Speedy Gifted Master ready to extend winning sequence
27 May 2016
The last time Gifted Master met with defeat was at the hands of of Buratino just over a year ago. Since then, he has reeled off five successive wins - endearing himself to onlookers with his brazen, blitzing speed in the process.
Today, Gifted Master and Buratino will do battle once more. The latter, trained by Mark Johnston, has gone the Classic route, though he never landed a blow in the QIPCO 2,000 Guineas. He has run in three Group One contests, being unsuccessful in each occasion, since his victory in the Group Two Coventry Stakes.
For Gifted Master this is his first foray in Group Two company, yet sentiment - plus the 3lb he receives - has me siding with him.
Had Log Out Island been declared it might have been a different story. His performance at Newbury last month was unbelievable and to watch he and Gifted Master burn up the Haydock turf would have been quite something. They might almost have taken off and flown!
La Rioja has to be respected but Henry Candy has only had two winners from 35 runners this season and and his last success was 21 runners ago on April 30.
Gifted Master left to his own devices, with his favourite jockey Pat Smullen on board, will be hard to beat.
Hugo Palmer, the trainer of Gifted Master, could have a fantastic day with Home Of The Brave also due to run at Haydock. He is another who is likely to try and make all.
Journey is diminutive, which in some respect had to count against her at York, and she is sure to improve a few lengths as she never appeared comfortable or settled.
Her task is well within the scope of her achievements last season.
Von Blucher caught eye over breakfast
On Tuesday plenty gathered at Epsom, including myself, for Breakfast with the Stars, when those who were hungry were spoilt for choice.
The action on the course was informative with Cloth Of Stars hardly breaking out of a canter and showing he acted on the course.
So too did Wings Of Desire but he was nudged along and workmanlike. It was one of his galloping companions, Von Blucher, who caught my eye. His jockey never moved and it’s hard to believe he only managed fourth in the Esher Cup!
Postponed was majestic, he has real presence now, and his connections were somewhat happier on learning his task will be much easier without Found in the Investec-sponsored Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Cup field.
Jim Bolger was full of fun and quite positive about Turret Rocks and Moonlight Magic. He made comparisons with St Jovite with the latter, which is quite a compliment.
Definitely, Maybe was the best summary for Aidan O’Brien and his likely runners, so it might be best to hold fire until Wednesday and Thursday next week when the final decs are in for both the Oaks and Derby respectively.
Rishi turns on style at Wentworth
On Wednesday representatives from racing did us proud in the BMW PGA Championship Pro-Am at Wentworth.
Sir Anthony McCoy, Mick Fitzgerald and Carl Llewellyn accompanied Graeme McDowell for an admirable round and at one point were second on the leaderboard before fading.
It was Racing UK presenter Rishi Persad who played a once-in-a lifetime round along with ex-cricketer Craig Kieswetter, rugby player Thom Evans and the pro golfer David Horsey.
They tied for first in the morning session, only losing on count back, and their overall position was third. It was quite an achievement and it was a great thrill to be there cheering them on.
I also used the day as a scouting mission to watch USPGA Tour player, Jamie Lovemark, who in all mannerisms is very similar to Dustin Johnson.
Yet it is alarming now to watch those who weren’t born when I started betting on golf. Indeed, Jamie Lovemark was only three when I first stepped foot on Royal Birkdale back in 1991!
Sadly, on Thursday it was a call for the frogmen on 18 when his second shot went kerplunk into the water. Minimal damage and he is still -1 going into the second round.
Tanya's Saturday tips:
2.35 Haydock: Journey at 11-8 generally available
3.45 Haydock: Gifted Master at 7-4 generally available
Tanya’s Saturday pointers:
Only one of the last ten favourites have won, yet seven of the ten have come from the first three in the betting
Saeed Bin Suroor has had four winners from his last nine runners as of Wednesday
Three of the last five winners have derived from stall ten. Strong Steps breaks from there today
Richard Fahey’s last nine runners in this race have been beaten
John Gosden has had 15 winners from his last 45 Haydock runners
Only one of the last ten favourites have won
Ocean Tempest has won all three of his races at the course
William Buick has won ten of his last 31 races as of Wednesday
Eight of the last ten winners were drawn either 1, 2 or 3
Seven of the last ten winners came from the first three in the betting
Seven of the last ten winners were no older than five
Sir Michael Stoute has won the race with both his runners
Breton Rock has finished in the first three in 18 of his 21 races, winning seven
Josephine Gordon has ridden Indira six times and enjoyed four victories
John Quinn is attempting to win the race for a third straight year and a second time with Trendsetter
Seven of the last ten favourites have won
All ten winners came from the first three in the betting
William Haggas has had three runners in the race and won it twice. This year he relies on Ajaya
Pat Smullen is three from three on Gifted Master