Thursday Selections

Cheltenham Festival

2.35 Goodwood: Qatar Richmond Stakes (Group 2)

Long Island at 6/1 is a huge price in my mind. Forgive him the run at the Curragh which came too soon after a big performance at Royal Ascot. He’s more suited to 6f though and after a bit of rest should be back to his best today. He went into the Royal meeting as the most exciting 2yo and I think it’s too early to give up on him.

Long Island @ 6/1 Betfred – 5pts Win

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3.00 Galway Handicap (90-60), 1m

Top weight of ten stone and a wider than ideal draw are tough asks, but lightly raced Champagne Or Water makes plenty of appeal in this field nonetheless. She came out off her seasonal break really well at the Curragh earlier this month when she won a good Handicap in fine style.

She came miles clear with the runner-up and might well be able to pull out more, despite a rise off 9lb in the mark. She is overpriced here.

Champagne Or Water @ 9/1 Coral – 5pts Win

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3.10 Goodwood: Goodwood Cup (Group 2), 2m

I like to think that Pallasator is capable to bounce back today. He’s a really interesting runner – the three year old filly Vive Ma Fille is the one that intrigues me most. She is wonderfully bred, is a full-sister to Group 1 winning Vif Monsieur and she stepped up successfully to Listed class at Royal Ascot last month.

She tried 2m for the first time and attempted to make all. She set a steady pace and was in with a big shout over one furlong out, however hang her chances literally away. Whether this performance is prove enough for her ability to truly stay 2m isn’t clear yet as on pedigree she hasn’t really a right to do so, but it was an encouraging effort in a competitive field.

Today is tougher of course in a better grade against seasoned stayers, and the fact remains that she has won only one single race to date. But she has been very consistent in her form. What I like is thee fact that she receives a truckload of weight from the rest of the field. The Johnston yard is flying too, so there’s plenty to like about her chances.

Vive Ma Fille @ 20/1 Sportingbet – 5pts Win

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4.45 Galway: Galway Hurdle, Handicap, Class 1, 2m

It was Diakali first, the rest nowhere on his seasonal comeback at Tipperary eleven days ago. If this doesn’t come too soon today, it’s hard to look beyond him. This six year old is the class act, still improving and as long as he takes to the track, will take all the beating, despite top weight. I feel 5/1 is rather generous.

Diakali @ 5/1 Coral – 5pts Win

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7.15 Ffos Las: Class 6 Handicap, 10f

I’m sure Kingdom Of Alba is better than what he’s shown in three maidens yet with the yard going strongly, but the same could easily apply to Rebel Yell who makes plenty of appeal on his handicap debut either. He’s pretty well bred and should be very well suited by the step up in trip.

Gelded since his last run will help to focus him more on the task ahead. Usually this works well for Shamardal offspring. This is very winnable race, so with plenty in his favour, he’s a worth a nibble at 10/1.

Rebel Yell @ 10/1 Betfred – 5pts Win

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