weekend of sport in both Britain and Ireland.

First though, we need to try and unearth a diamond from the assembled field of nine for today’s race, in which the bookies make Roger Charlton’s Quest For More their market leader.

The blinkered winner of York’s Lonsdale Cup, he hasn’t always been the most reliable conveyance, and it ought to be remembered that in the Goodwood Cup on his penultimate outing, he was only sixth, behind third-placed Sheikhzayedroad.

At double his odds the latter hints at being the value alternative today, coming here off the back of that fine third in the Goodwood Cup, as well as filling the same position behind Order Of St George in the Ascot Gold Cup.

Rated 113, he’s only 1lb behind the favourite on figures, and is a guaranteed stayer with no quirks.

Trainer David Simcock continues to fire in the winners, and his contender here looks attractively priced at the 6/1 available with either bet365 or Ladbrokes.

Good luck!

Today’s best bet at Doncaster:

3.40 – Doncaster Cup – 7 Sheikhzayedroad (each way) @ 6/1 (bet365 or Ladbrokes)

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Posted 1 year, 2 months ago

02 Sep
2016

Sprint Cup Highlights Competitive Haydock Card

No Tom I’m afraid this week folks so you’ve got me, Russell Palmer from the Betting Directory as I bid to ably deputise as Tom tops up his tan on holiday.

It’s a pretty competitive day looking across the cards, with the highlight the 32Red Sprint Cup at Haydock (4.30pm). Limato is the short priced favourite and with good reason following his win in the July Cup earlier in the Summer and the second place last time out behind Mecca’s Angel in the Nunthorpe.

There was no disgrace in finishing second that day and his form is better than any in Saturday’s field. However, with forecast rain on its way to Haydock the four year old’s participation could be up in the air, so I’ve picked out a couple of each -way chances as insurance.

The form of the July Cup is key here as I like the second and third home that day to go well again on Saturday.

The filly Quiet Reflection has been hugely impressive this season, winning the Group 2 Sandy Lane here in May by three and three quarter lengths. A win in the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot followed and she was third at Newmarket last time. She gets a fillies allowance here, goes on any ground if there is to be a change in the going and arrives fresh. The Henry Candy trained filly can be backed each-way at 11/2 with Coral.

The horse who finished between Limato and Quiet Reflection in second at Newmarket was Suedois who represents real value here at 14/1.

If we’re backing Quiet Reflection then Suedois should also be considered. The David O’Meara trained five year old has four pounds in hand on Quiet Reflection from that July Cup run due to the weight for age allowance and I can’t for the life of me see why he’d be a double figure price amongst this field.

Earlier in the card I like the look of Hathal trained by William Haggas in the Superior Mile (3.00pm). I backed Yorker trained by Haggas in the Strensall Stakes a few weeks ago at York, a horse that had come back following a long lay off and the trainer has a knack with horses such as these with Hathal running for the first time in a year.

The four year old was improving last year winning a Listed race at Newbury before the lay-off. The Haggas yard is in absolutely scorching form with his last 38 runners yielding 20 who have finished either first or second. At 7/1 with Paddy Power and Betfair it looks a cracking each-way bet.

Tom will be back next week, good luck with Saturday’s bets!

Saturday’s Best Bets:

3.00pm Haydock – Superior Mile – Hathal (each-way) 7/1 (Paddy Power and Betfair)

4.30pm Haydock – 32Red Sprint Cup – Quiet Reflection (each-way) 11/2 (Coral) and Suedois (each-way)  14/1 (Various)

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Posted 1 year, 2 months ago

25 Aug
2016

Stoute In The ‘Thik’ Of It

Supplemented for a race his trainer, Sir Michael Stoute, has won eight times since 1987, Thikriyaat looks the one to be with in Saturday’s most valuable prize, the Group 2 Doom Bar Celebration Mile (4.30pm) at Goodwood.

One of the infrequent but popular days upon which the Chanel 4 bandwagon gets a welcome chance to set up camp on the scenic Sussex Downs, the Celebration mile features a field of just five, of which the two three-year-olds, Thikriyaat and Zonderland, hold sway at the top of the market.

Bear in mind, the Classic generation have dominated this event and then some, taking six of the last eight renewals, from a mere 11 representatives.

What’s more, Thikriyaat has been beaten just once in five career outings, and even that came when runner-up at the hands of a future Group 1 scorer, Ribchester.

He won a Group 3 over course and distance last time out on a track that can take some knowing, and looks a very solid option in the hands of Paul Hanagan.

At the time of writing, both Stan James and Paddy Power are 15/8.

Notching a double figure winners tally in the fortnight to Friday, it could actually be a quickfire ‘cross the card’, Group race, three-year-old double for team Stoute, as Ulysses goes for Windsor’s Winter Hill Stakes on Saturday evening (6.00pm).

Fit again Ryan Moore is jocked up to partner a horse who made a massive impression when winning his maiden at Newbury, earning a hike in class that saw his next start come in the Derby!

A shade out of his depth there, he was more at home when winning a mile and a half Group 3 at Glorious Goodwood.

This drop in trip to 1m 2f won’t be an issue, especially with Moore eager to make up for lost time.

Good luck!

Saturday’s best bets:

4.30 Goodwood – Doom Bar Celebration Mile – 4 Thikriyaat (win)

6.00 Windsor – Winter Hill Stakes – 4 Ulysses (win)

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Posted 1 year, 2 months ago

20 Aug
2016

Shrewd Money Rewarded At York?

Iain Jardine’s Shrewd looks a livewire in this afternoon’s Ebor Handicap at York (4.00pm), and as a well drawn, lightly weighted, in-form, recent course and distance winner he commands plenty of respect.

Favourites have a miserable record, just one successful since 1998, so in an open renewal of the £280,000 contest, he looks fair value at around 12/1.

Elsewhere, the Evan Williams-trained Roadie Joe is overpriced at 11/1 for Newton Abbot’s 2m 5f handicap hurdle (2m 5f).

A Grade 2 winner at Chesptow last year, he can win fresh and has a feather weight when you factor in young Lewis Gordon’s claim.

Don’t be too surprised if he can creep into the frame, or better.

At Chelmsford this evening Mark Johnston’s Space Mountain looks like a winner in the extended 1m 5f handicap (7.20pm).

Up four pounds for winning Beverley, he’ll love this further step up in distance ands gets weight from all comers.

Lastly, Brighton can continue their dominant early form in the Championship by taking all three points away to Reading.

The Seagulls look like they mean business, and after blitzing Rotherham in midweek can continue their momentum.

Good luck!

Saturday’s best bets:

3.45 Newton Abbot – toteexacta Handicap Hurdle – 2 Roadie Joe (each way)

4.00 York – Betfred Ebor Handicap – 18 Shrewd (each way)

7.20 Chelmsford – toteexacta Handicap – 6 Space Mountain (win)

Championship football – Brighton to win away to Reading

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Posted 1 year, 2 months ago

18 Aug
2016

Back On Song In Sunny York?

Fast ground, big crowds and blazing sunshine are the key ingredients so far here in York, where we head into day two of the Ebor Meeting after an opening salvo which featured headline displays from Idaho and Postponed.

The first of those is now something in the region of a 7/4 favourite for the St Leger after barrelling his way through yesterday’s Great Voltigeur, while Roger Varian’s Postponed could be set to light up the Arc de Triomphe at its temporary home of Chantilly in October, for which bookies’ quotes range between 4/1 and 5/1 following his classy display in the feature Juddmonte International.

Today’s big one comes at 3.40pm in the shape of the Darley Yorkshire Oaks, with a four strong challenge from Aidan O’Brien, spearheaded by proven top level performer Found.

There is a little bit of a question mark for her on this quicker surface though, and in receipt of a meaty 10 pounds it might be one of the three-year-olds that come to the fore.

Seventh Heaven lived up to her name when winning the Irish Oaks in mid-July, but it’s another of the O’Brien quartet, Even Song, who might claw back some of her dented reputation from that race by springing a surprise today.

Sent off the 4/5 market leader for the Curragh Group 1, she wasn’t a danger at any stage that day, but leat we forget any horse can have an off day, and this filly didn’t go off odds on for a Group 1 by accident…

Furthermore, Ryan Moore chose her over both Seventh Heaven and Pretty Perfect that day, no doubt hugely impressed by her win in Royal Ascot’s Ribblesdale.

A return to that form, with Pat Smullen up for the first time today, might see her make a mockery of her odds, with bet365 and Stan James both going 14/1 and 1/4 odds for each way money.

Later on, another filly crossing the pond from Ireland who might be over-priced is the Jim Bolger-trained Glamorous Approach, who takes her place in the hands of Kevin Manning in the EBF & Sir Henry Cecil Galtres Stakes (4.20pm).

The Bolger stable is in superb nick, and today’s mile and a half assignment might be ideal for a progressive three-year-old who has been experimented with at a variety of distances.

By Derby winner New Approach, she’s joint top rated but gets weight from the older horses, giving her a great chance to at least make the frame at the 15/2 available with Hills.

Good luck!

Today’s best bets at York:

3.40 – Darley Yorkshire Oaks – 6 Even Song (each way) @ 14/1 (bet365)

4.20 – EBF & Sir Henry Cecil Galtres Stakes – 6 Glamorous Approach (each way) @ 7/1 (Paddy Power)

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Posted 1 year, 3 months ago

17 Aug
2016

York Day One Tips

All roads lead to the Knavesmire here in sunny York, with day one of the always keenly-anticipated Ebor Meeting upon us.

If affordable champagne, top notch Flat racing, big crowds and tricky betting heats are your bag then this is the place to be without question.

The opening card of the four day fixture has the look of a bookmaker’s day, but the way to attack it could be to target a couple of big-priced fancies in the feature races…

Rated 120 and placed in both the English and Irish Derby, you’d have to respect Aidan O’Brien’s Idaho in the Great Voltigeur at 3.05pm, the horse who the firms make just 4/1 for next month’s St Leger.

He’s odds on to take today’s audition for that contest by the scruff of the neck, but there could be value in opposing him today with 10/1 chance Imperial Aviator.

Trained by in-form Roger Charlton, who has notched three winners from his last 11 runners, Imperial Aviatior steps up in trip here after a break, trying his hand at Group 2 company after a failed experiment in the French Derby.

To be fair he was completely unsuited by the Soft ground at Chantilly, and as a son of star performer Paco Boy, is much better judged on what he can achieve on today’s surface, Good to Firm.

His father was unbeaten on that going description, including a brace of Group 1’s.

As for Imperial Aviator, he was unbeatable at a lower level in the spring, seeing Ulysses at Leicester, before turning on the style in a red-hot three-year-old handicap at Newbury in May.

This demands far more, but he could have lots of improvement to come at a mile and a half, and he looks generously priced at 10/1 with any of bet365, Boyle, Hills or Ladbrokes.

The big ones comes around at 3.40pm, with the big money Juddmonte International attracting a glittering field of 13.

Trying to attain a sixth win on the bounce, Roger Varian’s Postponed is hot favourite for this, but he has to prove he’s as potent at a mile and a quarter as he is at a mile and a half, and at more than four times his price there could be value in chancing your arm with the William Haggas-trained Mutakayyef.

Drastically improved since being gelded in the winter, this son of Sea The Stas looks more than ready for a tilt at a top level prize, winning both of his starts this year.

Haggas could barely be having a better season, firing in winners left, right and centre, and in Mutakayyef he has a horse who could net him a huge prize.

He looked great last time out at Ascot, and goes really well here any York.

Back him each way at a general 8/1.

Good luck!

Wednesday’s best bets at York:

3.05 – Betway Great Voltigeur Stakes – 5 Imperial Aviator (each way) @ 10/1 (bet365, Boyles or Ladbrokes)

3.40 – Juddmonte International Stakes – 7 Mutakayyef (each way) @ 8/1 (bet365, Betfred, BetVictor or Betway)

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Posted 1 year, 3 months ago

12 Aug
2016

On The Ball At Lingfield

In-form Lambourn trainer, Sylvester Kirk, can provide us with a winner at Lingfield Park on Saturday evening, lining up three-year-old Spinners Ball for the mile and a half 0-70 handicap at 7.05pm.

Kirk, fresh from a winner at Salisbury on Thursday and enjoying a veritable hot streak after a fortnight which has yielded eight winners, has given Spinners Ball the necessary three runs to qualify for his opening handicap mark of 70, all achieved with plenty of promise at trips varying between seven and nine furlongs.

With experience and a rating in the bag he now switches to a more suitable race, right on the cusp of the 0-70 ratings band, but in a contest where he gets weight form the older horses via the weight for age allowance.

What’s more, Kirk now gives the son of Excellent Art plenty more time to get the job done, upping him in trip drastically for his first try in a handicap.

In the hands of Tom Marquand he’s got a great chance of bagging a first victory.

Elsewhere, the day’s feature TV meeting comes from Newbury, where a huge crowd is nigh-on guaranteed on Hungerford and Geoffrey Freer Stakes day.

In the latter at 3.05pm, it’s easy to make a strong argument for Sir Michael Stoute’s Kings Fete following his Group 3 win at Glorious Goodwood, while the Hannons have a fascinating contender in the the shape of the three-year-old, Humphrey Bogart.

However, high risk though it is, for me the interesting one is David Simcock’s runner, Red Cardinal.

Bottom-rated, why would Simcock avoid running him in a handicap and sacrifice a winning opportunity on the altar of ambition unless he thought he possessed the required improvement to get involved in this lucrative five horse race?

Bear in mind, Red Cardinal is rapidly moving through the gears, charging his way to three wins on the bounce since late April, to such an extent he’s unbeaten on the turf and now steps up further in trip.

Kings Fete had a tough race at Goodwood, while Humphrey Bogart has to try and prove a fruitless trip to America hasn’t left a mark on him.

This might be a great time to take them on, and if there is a to be a shock then Red Cardinal might be one to provide it – remember he’s 10/1 in a five horse race.

Good luck!

Saturday’s best bets:

3.05 Newbury – Betfred Geoffrey Freer Stakes – 3 Red Cardinal (win) @ 10/1 (bet365, Betfred or Ladbrokes)

7.05 Lingfield – Ladbrokes Handicap – 8 Spinners Ball (win)

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Posted 1 year, 3 months ago

05 Aug
2016

‘Pick’ A Winner At Haydock Park

There’s a stack of decent racing to go at on Saturday, with attractive Group races at both Haydock Park and Newmarket’s July Course, bolstered by the annual competitive novelty which is Ascot’s Shergar Cup.

The latter might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the crowds seem to enjoy it, with over 30,000 turning up annually to enjoy the sport followed by a massive post-racing concert, while the riders coming from far and wide genuinely seem to love it…

Building up to this year’s event Japan’s Kenichi Ikezoe, the man who played a massive part from the saddle in the success of the legendary Orfevre, told the press: “I’ve watched racing from Ascot many times on television. It’s very popular back home, especially Royal Ascot.

“There is nothing at all like Ascot in Japan, as the tracks tend to be very flat and the ground is nearly always very fast.

“I am really looking forward to riding at Ascot on Saturay, I cannot wait.”

Meanwhile, another newcomer to Ascot is prolific South African, Gavin Lerena, who booted home a none too shabby 220 domestic winners when taking the title back home in 2015.

He said: I’m really looking forward to riding at Ascot on Saturday. It’s like a dream come true.

“I walked the course yesterday and it’s an amazing course. I am very fortunate to be riding here.”

I look forward to seeing what they and their weighing room colleagues can cook up from the vantage point of the Ascot betting ring, but for anyone seeking an investment on Satuday afternoon, it’s perhaps prudent to shop elsewhere on a day where a section of the riders have zero experience of not only the track, but also the horses they are due to partner…

With that in mind, head to Haydock for their opener, the Betfred Duke Of Lancaster’s Own Yeomanry Handicap (2.00pm), in which the most in-form trainer can get his day off to a sizzling start.

Thursday saw Newmarket-based William Haggas fire in winners at three separate meetings, recording a near 8/1 treble across fixtures at Brighton, Haydock and Sandown Park, and by the end of the same evening he’d struck with an astonishing 10 of his last 19 runners.

Here he prepares to unleash her Majesty The Queen’s Pick Your Choice, a lightly-raced four-year-old by Elusive Quality, in the hands of George Baker.

The Chelmsford maiden winner fluffed his lines in his first try in handicap company back in 2015, when sent off favourite at Ascot, but he reappeared after an 11 month break to score at Yarmouth in late June.

Haggas has been patient and the handicapper has been kind, raising his mark a mere three pounds for that success at the seaside venue.

He must have a cracking chance to make it two from two for the campaign.

Also at Haydock, the day’s feature rolls around at 3.45pm in the form of the
Group 3 Betfred Rose Of Lancaster, in which a combination of the introduction of blinkers and permanently-excellent Rab Havlin can see Foundation bounce back to winning ways.

It hasn’t all been plain sailing for the horse who won his first three starts, before tasting odds on defeat in the Racing Post Trophy back in October.

May’s Dante third was more like it, before a total disaster when plum last in the French Derby at Chantilly.

Here, in receipt of nine pounds, he takes on his elders for the first time, but the positive influence of Havlin plus the blinkers and weight allowance means John Gosden’s charge deserves another chance.

Lastly, regular readers of this column will be aware of the frustration of backing Harry Dunlop’s three-year-old, Torquay, at Lingfied Park a fortnight ago.

On Saturday evening she bids for compensation at the same venue, lining up in the 188bet Handicap (5.50pm).

Last time out she drifted like a barge and then turned in a monster performance, going down by the width of a fine coat of paint, staying on to lead after the line…

Ironically here one her two biggest dangers is trained by William Haggas, but Torquay has bags of potential on just her fifth start, and up four pounds might be able to make it second time lucky in handicaps.

Dunlop also has his string in fine form, with a brace of winners and four seconds from his last 13 efforts, and Torquay can continue the good run.

Good luck!

Saturday’s best bets:

2.00 Haydock – Betfred Duke Of Lancaster’s Own Yeomanry Handicap – 7 Pick Your Choice (win)

3.45 Haydock – Betfred Rose Of Lancaster Stakes – 6 Foundation (win) @ 11/4 with Bet Victor

5.50 Lingfield – 188bet Handicap – 2 Torquay (win)

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Posted 1 year, 3 months ago

29 Jul
2016

Saturday’s Best Bets From Goodwood on Stewards Cup Day

After a busy week on the West Coast of Ireland, covering the Galway Festival for RTE, our regular columnist Tom Lee is taking a rare and well earned weekend off. He tells us that five days of live TV from Ballybrit takes its toll, but we suspect that it could have more to do with a week long concoction of toblerones, oysters and a few pints of the black stuff.

Notwithstanding, team Betting Directory is always happy to step up to the plate when Tom can’t cover the column and we’ll hopefully point readers in the direction of a couple of winners in his absence.

The final day of Glorious Goodwood takes centre stage on Saturday, with four races live on Channel 4, the feature of which, is the Nassau Stakes. However, with the Aidan O’Brien trained Minding, a best price 2/7 to win the £340,000 first prize, nobody’s going to get rich by backing the 1000 Guineas winner in her pursuit of a fourth Group One victory of the season.

Instead, there’s value to be had in the big betting heat of the day in the form of the Stewards Cup at 3:45, where 28 runners are set to go to post, and Orion’s Bow is taken to roll back the clock for trainer, David Nicholls, and land this famous six furlong cavalry charge.

Having won the Stewards Cup as a jockey on board Soba in 1982, Dandy Nicholls went on to win it as a trainer on three occasions between 2000 and 2010, but a lean spell has meant that the Yorkshire handler’s presence has been missed in the winner’s enclosure at flat racing’s feature meetings over the past couple of years.

However, in the form of Orion’s Bow, Nicholls could have rediscovered his magic touch when it comes to training sprinters. The five-year-old has won its last five races, jumping from an official rating of 69 to 103, in the process, suggesting the penny has finally dropped as he matures. Each of those victories has come when stepping up in class and winning with something in hand on each occasion, suggesting that the son of Pivotal, could well be one step ahead of the handicapper, despite being fifth highest rated in the field.

There should be no issues jumping out of stall 12 and the projected good to firm going will pose no problem. There’s every chance that this could be a group performer in handicap company, and it would be no surprise to see the Haydock Sprint and Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot on the agenda after this outing. As such, the 7/1 with Betfair looks a reasonable shout about a horse that is in the form of his life.

Don’t be put off by the price, the last seven winners of this race have come from the top six in the betting, suggesting that the bookmakers are hunting in the right territory when pricing up the contest in recent times, and Orion’s Bow is definitley a solid each-way bet with most firms offering five places.

Earlier on the card, look no further than the Godolphin trained, Move Up, to land the Qatar Stakes at 2:35. The Saeed bin Suroor three-year-old may be top weight in this 16 runner handicap, but is the most lightly raced entry, with just one run to its name. That was a victory at Ascot earlier this month, where he put up a battling display over 1m 2f to see off the highly regarded Gershwin from the David Lanigan yard.

Saturday’s step up to 1m 4f should suit this Dubawi Colt, who is likely to have bundles of improvement in the tank, and he is taken to assert his authority against a field of rivals that have all had tough campaigns, given their age. The handicapper has taken no chances with Move Up, throwing him in at the top of the handicap, but it would be no surprise if he had the class to defy that burden. Another 7/1 chance, he is taken to at least make the frame, with a more than lively chance to record back-to-back wins.

Saturday’s Best Bets

Goodwood, 2:35 – Qatar Handicap: Move Up @ 7/1 with Bet Victor

Goodwood, 3:45 – Stewards Cup: Orion’s Bow @ 7/1 with Betfair

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Posted 1 year, 3 months ago

28 Jul
2016

A Superb Day To Head For Galway

Rushmoor (1986), Sagaman (1991) and Overturn (2010) have all achieved what Superb Story will attempt to do later today, namely cross the Irish Sea to become a UK-trained winner of the Guinness Galway Hurdle (4.45pm RTE1).

Superb Story, trained in the Midlands by Dan Skelton and ridden by his brother Harry, comes here in great shape and with zero concerns about the rain that fell last night.

He’s two from three since joining his current trainer and could not have been more impressive last time we saw him, bolting up off a rating of 138 in Cheltenham’s County Hurdle.

Specifically prepared for this assignment since then, he has a major chance from a handicap mark a mere seven pounds higher.

There are a stack of good horses trying to keep the prize at home, but the re-introduction of Pyromaniac means we’ll get a better price about Superb Story, who looks a tempting wager at 9/2 with any of Betway, Boylesports, Coral, Paddy or Skybet.

Elsewhere on a bumper eight race card, Mick Halford’s well supported \Rayisa might well have too much ammunition for her rivals to handle in the valuable listed fillies’ race at 3.30pm.

Top rated by getting weight from the four-year-olds, a combination of the rain, drop back in trip and return to a track where she has run well before could do the trick.

Lastly, rumours of a rival race meeting occurring in somewhere called Goodwood were confirmed yesterday, as the crowd let out a hefty roar of approval when the Gurkha laid down his challenge to win the Sussex Stakes.

The star stayers get their chance to shine on the lovely Sussex Downs this afternoon, and in the Group 2 Goodwood Cup (live on C4 at 3.10pm) we’ve a decent chance of hitting the frame at big odds with Ralph Beckett’s rapid improver, Kinema.

Flourishing since the switch to his new stable, Kinema steps up in trip here in modified blinkers, having won at Goodwood and then Royal Ascot.

Quicker ground won’t be a hindrance and it isn’t hard to envisage the improvement needed carrying him into the frame, meaning he’s an attractive each way proposition at 16/1.

Good luck!

Thursday’s best bets:

3.10 Goodwood – Qatar Goodwood Cup – 6 Kinema (each way) @ 16/1 with bet365

3.30 Galway – Guiness EBF Corrib Fillies Stakes – 8 Rayisa (win) @ 3/1 with bet365

4.45 Galway – Guinness Galway Handicap Hurdle – 3 Superb Story (win) @ 9/2 with Paddy Power

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Posted 1 year, 3 months ago