Entries by Sharp Shooter

Sharpshooter – Royal Ascot Queens Vase & Albany Stakes

While John Gosden had a mighty season last year and Godolphin enjoyed a welcome revival, it was business as usual in the Epsom Derby last Saturday where Ballydoyle had five of the first six home.

Make no mistake Aidan O'Brien and the Coolmore wizards still rule the roost big time.

As punters we must go with the flow, and grab the value now as the Tipperary squad are lining up the heavy artillery for Royal Ascot which kicks off next Tuesday week. WESTERN AUSTRALIA in the Queens Vase and ETOILE in the Albany Stakes make big appeal at current odds.

Western Australia could be their banker bet of the week. A close up third in the Futurity to stablemate Magna Grecia last October he failed to fire in two early outings this season. But stepping up an extra four furlongs in the Yeats Stakes at Navan made all the difference as he scooted home for Donnacha O'Brien. Australia - who also sired Broome - could just be the next big Coolmore hit at stud. When Aidan O'Brien's three year olds suddenly start to flower they can go a long way, and Western Australia could well develop into a serious St Leger contender. In any event don't miss him in the Queens Vase and the 13/2 still available can't last.

Very often Aidan's juveniles are vulnerable first time out so it was perhaps a tip in itself that Etoile kicked off in a Group 3, and a very hot one at that, the Coolmore Fillies Sprint Stakes at Naas. While Ryan Moore was on stablemate and odds on jolly So Wondeful, Seamie Heffernan got the leg up on Etoile who was clearly fancied by some in Ballydoyle as she was clipped from 16/1 to "12's" in brisk late trading in the ring. She led them all a merry dance, making all to win snugly from the highly rated track and trip winner Peace Charter.

Aidan O'Brien was pleasantly surprised and said: "She works with the other filly (So Wonderful) at home and was working nicely but it was a big ask for her to do that first time and you'd imagine she will improve plenty. The Albany Stakes is the obvious race for her now" he added. Cuis Ghaire won that same Naas race before landing the Albany as an 8/11 hotpot back in '08. Interestingly too Etoile's "one race, one win" record perfectly matches recent Albany winners Memory, Newfangled, Cursory Glance and Illuminate. She ticks a lot of boxes and will hardly be 6/1 on the day, particularly as it's on the Friday and it's a fair assumption that Ballydoyle will already have clocked up plenty of big race success that week and Ryan Moore will insist on being on board this time! 


Selections - Royal Ascot 

Queens Vase - WESTERN AUSTRALIA    0.5 point each way  13/2  Paddy Power, Betfair.

Compare latest odds at https://www.oddschecker.com/horse-racing/ante-post-racing/royal-ascot/queens-vase/winner

Albany Stakes - ETOILE  0.5 point each way  6/1 Ladbrokes     

Compare latest odds at https://www.oddschecker.com/horse-racing/ante-post-racing/royal-ascot/albany-stakes/winner

Sharpshooter – Royal Ascot Gold Cup

The arrival of summer means longer evenings, much better weather (hopefully!) , T shirts, shades and shorts but most important of all for racing fans the magic buzz of Royal Ascot.

Hard to believe but the Royal meeting is just weeks away, so it's time to start building that ante-post portfolio, and one that stands out each way is SOUTHERN FRANCE in the Ascot Gold Cup. Aidan O'Brien farms this race like nobody else, seven times the trophy has made it's way to Ballydoyle. The famous Yeats four-in-a-row got the ball rolling in spectacular style, and Fame And Glory, Leading Light and Order Of St. George have all followed in his hoofprints.

And it was in the Yeats Stakes at Navan last year that Southern France first showed his potential as a stayer, with Aidan saying that day that they expected him to be even better this year as a four year old. Incidentally the Yeats Stakes this year has been won a few weeks back by another Ballydoyle colt Western Australia who will take all the beating in the Queens Vase.

Last season Southern France was second in the Queens Vase to yet another O'Brien horse Kew Gardens, who looks the one to beat in the Coronation Cup this week. In his first outing this season Southern France ran in in the Vintage Crop Stakes - at Navan again, O'Brien certainly likes that Meath circuit for his stayers - but was a somewhat disappointing - though close up - third to Master Of Reality. 

The soft ground that day would not have suited and it was no surprise that he showed big improvement next time in the Yorkshire Cup when a close second to Stradivarius. No question defending champ Stradivarius will set a high standard in the Gold Cup at Ascot again, but makes little appeal at 13/8 (best) at present while Southern France, who has more scope for improvement, is 11/1. No prizes for seeing the value there.

With O'Brien's incredible record in the race Southern France makes big appeal. Should the rains come then possibly Capri might be a better fit but he flopped badly in two outings this season and his only victory last term was a narrow success in a weak Group 3 at Naas. He's probably best swerved no matter what the underfoot conditions. But the younger and more progressive Southern France is worth supporting.

Selection - Ascot Gold Cup

SOUTHERN FRANCE   0.5 point each way  11/1 William Hill or Bet365 

Check odds at https://www.oddschecker.com/horse-racing/ante-post-racing/royal-ascot/ascot-gold-cup/winner

Sharpshooter Value Bet – Irish 1000 Guineas

Three UK trained fillies will cross the Irish Sea to face the massed ranks of Ballydoyle in the Irish 1,000 Guineas at The Curragh on Sunday.

Obviously with Aidan O'Brien already mopping up in the Classics, his formidable team, led by Newmarket 1000 Guineas heroine Hermosa, set the standard yet again. But it could be a UK based Tipperary man Kevin Ryan who upsets the applecart with EAST, with quite possibly another Tipp man Jamie Spencer on board!

Ryan is never one to mistake his geese for swans and he is always to be feared on his travels abroad, particularly when returning to his native land.

The lightly raced East made an instant impression when landing a novice race at Hamilton on debut last season, and went straight from that to putting some classy colts firmly in their place in a Group 3 at Saint-Cloud.

Than came what seemed a wildly ambitious venture across the Atlantic to compete in the Juvenile Fillies Turf in the Breeders Cup at Churchill Downs. She fully justified that trip to Kentucky when chasing home highly rated winner Newspaperofrecord with main Ballydoyle hope Just Wonderful - who re-opposes on Sunday - back in fourth under Ryan Moore.

This year East was on her travels again for her seasonal debut in the French 1000 Guineas at Longchamp where she finished a close third to Castle Lady. Ryan confidently expects her to improve on that again on Sunday and she looks cracking each way value at 10/1 with Paddy Power and Betfair.

Hermosa is of course very much respected yet there were doubts about her participation at Newmarket most of that week and she had been snubbed by both Ryan Moore and Donnacha O'Brien and indeed Seamie Heffernan, who would be ahead of Wayne Lordan in the Ballydoyle pecking order.

And with Frankie Dettori on Fairyland you could say she was the stable's fifth choice! No matter, the 14/1 shot ran a cracker, while Just Wonderful looked in need of the race. There must be stamina doubts about Fairyland but it's interesting that Joseph O'Brien tries again with Iridessa who disappointed big time at Newmarket, though beaten less than three lengths in the end.

Roger Varian has supplemented third placed Qabala so the pot is simmering nicely. It should be a gripping contest which will light up an otherwise tame enough Curragh Sunday card and the rapidly progressive East can make them all hop!

Selection - Irish 1000 Guineas

EAST   0.5 point Each Way 10/1 Betfair & Paddy Power 

Check odds at https://www.oddschecker.com/horse-racing/ante-post-racing/flat/irish-1000-guineas/winner

Sharpshooter Value Bet – King Charles II Stakes

Alan King does well with his select team of flat racers and DUNKERRON can oblige at juicy odds in the King Charles 11 Stakes (2.40) at Newmarket on Saturday.

Having mixed in hot company like Too Darn Hot last season, he has his sights slightly lowered here by his shrewd handler in this Listed Contest over seven furlongs at Headquarters. Swindon based King is of course best known for his jumpers, but, a bit like Noel Meade in Ireland, he boasts a healthy strike rate with his runners at the summer game.

He has been thriving at both codes in recent times, with Aweedram and Chester Cup Consolation winner Coeur De Lion obliging on the level, and Smith's Bay, Sixties Belle and Hotter Than Hell all scoring over obstacles.

The King Charles has been the aim with Dunkerron from a long time back. This could be his best time of year as he won two good races, including a victory over Three Card Trick at York, in the earlier part of last season.

Stepping up in grade he was then fourth to Advertise in the July Cup and second to Dark Vision in the Vintage Stakes at Glorious Goodwood before his form tapered off a bit later in the year.  He is strongly fancied for Saturday and makes big appeal at current odds. 

  The bet - King Charles 11 Stakes, Saturday, Newmarket - 

Selection - King Charles II Stakes, Newmarket Saturday

DUNKERRON 0.5 point each way 16/1 Ladbrokes, Coral, Betfair, Paddy Power

Check odds at https://www.oddschecker.com/horse-racing/ante-post-racing/flat/king-charles-ii-stakes/winner

Sharpshooter Value Bet – Irish 2000 Guineas

Magna Grecia did us a big favour on Saturday, and he can assist us again now as the ultra skinny 4/6 chalked up for him in the Irish 2,000 Guineas creates value elsewhere in that market, and none more so than SHELIR at 16/1.

Ladbrokes and Coral go a more cautious 8/1 about Dermot Weld's runner, and that's understandable as he looked a smart and rapidly improving colt when taking the Tetrarch Stakes at The Curragh on Bank Holiday Monday.

On his debut at Navan he was a little lit up early on as there was a "false start" caused by a stalls malfunction. The Aga Khan owned Dark Angel colt still proved best with a gutsy display over the mile trip to pip useful sort Piano Solo. 

He ran a bit green at The Curragh on Monday, had plenty of work to do and met minor interference at a crucial stage but still came through to beat Eclipse Storm with a bit to spare. The fact that his two wins so far have not been straightforward and he met some adversity both times will give a nice touch of experience he might otherwise lack had he just rattled up two easy wins.  

Weld said after the Tetrarch: "He's a nice colt, a work in progress. He has plenty of pace and while he didn't get the clearest run I was always confident he would get there. Coming back here for the Guineas in a few weeks time is the next logical step and he will represent us well."     

"In time he will probably be a mile and a quarter horse, but I ran him over seven furlongs today to see would he have the speed for a Guineas and now we know he does" Weld added.

So the man who won both the Epsom and Irish Derby three years ago with Harzand has another Classic hopeful and Shelir just might be the one to spike the Ballydoyle big guns at The Curragh at the end of the month. Certainly 16/1 is way too big a price so lets take full advantage.

Selection - Irish 2000 Guineas

SHELIR 0.5 point each way 16/1 Paddy Power, Betfair, 14/1 William Hill

Check odds at https://www.oddschecker.com/horse-racing/ante-post-racing/flat/irish-2000-guineas/winner

Sharpshooter Value Bet – AES Champion Four Year Old Hurdle

No big Willie Mullins/Gordon Elliott Irish Trainers Championship shoot out at Punchestown this year, Mullins has a lead of over one million Euros after the Fairyhouse Easter Festival - including an Irish Grand National 1,2,3 - and that is clearly game, set and match to the Closutton team.

Mind you, the title race had been a lot closer than many think, with Elliott quietly building up a head of steam in the last few months and - off the radar a bit - creeping right back into contention. But as Bob Dylan might have said back in the day, that's all over now baby blue.

What with his first Gold Cup and Irish Grand National success lately, Mullins has been hogging the spotlight, but Elliott can pinch back a bit of the glory with SURIN in the AES Champion Four Year Old Hurdle on Saturday 4.25.

A shrewd 72,000 buy by Mags O'Toole at Tattersalls for the Gordon Elliott/Gigginstown team, Elliott has always liked her, and the fact that she has always been pitched in against geldings - rather than take the easier mares races route - shows just how highly Elliott regards her.

Pipped by Gardens Of Babylon on her debut at Punchestown, she turned the tables on that rival next time at Fairyhouse despite running very green when hitting the front.

Elliott had no hesitation in listing a Grade One in Leopardstown at the Dublin Racing Festival as her next target where she again acquitted herself very well against the males when a good third to the brilliant but sadly ill fated Sir Erec with old rival Gardens Of Babylon second.

That classy contest in early February was her last race which will certainly give her a freshness edge against rivals who have since been to Cheltenham or Aintree - or both! She also skipped Fairyhouse to wait for this so Elliott will have her perfectly primed for Saturday.

Our two Guineas tips Magna Grecia and Iridessa seem well on course for Newmarket at the weekend, and hot prospect UAE Jewel will be interesting in a Listed Race on the Saturday. The Ballymore Handicap Hurdle at Punchestown on Saturday is always a very tricky affair, but lesser fancied Mullins runners have won it in the last two years at 14/1 and 20/1, and Cut The Mustard, finally, finally, stepping back to two and a half miles could justify each way support at a fancy price.

Selection - Punchestown Saturday

SURIN   0.5 point each way 12/1 William Hill, Betfair & Paddy Power

Check odds at​https://www.oddschecker.com/horse-racing/ante-post-racing/national-hunt/champion-four-year-old-hurdle/winner

Sharpshooter Value Bet – Champion Novice Chase

 The Punchestown Festival next week brings the curtain down on the jumping season and CHAMPAGNE CLASSIC looks a tasty bet on the opening day Tuesday in the Dooley Insurance Group Champion Novice Hurdle at 6.40. This locally sponsored race is now worth over "100 grand" and has Grade One Status.

Gordon Elliott's charge had to miss the Cheltenham Festival with a late setback, and this is his sole entry at Punchestown where 14/1 each way is hard to resist. It was over the track and trip that he enjoyed his finest hour so far in another Grade One at the same Festival two years ago. 

Having won the Martin Pipe at Cheltenham - a race close to the heart of Elliott who of course worked with Pipe for many years - he was upped a mile in class for the Daily Mirror Novice Champion Hurdle at Punchestown and duly obliged for Bryan Cooper at 14/1.

To say he beat a high class field would be putting it mildly, for among those who finished behind him were Penhill, Monalee, recent Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo and (recent Gold Cup favourite!) Presenting Percy. The world seemed his oyster after that performance which delighted both Elliott and owners Gigginstown but alas he was not to race again until January this year.  

Here he finished third to the ill fated Ballyward over three miles at Naas, with Chris's Dream second. His next, and most recent, appearance was over the same trip at Navan where he was backed into 5/4 jolly to reverse placings with Chris's Dream which he would surely have done in another stride as 5/2 market rival Chris's Dream held on all out.    

Stablemate Delta Work is 11/10 favourite for next Tuesday's race, but he is also entered in the Punchestown Gold Cup the following day where indeed he looks Elliott's only serious player. But Ellliott and Gigginstown are never afraid to let their horses take each other on, and, with or without Delta Work, Champagne Classic really looks something to bet on next Tuesday. 

Dooley Insurance Group Champion Novice Chase - Punchestown Tuesday 

CHAMPAGNE CLASSIC 0.5 point each way 14/1 Betfair & Paddy Power

Check odds at https://www.oddschecker.com/horse-racing/ante-post-racing/national-hunt/dooley-insurance-group-champion-novice-chase/winner

Sharpshooter – QIPCO 1,000 Guineas

While Qabala impressed in the Nell Gwynn on Tuesday, the 1,000 Guineas market still has a wide open look to it. Joseph O'Brien has a very strong contender in IRIDESSA who looks cracking value at 16/1 and will probably be shorter on the day.

Former ace jockey Joseph has made serious waves in the training ranks in a very short time, and has already tasted glory in the Melbourne Cup, The Irish Derby and at the Cheltenham Festival. Over jumps he has certainly rattled the cages of those friendly but formidable foes Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott, while on the level he is now a serious threat to his dad Aidan in this year's Irish Trainers Championship.

Even during his stunningly successful riding career, it was no secret that he couldn't wait to start training, and his unequal battle with the scales in the weighing room gave him the excuse to exit the saddle and concentrate on his new dream job. 

He pays top dollar and has excellent and experienced staff, some of whom travelled from Australia to join his set up in Kilkenny, and now just retired trainer Brendan Powell has signed up. Classic success in the UK would really move things on to a new level and in Iridessa he has a serious Guineas player.

She started out at Killarney in mid summer and, with Seamie Heffernan aboard, sprung a 20/1 shock when pitched in against the colts, beating 4/5 Ballydoyle hotpot Cardini, four lengths clear at the line and going away. 

 She finished the season in style taking the Fillies Mile at Newmarket. It was no secret that she was not fully wound up for the recent 1,000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown where she drifted from 7/2 to 5/1. The enterprisingly ridden Lady Kaya slipped the field here with Iridessa just losing second place very late on. 

Joseph's team were strongly of the opinion beforehand that however she fared she would improve for the run next time out and she will be at concert pitch for Newmarket. Stepping up to a mile will certainly help - she is considered Oaks material for the summer - and there's every chance that Donnacha O'Brien - who seems to share in most of Joseph's big race triumphs on the flat - will be available. Ballydoyle will have Ryan Moore, Heffernan and Wayne Lordan with their team, which could include Fairyland who is exciting but has serious stamina doubts for the mile trip.

Lordan was aboard Winter when she won the Guineas two years ago and, interestingly, she also advertised her claims with a good effort in that Leopardstown Guineas Trial where she was second to stablemate Hydrangea who finished out of the money at Newmarket.

Lady Kaya was certainly very good at Leopardstown and deserved the utmost respect if travelling to Newmarket as seems increasingly likely. But I just can't get away from Iridessa and 16/1 looks way too big. Get on!        

Selection - QIPCO 1,000 Guineas, Newmarket May 5

IRIDESSA  0.5 point each way 16/1 Paddy Power, Betfair, Bet 365, BoyleSports, Bet Victor, Unibet, Betway

Check odds at https://www.oddschecker.com/horse-racing/ante-post-racing/flat/1000-guineas/winner

Sharpshooter Value Bet- Spring Cup

Our bet this weekend is RIPP ORF (3.15) in the typically competitive Spring Cup at Newbury on Saturday. David Elsworth clearly means business as he has booked Ryan Moore, who has a good record on the five year old on the few occasions that he was available. 

While the booking is agreed, there must be a chance Moore will be on Ballydoyle duty at Naas on Saturday with, surprisingly, Saturday being the main flat day in Ireland this weekend. Shades of last weekend there when the Guineas Trials at Leopardstown and traditional Derby warm up race the Ballysax bizarrely clashed with Aintree Grand National Day.

Hayley Turner was aboard Ripp Orf for his seasonal debut in the Lincoln at Doncaster. She had to switch him to the right when they met traffic issues two furlongs out and he was a staying on fifth. That should have cleared any cobwebs away and Elsworth will have him at concert pitch on Saturday. While he has winning form over seven furlongs - and even six on the all weather at Kempton this time last year - there's little doubt a mile is his best trip these days.  

So everything looks perfectly primed for a big run on Saturday. It's an interesting card, and while Young Rascal flopped in the Derby, he did little else wrong last season. He has a great record at Newbury and sets the standard in the Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Stakes, formerly the John Porter. 

Dancing Vega really took the breath away on her eye catching late season debut at Doncaster and she has obvious prospects in the Dubai Duty Free Stakes (the Fred Darling) though she is also entered over seven furlongs in a novice race at Thirsk. Whichever option she takes she'll take beating.

 Over the jumps Ibis Du Rheu is the only Paul Nicholls entry for the Scottish Grand National but he is also in the J & D Pierse Champion Novices Handicap Chase earlier on that Ayr card, and the midweek money would indicate he will take that easier option with !2/1 with Unibet now the best available. 


RIPP ORF  0.5 pt each way 10/1 Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, William Hill, Betfair.

Check odds at https://www.oddschecker.com/horse-racing/ante-post-racing/flat/mansionbet-spring-cup/winner

Sharpshooter Value Bet- Irish Grand National

Obviously the Grand National at Aintree captivates us this week, but life will go on as ever afterwards, and the BoyleSports Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse on Easter Monday, April 22 provides two tasty ante post bets in TOUT EST PERMIS and ACAPELLA BOURGEOIS.

Tout Est Permis was transferred by Gigginstown from the Mouse Morris yard to Noel Meade and the improvement has been little short of electric. To be fair, as Meade himself is quick to point out, Mouse tends to be a slow burner and his patient approach with budding chasers is often handsomely rewarded in latter years as we saw with Cheltenham Gold Cup hero War Of Attrition in 2006 and Grand National winner Rule The World in 2016. 

After that Aintree triumph Rule The World was paraded through Michael O'Leary's home town of Mullingar, and of course War Of Attrition was the first major breakthrough triumph for the Gigginstown empire.  But eaten bread is soon forgotten and Tout Est Permis was switched to Meade in a typically ruthless Gigginstown end of season shake up that saw Morris slip well down the pecking order.

A cruel move perhaps, but proving inspired. Tout Est Permis landed a huge touch at Galway before romping home in the Ladbrokes Troytown Chase, the biggest jumping event of the year at Meade's local track Navan.  It was an astonishing performance, he won doing handstands, and it seemed his handicapping days were over. 

And indeed it was on to a Grade 2 next, the Horse & Jockey Hotel Chase (formerly The Kinloch Brae) at Thurles where he was all out to beat Sub Lieutenant. Allowing for the big step up in class the bare form may not seem imposing, but recent winners of that race include Gold Cup heroes Don Cossack and Sizing John.

Indeed Tout Est Permis was seriously considered for Cheltenham, with the Gold Cup and Ryanair being the options. He was also entered for tomorrow's Betfair Bowl but stablemate Road To Respect runs instead. This should all work in our favour as he does run particularly well when fresh, and he should be perfectly primed for Fairyhouse on Easter Monday.

Most horses that join Willie Mullins tend to improve out of all recognition, but that can certainly not be said so far of Acapella Bourgeois who was probably the last stable star that Sandra Hughes trained before handing in her license. 

Far from being an instant hit at Closutton, he quickly regressed alarmingly. But Mullins hasn't got from being a small seven horse operation to where he is today by giving up on things or despairing, and it looks as if the tide is turning again for this ten year old.

Just how to accurately evaluate a recent comfortable Clonmel win over stablemate Yorkhill is something Mullins himself finds hard to do. But there is no doubt he has regained his appetite for the game and before that before that he got a very easy time of it in the Martin Pipe when his chance was gone after a bad blunder at the second. 

Chasing is very much his game and he is a fascinating dark horse in the Irish National. Amazingly Mullins has never won this race but in the year in which he finally broke his Gold Cup duck, he could be about to bury another ghost now with Acapella Bourgeois who is starting to find form at just the right time.   



TOUT EST PERMIS  0.5 point each way 16/1 generally.

ACAPELLA BOURGEOIS  0.5 point each way 40/1 Unibet; 33/1 Sky Bet, BoyleSports

Check odds at https://www.oddschecker.com/horse-racing/ante-post-racing/national-hunt/irish-grand-national/winner

Sharpshooter Value Bet – 2000 Guineas

With the flat season kicking off at Doncaster, it's time to think of the early Classics and MAGNA GRECIA make's big appeal in the 2,000 Guineas.

Something of a late starter last season, he made a stunning impact on those of us lucky enough to see him that first day out in late September at Naas. Ryan Moore had just flown in from America where he had been on duty for Ballydoyle the night before but he had to be on full alert in this opener as two horses slipped up badly and fell amid considerable confusion around the furlong pole.  

Thankfully both horses and more importantly jockeys Niall McCullagh and Robbie Colgan were unharmed. Magna Grecia and Moore meanwhile were glued to the far rail and came through unscathed, quickening up sharply to win going away.

The normally reserved Aidan O'Brien was positively purring after the race and made no secret of how highly he rated the winner.  A quick step up in class followed and he was beaten a neck under Donnacha O'Brien by Persian King in the Autumn Stakes at Newmarket.  

It was a busy end of season for him  - deliberately so Aidan says to give him experience - and with Donnacha aboard again and, despite still running a bit green, he won the Futurity at Doncaster, beating very decent yardstick Phoenix Of Spain by a head.  

Aidan O'Brien says: "He has wintered particularly well, we're delighted with him. Things all happened a bit quick for him with three quick races at the end of last season but he clearly learnt a lot. He was still very babyish when winning at Doncaster but he has really grown now. The Guineas is the plan for him, whether with a prep race or not I don't know. But we'd be happy to go straight to Newmarket with him if that's how it pans out" Aidan added.   

The horse proved he is ground versatile last Autumn which we might expect from an Invincible Spirit colt out of a Galileo mare. Too Darn Hot obviously sets the standard, with our selection's stablemate Ten Sovereigns also very prominent in the betting. 

There are some doubts though among many in Ballydoyle - including it is said one of the leading jockeys - about whether that exciting No Nay Never colt will fully see out a mile. A real speed merchant, and probably the fastest and most exciting juvenile bolting up The Curragh since the days of One Cool Cat and George Washington, he has yet to race beyond six furlongs. No such stamina reservations though about Magna Grecia and snapping up the remaining 14/1 each way is strongly advised.

Bet - 2,000 GUINEAS - 0.5 pt. each way MAGNA GRECIA 14/1 Paddy Power


MAGNA GRECIA   0.5 pt. each way 14/1 Paddy Power

Check odds at https://www.oddschecker.com/horse-racing/ante-post-racing/flat/2000-guineas/winner

Sharpshooter Value Bet – Lincoln

Yes, the dust is still settling - and the hangovers clearing! - after another marvellous Cheltenham Festival but life goes on, and the Irish Lincoln at Naas next Saturday is a jolting reminder that the flat season is knocking on the door.

Next Saturday week at Doncaster the Unibet Lincoln is the first big betting heat of the new term and BLUE MIST can light up Town Moor. Roger Charlton's progressive type makes big appeal, particularly as four year olds have a great record in recent years.

The last three winners Addeybb, Bravery and Secret Brief were all that age, indeed nine of the last 16 to pass the jamstick first in this early season cavalry charge were, and that's a pretty imposing strike rate. 

The straight course should be ideal for Blue Mist who handles any type of ground, having impressed on both the all weather and on soft. His Chelmsford second to Wissahickon over ten furlongs reads hot form now as John Gosden's winner went on to win his next four races - the Cambridgeshire, two Listed races and the recent Winter Derby at Lingfield!

Charlton feels a truly run mile will be perfect for his charge and he will certainly get that at Doncaster. He has never finished outside the top three which certainly adds to his each way attraction and the Beckhampton trainer thinks the Lincoln will be a stepping stone to bigger and better things.

Auxerre tops the market at present but 5/1 looks very skinny indeed for this highly competitive contest. Kynryn, Humbert and Hathal are interesting and the bookies are particularly wary of the ex Kevin Pendergast trained Mizaah who has won his only race so far for Owen Burrows.

A change of scenery often works wonders but he won just one from 16 in Ireland, a six furlongs Curragh maiden three years ago. As ever there will be plenty with chances but Blue Mist is proven and progressive with plenty of scope for further improvement and looks a strong contender.


BLUE MIST  0.5 point each way 12/1 William Hill, Betfair, Paddy Power, Bet Victor, BoyleSports.

Check odds at https://www.oddschecker.com/horse-racing/ante-post-racing/flat/lincoln/winner