I’ve been watching rather more flat racing in recent weeks than I might normally expect at this time of year. (Where have all those Summer jumps fixtures come from the last few weeks? Bizarre!)
This culminated in a rather splendid four-timer on Temple Stakes Saturday which included Profitable in said feature race at 9/1, followed by Mobsta over in Ireland on his favoured soft ground, whom I screamed home at 16/1.
Don’t give me that aftertiming twaddle. This is not a tipping site. You’ll just have to take my word for it. If you want provenance, Profitable was put up in a handy little guide of 60 unexposed types I purchased from Picks From The Paddock in April. I shortlisted a few that I liked the look of. Profitable aside, the rest have either run like dogs or started at 5/4 and ridiculously shorter still. I’m ahead here though. Together with the Palace House Stakes win at the end of April, the Clive Cox improver has paid handsomely for the guide and a few other bets as well.
Mobsta, on the other hand was all my own… lucky break. I had backed him at Doncaster in the mud, then he struggled on better ground in better company next time out at Newmarket. After that I didn’t pay too much attention to his entry in the Greenland Stakes. It was Nick Luck that sealed the 16/1 deal on that Irish 2,000 Guineas afternoon when he said that the heavens had opened in Ireland ‘for all you Air Force Blue backers’. Never mind the O’Brien flop, I thought, get on the Channon beast.
I should have stopped there. Not a squeak since.
We move on. In a bid to dispel any developing theories that I’m a Sprint Monkey (oh, how I wish…) there follows a short Oaks preview. On Friday, the lads are returning to Epsom for the fillies middle distance classic for the first time since the beautiful Sariska bumped and ground her way to a messy short head victory, powered by our ante-post punts, back in 2009.
I was planning to write a proper Oaks preview and then found that Jason Heavey over at Horse racing Chat has provided a perfectly well-reasoned and readable piece to which I couldn’t add a whole lot more. Except to put up a different selection. I particularly agree with the comments about the shallow field and paucity of the opposition to Coolmore.
I am opposing Minding. Happy to take that view on the basis of the likely soft ground and the stamina doubts. Take her out and there is a much more open feel to the race. I liked the way that Architecture shaped on her first run of the season in the Lingfield Oaks Trial. She still looked green in the early stages, but improved as the race unfolded and gave race-fit Seventh Heaven a decent scrap.
She will like the ease in the ground on Friday, having won her maiden on good to soft, and should come on a bundle for the Lingfield effort. There’s a question mark about the trip, as there are with many of these. She will also need to settle better in the early stages. There’s no better jockey than Frankie to do that, and teaming up with the mercurial Hugo Palmer, there’s plenty of reason to suggest the 11/1 with Paddy Power is decent value.