Morning all. Yesterday saw an encouraging start for some of our football league fancies, with Milwall beating Leeds comfortably – and Ian Holloway showing his faith and confidence in the squad with a post match rant at the media for disrespect, an encouraging sign given how well his siege mentality has worked in the past. Meanwhile, Ipswich thoroughly deserved their win over Fulham, even if we will see much better to come from Felix Magath’s side – eight players were making their debuts – and with the same levels of commitment they will be a force for any side at home.
Blackburn’s draw with Cardiff wasn’t what the markets had expected but they had a lot of good late pressure and Cardiff would be one of the sides expected to challenge for the title, so it was not the worst draw in the world; Wigan’s performance against Reading didn’t sound encouraging but they have players still to return and may have been taking on one of the better teams.
In League 1 both Preston and Leyton Orient suffered setbacks although Darius Henderson’s poach was a good start for our top scorer bet; In League 2 both Burton and Southend got off to winning starts, an encouraging state of affairs although this is only the first of 46 games for all of them; All that you can take from the opening game is the performance.
Today’s racing has plenty on offer, with the highlight of a strong Curragh card being the Phoenix Stakes, the first Group 1 of the season for juveniles. Normally this is the first serious test for the Coventry winner – and it has been a graveyard for them in recent years – but The Wow Signal doesn’t take his place following a bad scope earlier in the week. However, the presence of Queen Mary winner Anthem Alexander, whose Queen Mary form has been boosted in very exciting style by Tiggy Wiggy’s Super Sprint romp and the win at Newmarket since of the Sixth. Given the way she idled in front, an extra furlong shouldn’t be an issue but the yielding ground is a worry as both her wins have come on very fast ground – and while her debut effort came on ground nearing heavy, it’s clear that faster ground would have been greatly beneficial to her.
It’s debateable whether Capella Sansevero (above) would be as big as 10/1 if Ger Lyons hadn’t made the mistake of running him so soon after the Coventry in the Railway Stakes here, but if he repeats his form from Ascot then he surely has the strongest form chance here, and with soft/heavy ground form in the book, he looks to have been extremely generously priced if he makes a return to form which is eminently possible today.
In the opener, the highly touted John F Kennedy is fancied to better his opening second at Leopardstown, but Dunquin looks to be too big in relation to the O’Brien charge based on a fine debut effort here when relatively unfancied here on his debut over 6 furlongs. From that maiden, the winner has since won a Listed race, the second won next time out, and the third too also followed up in a well contested Galway maiden. The step up in trip looked as if would suit here and if he settles better than first time out a bold bid should be forthcoming.
The Maurice De Gheest at Deauville is an interesting race this year with the extremely heavy ground titling this in favour of many of the market leaders, and it should be hard to get Gregorian beaten after his fine July Cup third. John Gosden’s 5 year old just loves cut in the ground and has been given a fantastic opportunity to win a Group 1 with Vitztoria’s comeback run not impressing, Vorda wanting far less ease, and this trip being a potential problem for Fiesolana.
The two other interesting ones are Garswood, who was third in the Foret last season, and the unexposed Thawaany, who won well here last time.
1 pt win Dunquin, 2.35 Curragh (3/1 general)
1 pt win Capella Sansevero, 4.05 Curragh (10/1 general)
1 pt win Gregorian, 2.08 Deauville (4/1 Sportingbet)