MY family were extremely proud of both Sole Power and Slade Power in last Saturday’s July Cup at Newmarket and while neither entered the hallowed winner’s enclosure, both ran with a great deal of future promise.
Readers will know that I have raved about Slade for some time and in finishing third, he has proved that he is a genuine top-class athlete. I managed to get a bit of 20-1 each-way on course which I thought was an amazing price and I hope a good few of you were on as well.
Sole bravely kept on into fifth and he was far from helped by a less than ideal sedate pace in the early part of the contest. In the circumstances he did well to finish where he did and I’m looking forward to seeing him back over five furlongs in the Nunthorpe Stakes at York next month.
Meanwhile Slade heads for the Haydock Sprint Cup and if the winner Lethal Force, who is a proper horse and a very well done to winning connections for completing the Diamond Jubilee-July Cup double, is absent, I’d be very hopeful of him joining Sole as a Group 1 winner.
This Saturday The Curragh plays host to the Irish Oaks which looks likely to be a crackerjack renewal with English Oaks heroine Talent bidding for the double along with stable companion Secret Gesture and Ribblesdale Stakes winner Riposte.
While Ralph Beckett was obviously delighted that Talent prevailed at Epsom, I thought there was a look of shock on his face that she managed to beat Secret Gesture and I’m taking the latter to turn the form around.
That form hasn’t worked out too well so far with the likes of Moth and Banoffee well beaten since but Beckett really does regard my selection as a top performer and I think she will be better suited to faster ground than the good to soft surface in England.
She’s never been out of the first two and I expect her to emulate Talent as a Group 1 winner before heading for the Yorkshire Oaks at York’s Ebor Meeting.
Let’s not forget Killarney’s July Racing Festival which begun on Monday and finishes on Thursday and I’m hoping for a final day cash and grab courtesy of Joe Murphy’s Gatamalata in the Killarney Grand Live Music Venue Handicap.
Some of you might think I’ve lost my marbles in tipping up a horse who has won once in 19 starts and that was only by a neck on her most recent start at Dundalk last Friday.
However, my fancy was fitted with an eye-shield for the first time on that occasion and presumably it will be kept on for this next start as she showed tremendous tenacity to make virtually all and despite being strongly pressed soon inside the final furlong, hold on under jockey Shane Foley.
Even though I suggested backing England to win the Ashes 4-0 last week, I still felt sorry for the way that the Aussies lost the First Test with the third umpire confirming Brad Haddin’s dismissal after technology appeared to confirm the thinnest of edges.
As you know I wouldn’t consider myself the greatest of cricketing experts but being over in England for the lads’ run in the July Cup, I found myself getting enthralled by this most exciting of matches.
Selections - Thursday Lord’s 10.30am England to win Second Test; Thursday Killarney 2.55pm Gatamalata; Saturday, Curragh 6.15pm Secret Gesture