STATES-SIDE DOUBLE ON THE CARDS FOR BALLYDOYLE: Shamrock reckons rain is needed to pull off a massive double for Aidan O’Brien in Chicago tonight, with the Arlington Million the main target.
It’s a ‘Beach and Blanco’ double: Ballydoyle looks set for a half-a-million haul from two of its stable stars at Arlington, Chicago tonight. What we need is a heavy shower in the windy city about 10 0’clock our time!
It works like this: Treasure Beach, the Curragh Derby winner after being second at Epsom, is suited by the strong American front-runners and swoops to snatch the Secretariat Stakes (9.52), even though he’s dropped back to 1m 2f.
Then, cometh the rain, cometh Cape Blanco (11.15) in the big one, the Arlington Million. Jamie Spencer keeps the mount because he outsmarted Gio Ponti in the Man ’O War. Rain and similar opportunism from the ‘Spenny’ brain cell would do the trick again.
TRAMORE: It’s not supposed to be like this. Tramore has so far denied the stats. It’s normally a favourites’ festival (63% in non-handicaps) and, as I said yesterday, local man, Patrick Flynn, farms the meeting.
But Friday had just one winning favourite – only three in Tramore week so far – and no sign of Mr Flynn. Oh dear! (That’s not a tip for the 6.00 race).
But, if today follows last year’s returns at the meeting, there won’t be a winner bigger than 3-1 and P.J. Flynn will land a double.
In fact, two winners each have so far have gone to John Oxx and Gordon Elliott, who has decided to send Jubilant Note (8.00) back to school after poor displays over jumps, starting him off with this confidence booster on the Flat.
But I doubt he’s up to beating Grand Cru or Whitehead Lad who are brought even closer together now by the handicapper who watched them run a neck-and-neck finish on today’s course in June.
If the surface remains firm, Khayar (8.00) should be the one: he was gambled on at Ballinrobe last week but missed the start.
You have a similar problem in the 2m handicap (7.30), a fair hurdler, Willie Mullins’ Wee Giant, taking on a recent Curragh Flat winner, Paramount, for Ted and Katie Walsh.
But look about you, Ted and Willie, isn’t that Patrick Flynn I see with the unexposed on the Flat, Mister Music Man, who won a bumper over 17 furlongs.
Mullins and Flynn square up again in the last (8.30): Flynn’s Binocular is not the Cheltenham winner but the Ballinrobe winner of last year.
But I see this as a rematch of Mullins’ Dorset Square and Striking Force, with Dorset Square a sick horse when they met at Galway (Striking Force second) and now likely to pick up what was supposedly a hat-trick bid that day, when he started 7-2 favourite.
It’s also a rematch of Striking Force and Golan Go, third and fourth at the June meeting here at Tramore. Small fields today but tough going, isn’t it.
NAP: Khayar (8.00 Tramore)
NEXT BEST: Dorset Square (8.30 Tramore)
OUTSIDER: Johannes (3.30 Ripon), Balthazar’s Gift (3.40 Newbury)
DAQ MULTIPLES: 10 x 1pt win trebles Mister Music Man (7.30 Tramore), Khayar (8.00 Tramore) and Dorset Square (8.30 Tramore) with Treasure Beach (9.52 Chicago) and Cape Blanco (11.15 Chicago).