Rachel Candelora looks forward to the Arington Million card on Saturday and has a short-priced double for the domestic action on Thursday.
As yet another band of heavy rain appears to be sweeping across Britain this summer I am worried about ground conditions this week, so I would prefer to invest much of my funds at the Arlington Million meeting that is live on Racing UK on Saturday. That said, I have two short-priced favourites that I think are worthy of backing first here in England on Thursday.
This son of Gio Ponti was my idea of the winner on Friday at Glorious Goodwood in the 6f Nursery that was eventually won by Red Roman.
He was one of the numerous non-runners on that day’s card, however. It is interesting now that trainer Kevin Ryan has opted to stick with the novice route for his dual winner instead of continuing on to nurseries.
Luis Fernandez has two wins from three lifetime starts and is the only winner in this field of maidens, an angle I absolutely adore. Even though he is carrying his penalties (only 3lbs for each win) he is a classy horse who is bred to be more than just a future sprint handicapper. His half brother, Benbaun, won the Group One Prix de l'Abbaye in 2007 and was trained later on in his career by Ryan.
The one worry with him is if the ground gets really soft. If so hopefully Ryan will take him out of this like he did at Goodwood.
A short field has come up for this three-year-old handicap over 1m2f at Sandown and that should suit Time Chaser, who has the least experience in the field but is a perfect two out of two.
Both of her wins have come in fillies' only contests over a mile, but one came at Sandown and she is the only runner in the race to have seen the hill in Esher.
This daughter of Dubawi is stepping up to 1m2f for the first time but her full brother is Time Test, who won the Group Two Sky Bet York Stakes and the Group Three Brigadier Gerard Stakes here at Sandown over 10f amongst others. The added distance should show her to good effect.
The other two tips will be at Arlington Park in Chicago where they begin a fantastic week of racing that culminates on Saturday with the 35th running of the Arlington Million, which will be shown live on Saturday night with myself, Mark Johnson, and James Willoughby.
Aidan O'Brien's Deauville looks to improve his third place effort from last year in the Million, but standing in his way is Charlie Appleby’s globe-trotting Scottish and the French raider Mekhtaal.
While the Arlington Million is the feature race on a brilliant card, this year the Grade One Secretariat Stakes will be an absolute cracker with a small but select field featuring Mark Johnston’s Permian searching for that elusive top level success.
Up against him is the best from the US with Chad Brown’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Oscar Performance and the O’Brien trained Taj Mahal.
8.01 Arlington Park (Race 2) - #5 Larissa's Love:
This ten-time career winning filly looks well-spotted in this 6f optional claimer on Polytrack and she gets the services of jockey Jose Valdivia Jr, the reigning champion jockey of Arlington Park who again this year is well clear of the rest of his competition.
Larissa's Love won a similar race at this level two starts ago before racing wide and just missing over 5 1/2f last time out. Stepping back up to 6f will suit and she will have plenty of pace to close in to in this contest.
9.47 Arlington Park (Race 5) - #1 Gold Hawk:
This is a bit of a price play as #6 Prince Cheval is likely to be the short-price favourite even though Gold Hawk beat him in a slightly tougher race over course and distance last time out.
Prince Cheval is a one-dimensional front-running eight times course winner, but Gold Hawk appears to be more versatile in terms of his running style and his victory last time out was his first ever run on the All-Weather.
This will be his second start for excellent trainer Wayne Catalano, who currently boasts a 24% strike rate with horses following up a previous claiming win.
Rachel Candelora's Thursday tips:
2.10 Yarmouth: Luiz Fernandez at 4-7 with Skybet
7.15 Sandown: Time Chaser at 11-8 with Skybet