Racing Expert & Columnist
Alex Hammond Blog: Preview and Tips for the weekend
Last Updated: 18/07/19 4:50pm
Sky Sports Racing's Alex Hammond looks back on the victory of Ten Sovereigns in her latest blog where she also previews the upcoming action.
Ten Sovereigns bounced back to win the Darley July Cup - where would you head now with him?
Wasn't he exceptional? Blue Point may have been packed off to stud too soon as there's a new star speedster in town. It seems that horses that have been trained to stretch their stamina out to a mile often take a run or two to get used to sprinting, it pretty much goes against everything they have been taught up to this point (i.e. to relax, drop the bridle and try and get the trip over a mile).
So, it was understandable that Aidan O'Brien's colt needed the experience of Royal Ascot to get into top gear and let his handbrake off. He left his Commonwealth Cup defeat way behind him at Newmarket with fast ground conditions and a following wind assisting an impressive winning time. The prominent ride Ryan Moore gave him really suited too and whilst Advertise wasn't disgraced in second, this was all about Ten Sovereigns.
It was good to see as without Blue Point, the sprint division was lacking a star, but goodness me, we have one now. I imagine he will head to Haydock for the Sprint Cup, for which he's Sky Bet's 2/1 market leader. That's not until September 7 though and it will be interesting to see if Aidan O'Brien decides to drop him to five furlongs and run him in the Coolmore sponsored Nunthorpe at York on August 23 as that would seem to fit well into his schedule.
It must be tempting for the owners to try and win the race they support and if his work times are to be believed, he was doing more than catching the proverbial pigeons on the Ballydoyle gallops, he was overtaking them! He's Sky Bet's 3/1 second favourite behind Battaash for the York race.
Ten Sovereigns after his big win
How surprised are you to hear Too Darn Hot is heading to the Sussex Stakes - would you be for or against him at Goodwood?
I'm not surprised at all and I think it's a good idea. If you recall, I said in last week's blog that his connections may want to try and stretch his stamina out to the mile again as it makes more commercial sense for his next career at stud. As I pointed out last week, seven furlongs (the trip he won over at Deauville) isn't a fashionable trip, it's rather a specialist trip and there is no Group One in Britain over it. It's comparable to something like the 800 metres in athletics, in that you aren't a sprinter nor a distance runner. He wasn't stopping as the line approached in France and I'd imagine John Gosden is pretty relaxed about him staying the trip well at Goodwood. Sky Bet have him priced as their 6/4 favourite, so there's plenty of confidence behind him.
Too Darn Hot: Going back over a mile makes sense
The Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival gets under way this weekend and there's the big Super Sprint at Newbury and the Irish Oaks - what catches your eye?
I love the Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival, but approach it with caution too as every year a motley crew, including myself and various other racing broadcasters, trainers and written journalists take each other on in a tipping competition. It's all in the name of charity for some very worthy causes and I feel the pressure to not make an utter fool of myself! You can follow our progress at www.sportinglife.com with the tips posted daily and a running total on the website too.
As a matter of fact, one of the trainer's involved in the hard fought competition looks to have a very strong chance of winning the Super Sprint at Newbury.
Richard Fahey's Ventura Rebel is Sky Bet's 6/4 and well backed favourite for the big field juvenile contest. It's mighty short in a race that is usually ultra-competitive, but he deserves his position at the head of the market. He shattered a lofty reputation when beating Wes Ward's Lady Pauline on Royal Ascot trials day and ran a cracker into second place in the Norfolk Stakes at the Royal meeting, a juvenile contest that looked one of the strongest of the week.
At a slightly bigger price, I want to keep Emten on side. The Jamie Osborne-trained filly made an impressive debut when winning at Windsor and I was lucky enough to see her there as I was working for Sky Sports Racing. She is a lovely individual with size and scope and she ran a stormer to finish fifth in the Norfolk Stakes last time out, staying on well (she was an 80/1 shot at Royal Ascot). With a maximum field of 25 runners on Saturday at Newbury, it won't be easy, but I hope she gives us a good run for our money at 7/1 with Sky Bet.
Joseph O'Brien trains the ante-post favourite for the Irish Oaks and has a very strong chance of winning the classic with Iridessa, the current 2/1 favourite with Sky Bet.
She comes here having beaten the older fillies in the Pretty Polly over a mile and a quarter (fellow three-year-old Pink Dogwood third) and it didn't look like she would have any problems with the extra couple of furlongs at the Curragh. She will be a tough nut to crack.
If that price doesn't appeal Ribblesdale winner Star Catcher is improving all the time as she matures and also has stamina to burn. John Gosden was patient with the filly and didn't go to Epsom for the Oaks and that approach is paying off. She's 4/1 third favourite and Frankie Dettori will be going over to take the ride on Saturday.