Our racing expert has delved into the entries across the cards in Britain and Ireland on Sunday and identified six runners to keep a close eye on, including a potentially smart well-bred newcomer. Check out their six selections below, alongside an exclusive promotion courtesy of bet365, which is offering £50 In Free Bets to new customers, when you sign-up and bet £10.
Dukono – 14:40 Ripon (Hammond Associates Celebrates Yorkshire Spoon’s 30 Years Novice Stakes, 6f)
Trainer Richard Fahey will have been pleased with the opening effort from DUKONO when finishing fifth at Thirsk last month. The son of Expert Eye dwelt as soon as the stalls opened on that occasion and soon found himself having to make up ground under jockey Tony Hamilton. Ridden along with two furlongs to go, the two-year-old colt was forced to challenge widest of all after being carried towards the far side of the field by the eventual winner Zuffolo.
Ultimately beaten just two lengths at the line, Dukono will have learnt plenty from that opening introduction and with plenty of improvement forthcoming, Richard Fahey’s strapping two-year-old colt can get off the mark on Sunday at the second time of asking.
Matilda Picotte – 14:45 Naas (Coolmore Stud Irish Ebf Fillies Sprint Stakes, 5f 205y)
Naas plays host to an ultra-competitive eight race card on Sunday afternoon with Listed and Group 3 action to look forward to. The opening Group 3 contest can go the way of MATILDA PICOTTE, who produced a dazzling display on her debut at the Curragh thirteen days ago and appears to be a very smart sprinter in the making for trainer Kieran Cotter.
Well found in the market before the off, the Sioux Nation filly flew out of the stalls under Declan McDonogh and soon had established a clear lead at the halfway stage. Blazing a trail on the front end, Matilda Picotte quickly had her thirteen rivals in trouble and readily drew clear under hands and heels riding in the closing stages to record a comfortable success.
If delivering another electric performance on Sunday afternoon, Matilda Picotte will be seriously difficult to peg back and connections will be confident the speedy filly can make it a perfect two from two.
Santa Rossa – 15:00 Killarney (Easyclean Tourist Attraction Mares Hurdle, 2m 1f)
Scottish Champion Hurdle winner Anna Bunina has to be given the utmost respect once again, but after enduring a hard race in the Swinton Handicap Hurdle at Haydock just last week, Sunday’s Listed contest may come soon enough for John McConnell’s talented six-year-old mare and she is passed over this time around.
Despite the yard having a bit of a quiet spell, this can go the way of SANTA ROSSA who lost little in defeat last time out and is a seriously talented mare on her day.
The former Grade 2 bumper winner has clearly had her issues during her career and has appeared over hurdles just four times so far. Returning from a 386-day break back in March, the eight-year-old mare registered her second victory over timber with a fluent display at Limerick over two miles, striding effortlessly clear to win by six and a half lengths.
Pitched into Grade 2 company on her following start at Fairyhouse in April, she ran a solid race to finish second but ultimately proved no match for established graded performer Darasso over two and a half miles.
Dermot McLoughlin’s strong travelling mare should be suited by dropping back in trip on Sunday afternoon and with plenty of potential still to come over the smaller obstacles, Santa Rossa should be able to return to winning ways with her sights now lowered.
Franz – 15:10 Ripon (Goodbyeflys Ripon Racecourse Stable Staff Championships Handicap, 1m 1f 170y)
Kevin Ryan’s string has started to hit form in recent weeks and after sending out a pair of winners at York’s Dante Festival earlier this week, the yard will have high hopes of ending the weekend with another winner, this time in the shape of FRANZ.
A taking winner over a mile at Haydock towards the end of last season, Kevin Ryan’s colt returned for his three-year-old campaign when stepped up to ten furlongs at Redcar back in April. Sent off a well-supported favourite, Franz was unable to go with Kevin Philippart De Foy’s impressive winner Nicholas George but still finished nicely clear of the remainder on his comeback run following a 171-day break.
Out of smart sire Almanzor, Franz will be expected to improve plenty as a three-year-old this term and if stripping fitter following his Redcar reappearance, he should be tough to beat on handicap debut from a mark of 82.
Straight Answer – 15:45 Naas (Goffs Lacken Stakes, 5f 205y)
New York City will be expected to land the hat-trick and provide trainer Aidan O’Brien with yet another recent winner. After making the most of a simple opportunity at Navan on his seasonal return, the three-year-old colt returned to that venue when making all of the running to record a first Listed success.
A length behind in second that day was STRAIGHT ANSWER, who was a promising two-year-old for trainer Ger Lyons last season and shaped well in defeat following his return from 196 days off the track.
The son of Kodiac has always been held in high regard by connections and after completing a double at the Curragh and Fairyhouse last season as a juvenile, he was sent to contest the Group 1 Darley Dewhurst Stakes on just his third racecourse outing at Newmarket.
Returning for this three-year-old campaign last month, Straight Answer was sent off the clear market leader in search of his third career success. Unruly in the stalls, he could never quite get on terms with Aidan O’Brien’s charge in the closing stages as the pair readily pulled clear of their nearest pursuers.
Straight Answer should step up markedly for his return to action at Navan and whilst perhaps little will separate them once again, Ger Lyon’s colt is taken to come out on top this Sunday with that recent run under his belt.
Holocene – 16:40 Ripon (Titanium Racing Club Maiden Fillies’ Stakes, 1m 1f 170y)
William Haggas has a formidable strike rate at Ripon and the Newmarket handler looks set to unleash another potential star for this season as HOLOCENE makes her debut on Sunday afternoon. A very well-bred filly, she is out of dual Group 3 Dhalia Stakes winner Heaven Sent who was also placed on three occasions at Royal Ascot during her career with Sir Michael Stoute. A half-sister to useful handicappers You’re Hired and Firmament, Holocene is bred to excel this season for top connections and is certainly a filly to keep firmly on side as the season unfolds.
Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.