1.30: Taquin de Seul
2.40: Rajdhani Express/Medermit
3.20 Big Bucks
4.00 Third Intention/Sew on Target
4.40: Our Father
Best value is in the Ryanair, as I think it’s turned into a really open looking race. I’ve never been a Dynaste fan; I backed Al Ferof some months ago for this. But his last run added to my doubts that he has not retained his ability after the long layoff through injury. If I’m wrong, he should hack up here. But his past two disappointing displays have been put down to stamina issues: I don’t buy that. His sire has produced many stayers and AF won a Paddy Power in bad ground with a big weight.
Anyway, there’s reason enough to believe Dynaste and Al Ferof will not produce their best. After Dynaste’s miserable display in the King George, his trainer said they didn’t know what was wrong and that they might not run him again this season. It was later reported that he might have pulled muscles. However, I think him over-rated anyway.
I always liked Medermit though things seldom work out for him as he almost always finds one too good. But he’s run well at a few Festivals and trainer Alan King reports him in really good order, so he’s worth an EW at 33s.
I love the look of Raj Express: a fine big type – a Festival winner last year and he looks to have scope for improvement. By Presenting, he should relish the ground and, at around 25/1 is 10 points longer than he should be imo. He’d be my main bet, with a saver on Medermit and a small Exacta in case they fill 1st and 2nd (hope springs eternal).
I’d love to see Big Bucks mince this lot tomorrow. He’s always had one of the best engines in racing and it should be perfectly tuned now. He’ll like the ground too. Giving a mare as talented and strongly built as Annie Power half a stone, will be his toughest task yet, but I think he can do it. Some have doubts about AP’s stamina. I don’t think she’ll fail on that count as she gallops like a horse who’ll stay this trip and farther. But this will be the fastest ground she’s raced on and I suspect she’ll always want deep ground to be at her best.
Third Intention has long been my cliff horse. For as long as he races, I’ll believe there’s a Festival win in him. I’ve tipped him for the last three festivals and have no intention of stopping now. I see he’s been stamped with the Timeform squiggle, denoting lack of trust in him. He had a good start to the season, but could never get it together after that. His trainer thought he’d caught a low-level virus…who knows? But he’ll get his favoured ground on Thursday and I won’t be surprised if he pounces late on his stablemate Sew on Target, another horse I like – he often front runs with real enthusiasm and I’ll be having a saver on him.
But if you think the Sire de Grugy win was sentimental, wait until you see me if Third Intention finally delivers!
Pateese is another who could land a decent race, and he’s worth taking a chance with at a big price. Stick him in an EW patent with Third Intention and Raj Express, and you might be smiling wide by this time on Thursday.