12.5 AND 14.5 VALUE AT WEXFORD: It’s a big-fields day at Wexford, with 119 declared, but first Shamrock looks at the King George in England, with an eye to the future of the game. His bets today include 12.5 and 14.5 outsiders.
Joseph’s black-and-white dreamcoat: It’s all there in black and white as Joseph O’Brien takes his first big step to the top of the jockeys’ ladder.
It’s no nepotism that has seen Ireland’s new boy reach the final rung today as he partners St Nicholas Abbey for his father, Aidan, in the King George at Ascot.
The form is there in black and white: Workforce has already been beaten by ‘St Nick’s’ stablemate, So You Think, but the dream is coloured by the in-and-out form of both main contenders today. Good luck to the future champion rider!
Wexford: I’m laying the paper favourite in the Martinstown (3.10); they never win (nought from seven, though one joint) and I can’t have a 10-year-old (Siberion) taking this.
I think the runners so moderate that I’m inclined to look for a young horse at the top of the handicap, and I like the Martin-Kelly team associated with Strolling Home, on only his third outing of the year.
Napa Starr and Space Race have left them standing in the market for the opener (2.00) and should do so in the race. Napa Starr is much the more solid performer and can turn around Gowran form with Space Race.
Dessie Hughes has a good level-stakes record at Wexford, and Marky Bob (4.15) is at 14.5, whereas Goban Saor, who finished in front of him here last time, is 2.49. The way the race was run, I don’t think the difference will be that great this time, and it could go the other way.
Michael Hourigan doesn’t come here without suitable ammunition: he’s 50% overall on the course but 100% in chases, and Guts For Garters (5.25) could return to form at a tasty 12.5 on Betdaq.
NAP: St Nicholas Abbey (4.30 Ascot)
NEXT BEST: Strolling Home (3.10 Wexford)
LAY: Siberion (3.10 Wexford)
OUTSIDERS: Marky Bob (4.15 Wexford), Guts For Garters (5.25 Wexford)
DAQ TRIO: Napa Starr (2.00 Wexford), Strolling Home (3.10 Wexford), St Nicholas Abbey (4.30 Ascot)