490-1 ACCUMULATOR IN SHAMROCK YANKEE BID: Two meetings in Ireland tonight, and only light rain forecast, if any. Shamrock takes apart the form for the main events at each meeting, Leopardstown and Sligo, and he plots a yankee across the cards, with accumulative odds of 494-1 at the forecast SPs.
8.00 Leopardstown (Ballyroan Stakes): Dermot Weld goes for a hat-trick in the Ballyroan, when Sense Of Purpose tries to step into the shoes of his dual winner Profound Beauty.
Profound Beauty took this race on as a previous Group-3 winner but it hardly counts against Sense Of Purpose that her Group-3 attempt this term – in the Noblesse at Cork – was foiled by the subsequent Ribblesdale winner at Royal Ascot, Banimpire.
Of the other older horses today, Mount Athos has won only a handicap and Bob Le Beau a Listed, his own try at Group-3 having been that 10-lengths slaughter by So You Think at the Curragh in the Spring which set us all thinking there was a true champion in the Ballydoyle camp.
What brings today’s form together is the neck that separated Sense Of Purpose and Bob Le Beau in the Challenge Stakes at Leopardstown three weeks back. Be a bit wary of it; it was a slow-run race.
Strictly, on 3lb better terms, Bob Le Beau ought to turn the tables, back to a more suitable trip in today’s contest, whereas Sense Of Purpose has needed all of 14 furlongs for her two successes this season, but Jessica Harrington’s string is lacking an edge lately.
She is badly missing strike with just two winners from her last 38 runners, yet 14 in a place without scoring. That does not inspire confidence, whereas Weld’s filly has a sense of purpose all right, in that she likes to try to make all the running – it’s her tenacity that’s been winning her races – and, of course, the trainer is on a huge high after a record Galway.
The question mark of the race is Marksmanship. He’s earned 106 rating, only 4lb behind Bob Le Beau, but gets 11lb here, weight for age.
However, it’s frankly hard to see where he gets that rating from: it is seemingly based on the second horse, Notable Graduate, in his maiden in April. When seventh in his Ascot trial on soft ground, he ran to about 99 and, when he was last but one in the Grand Prix De Paris, he recorded around 95 or 96, based on the horses he beat.
Yes, he had Bubble Chic and Treasure Beach not far in front of him that day but it’s not what beats you, it’s what you beat. And there’s another little matter of the ground: it was soft in all three of Marksmanship’s races to date.
He might do better on top of the ground but, since he was aimed at the Grand Prix, when there must have been an expectation of soft going, you would think that’s what he needs, though a braver man than I would try to second guess Aidan O’Brien’s methods. Commonsense says the Weld filly, and I’m betting with some purpose.
7.50 Sligo Hurdle: After a steeplechase hat–trick, Uncle Junior has shot up to 139 over fences, so Willie Mullins hopes he can take the hurdle route, where he has to carry only the 128, though that puts him on top weight here, giving a lump away.
‘Uncle’ was rated 137 when he was a ‘Junior’ in Graded novice hurdles but he failed to win at that exalted level and, in fact, has not scored over hurdles since November 2007.
Highdownhill is the handicap improver, all as a Sligo course specialist. He’s up 19lb since May as he goes for a treble on the track. But the horse he beat last time, Siberion, was more than 20 lengths down both in the race before and in the race after.
Mighty Whitey is two out of three at Sligo in bumper and novice hurdles but hasn’t done much on the Flat since then, beaten a total of 170 lengths in seven unplaced efforts.
Fearnwood Girl’s Sligo form is 3110001 but the wins were over 12f and the defeats over 18f and today’s 20f. Out quickly after Galway flop.
I shall settle for Resolute Bay, transformed by the application of blinkers at Downpatrick in May and a good winner at Ballinrobe under Robert Jones the same month. Jones now takes Bay’s rating down to just a pound above what he won with that day. Looks very handy and every horse can be forgiven one bad run.
NAP: Sense Of Purpose (8.00 Leopardstown)
NEXT BEST: Resolute Bay (7.50 Sligo)
OUTSIDER: Coldstonesober (8.50 Sligo)
DAQ YANKEE: Singe The Turf (7.25 Leopardstown), Resolute Bay (7.50 Sligo), Sense Of Purpose (8.00 Leopardstown), Dimona (8.30 Leopardstown)