Kevin O'Malley returns on Saturday with a pair of big race selections at both Beverley and Haydock, along with a pair of big price each-way picks in the opener at Newmarket, as the July course opens its doors for the first time in 2019...
Mark Johnston has fired in 20 winners from his last 85 runners and this 5yo of his deserves to get his head in front on the back of another excellent effort at Epsom the week before last. The running style of Love Dreams should be well-suited to Beverley, he comes out a clear best on speed figures, is 5lb lower than his last winning mark and should prove difficult to beat if building on recent efforts.
Yarrow Gate built on a modest enough debut over the course and distance in early May, when catching the eye with a willing attitude despite still being green when finishing 2nd on soft ground at Carlisle later the same month. The Michael Dods trained juvenile had to display bravery to squeeze between two rivals inside the closing stages and she got the better of a determined Mark Johnston trained runner on the near side. It was a likeable effort, backed up by the best Topspeed figure on show in this field. Odds of 10/1 this morning look to be more about form aesthetics than anything else, with other runners coming into the race with winning form and seemingly lesser exposed profiles, but I think the selection is right in the mix here.
True Self proved to be a highly progressive mare in 2018 and she could well be a top class stayer in the making. A solid, low key return win at Gowran should bring her on plenty, but an RPR of 101 and Topspeed figure of 47 there gives her a bit to prove on her first step into Group class company. She is priced as if she has a jet pack with scuba gear attached to her tack and while she may go out and justify the market strength for trainer Willie Mullins, she has to be taken on. The one for me if my old pal Pilaster, an often frustrating but very talented filly with tremendous depth of experience in Group class company. I think there’s a fair chance she will handle the ground better than most and this step back in distance can only help her cause. In her last start at 1m4f, the 4yo ran in the Group 1 Fillies’ & Mares’ on Champions Day at Ascot and she was over-racing and too keen from the get-go; wholly taken out of her comfort zone and she was cooked in the closing stages. Her only other run over twelve furlongs saw her absolutely bolt up at Kempton and I think a more sensible pace today, coupled with a more relaxed ride, should see her perform to much better effect.
The three horses heading the market here are all solid, with no standout performer or price on offer. It might be worth a nibble on this Eric Alston trained mare penetrating the better fancied with a good run here under Tom Eaves. Her speed figures are knocking on the door of being good enough to pick up a Listed prize, she gets handy weight from her chief rivals, should handle the ground and the drop from 6f to 5f means she won’t be found wanting for absolute stamina when the going gets tough late-on.
Tricky card at Newmarket today so I don’t fancy much. There isn’t a great deal of strength and depth to the opening 7f handicap and despite both Riviera Nights and Sunsprite coming here on the back of below par (but not disgraceful) runs recently, they have earlier form and figures to suggest they can be very competitive here if in the mood for it.
You can get in touch with me via email: Kevin.OMalley@GG.CO.UK OR by finding me on Twitter: @KOM_GGRacing
Maid In India is your outsider of the day for Saturday.
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