Friday, June 27, 2008

Weekend action

Twenty go to post in the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle tomorrow; several in the field ran at Ascot last week and, generally, Ascot runners have a good record in this. Nonetheless a few appeared to have a hard race, including Bukit Tinggi who has been kept busy this season. The draw can play an important part even though the race is over two miles; I tend to favour low numbered runners as they can hold a handy position more easily. Two that catch my eye and should handle the likely cut in the ground are Highland Legacy and Tilt. Both come to this fresh having run in the Chester Cup where Tilt, finishing third at level weights, came out on top. I think the pair are closely matched again but take the view that Highland Legacy didn't quite see out the two miles two furlong trip and, drawn in stall two here, can reverse the form giving Tilt, less favourably drawn in berth eleven, two pounds.

On Sunday it would be easy to miss the English Summer National run over four miles at Uttoxeter. Grand National fifth Philson Run, no spring chicken at the age of twelve, would have been a sporting each-way bet had the ground come up on the slow side but the forecast going (good to firm) makes me think a few of these will have a bit too much pace for the old-timer.

The Irish Derby at the Curragh, also on Sunday, looks fascinating with several runners from the English version choosing to try their luck again. Dermot Weld, trainer of Casual Conquest, has said that he doesn't think his horse can now find the five lengths he was beaten last time when finishing third. The race would appear to be between the first two at Epsom, New Approach and Tartan Bearer, and, unsurprisingly, the official ratings confirm that view. I know a few commentators felt the race at Epsom developed into something of a sprint up the home straight; I'm not brave enough to oppose New Approach so will maintain a watching brief but for those who are, Tartan Bearer looks the value.


Anonymous said...

My theory is that it's between Bukit Thinggi and my selection, Far From Old, if a race of twenty-two runners can be so easily reduced to two contenders. But what if New Approcah doesn't run tomorrow?

GeeDee said...

A thrilling finish to what looked a particularly rough renewal of the Northumberland Plate but, unfortunately, it didn't involve any of my selections. I certainly didn't envisage the weight of money that came for Highland Legacy who was sent off the 4/1 favourite and finished stone last. Spencer had the selection handy enough in sixth for most of the race but, turning into the home straight, there was little response; when it was clear there was nothing there, the jockey stopped riding, just after passing the two furlong pole. Tilt (9/1), in touch for much of the way, failed to quicken and finished eleventh. 14/1 shot Arc Bleu pipped Halla San (16/1) at the post; you couldn't help but feel for Bogside Theatre (10/1) who finished third and had been up with the pace for most of the race, looking the likely winner at the furlong pole...