Busy weekend on the tracks

First published in Sport

As well as excellent Flat action from Newmarket, Newbury and Haydock there is summer jumping from Cartmel and Market Rasen, the latter with a 15-runner  field for the £50,000 Summer Plate.

Charlie Longsdon’s Grandads Horse ran a cracker when second over course and distance last time out and is respected – however, preference is with It’s a Gimme (3.30) for record chasing AP McCoy.

The seven-year-old is one of four runners for trainer Jonjo O’Neill and looks to have excellent claims on his handicap beau from an opening mark of 132. The son of Beneficial is rated 137 over hurdles but looks the sort to progress further over fences. On his favoured quick ground, the gelding is a confident selection.

The Champ has two excellent rides prior to that seeking to better Martin Pipe’s tally of 4,191 winners, however he surprisingly goes without a ride in the listed Summer Hurdle over an extended two miles. Alan King is double-handed with Montbazon, twice beaten in Flat maidens over the summer, and Uriah Heep (2.55) who gets the nod after landing a gamble at Stratford on Sunday.

Richard Johnson has partnered the gelding to two victories already this month, winning by a collective 12 lengths in two smart performances at Stratford and he can hopefully make it three wins inside three weeks, sealing the hat-trick under a 5lb penalty.

At Newbury, Roger Charlton’s Al Kazeem (2.40) returns to a racetrack in the Steventon Stakes after an unsuccessful stint at stud. The 6-y-o ended last season finishing an excellent sixth in the Arc during a season that saw the son of Dubawi win three G1 races on the spin. Providing he turns up with his appetite for racing intact he should be very difficult to beat.

Heeraat won last year’s renewal of the Hackwood Stakes and is respected returning to his preferred quick ground, but Rocky Ground (3.15) is given the nod after a creditable sixth in the Wokingham Handicap at Royal Ascot last month. The colt was only beaten by two rivals on his side of draw and with Andrea Atzeni back in the plate the son of Acclamation can add to last month’s Windsor success for the in-form Roger Varian stable.

The feature ‘Super Sprint’ pits the speediest juveniles against each other and the main protagonists to the fore with Richard Fahey, trainer of last year’s winner Peniaphobia, with five runners and Richard Hannon one behind with four.

Richard Hannon Senior won the race a record seven times and Tiggy Wiggy (3.50) can break the duck for Hannon Junior, the preferred mount of stable jockey Richard Hughes. The filly concedes weight all round but undoubtedly has the best form in the book after her excellent second to Anthem Alexander in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Haydock’s feature Conditions Stakes over seven furlongs pits tried and tested group performers with Trade Storm and Rerouted arriving on the back of globe-trotting expeditions in Meydan in the spring.

While both are respected, the race boils down to the pair of high class fillies; Dutch Rose for last year’s winning connections and Winning Express (8.00) with preference for Ed McMahon’s 4-y-o. The filly has only ever been out of the frame twice, fourth in last year’s 1000 Guineas and down the field on her return in the G3 Chartwell Stakes at Lingfield last time out. She will improve for the run and holds excellent claims in receipt of 5lb from those of the opposite sex.

Taghrooda was odds-on to complete the English/Irish Oaks double at the Curragh but connections have opted to run in the King George at Ascot instead.

John Gosden’s filly has been backed in the aftermath and is now 11/4 (from 8/1) with BetVictor to win what is shaping up to be one of the hottest races of the summer.

Tarfasha (5.45) chased her home at Epsom to give owner Sheikh Hamdan a 1-2 in The Oaks and without Taghrooda in her way the daughter of Teofilo can make amends for the team of Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen.

For all the latest odds and more head to BetVictor.com

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