Tag Archives: Stakes

Keeneland: Europeans have a strong hand

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9.35 Keeneland: First Lady Stakes (Grade 1)

Soft ground makes this quite an unpredictable race but potentially the Europeans are best suited. Aiden O’Brien’s filly Easter is well fancied but I prefer stable mate Outstanding at double the price. When last seen she finished a fine 3rd in a Group 3 behind Irish Oaks runner-up Jack Naylor and Easter when.

She has won on soft ground in the past, so she’ll handle the conditions and with the slow ground probably won’t mind the drop to 1m. A full-sister to Magician, she is obviously well bred, and with lasix used on her again – as when she was a fine 3rd in the Belmont Oaks earlier the year – she could be well able to leave this years form behind.

Outstanding @ 6/1 Paddy Power – 5pts Win

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10.45 Keeneland: Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes (Grade 1)

Two horses I have to put up for this race: European raider Kelinni has hardly the credentials to land a Group 1, but with first time lasix, slow ground and top draw, he should be extremely competitive in a race that lacks star quality. He stays much further than the mile trip, but won a 7f Handicap in Ireland when the last time seen, making all that day. Same tactics will be useful here.

The Pizza Man looks underestimated here. He drops in trip, and that may not quite suit, though the slow ground should help as he has a good record in softish conditions. He won the Arlington Million last month, his third success this year. He’s a tough, genuine type. Exactly what you want here.

The Pizza Man @ 10/1 VC – 5pts Win
Kelinni @ 12/1 VC – 5pts Win

Preview: Santa Margarita

Small field at Santa Anita for this Grade 1, without a real outstanding candidate, and in general it looks a rather open renewal. Warren’s Veneda is trading as favourite at the moment after she looked an improved mare over the last number of weeks. She won two on the bounce, most notably her recent success in the Grade 2 Santa Maria Stakes. She got the perfect race and ride, trailing the field and making a sweeping move around the home turn to win with a bit of authority. She steps up in trip to 1 1⁄8 miles for the first time, but has a fair chance to stay the additional distance. A couple in this field try this trip for the first time and that adds to the openness of the contest.

The mare I feel is a good deal overpriced is the generally still rather lightly raced Uzziel. She finished runner-up in the Santa Maria, and was fair and square beaten in the end. However she was the one who fared best from the horses up with- or tracking the pace, while the winner and the horses behind her came all from off the pace. The fact that she was able to keep going must give her a fine chance of getting the new trip, as she looked more beaten for speed than anything else. On pedigree, this should suit very well too. That says it is not out of this world that she can turn around the form with Warren’s Veneda. And if she can do that, then she’ll go very close here today.

11.00 Santa Anita: Santa Margarita Invitational (Grade 1)
Uzziel @ 14/1 William Hill – 5pts win