Super day in store for Hannon
Simon Holt brings us his thoughts ahead of the weekend's racing and predicts big-race wins for Richard Hannon on both sides of the Irish Sea.
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Despite always attracting a massive field, the Weatherbys Super Sprint is not always as competitive as it might first appear given the wide range of abilities on show and, in Saturday's renewal at Newbury, TIGGY WIGGY looks the class act.
Richard Hannon's filly has been wonderfully consistent in five starts so far, winning three of them, while her defeats at the hands of Patience Alexander at York and Anthem Alexander in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot were both very strong efforts.
Beaten by a clearly smart rival on the latter occasion, Tiggy Wiggy fought on bravely all the way to the line and sixth-placed Arabian Queen has since won the Cherry Hinton Stakes (Parsley fourth, Diamond Creek fifth) at Newmarket. Moreover, Patience Alexander did her best to frank the earlier form when finishing third to Cursory Glance in the Albany Stakes, again at the Royal meeting.
On these efforts, the selection is clearly the best horse in this field but weight brings horses together and she has to concede 15lb to Realtra who appears to be her chief rival.
Richard Fahey's cheaply-bought filly was far from disgraced when chasing home the Group One-entered Beach Belle in a listed race at Naas in early June in which the subsequent Queen Mary third, Newsletter, could finish only fifth.
On that piece of form, Realtra looks bound to go close but that race was over six furlongs on yielding ground and it is surprising that she hasn't raced since.
Of the others, there could be more improvement to come from Magical Memory who, not surprisingly, was swept aside by the classy Ivawood at Sandown but then won next time at Leicester.
Earlier, I will take a chance on NAADIRR making a successful first step into Group company when he takes on some established sprinters in the Al Basti Equiworld Hackwood Stakes.
Marco Botti's three-year-old showed an excellent attitude under a biggish weight when just failing to peg back See The Sun in a valuable handicap at York last time and is improving with every outing.
On official ratings, he has a little to find with one or two of his rivals here, notably Music Master who finished a very good fourth behind Slade Power in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes last time and Rocky Ground who had Music Master well beaten when winning at Windsor but then could finish only sixth when well fancied for the Wokingham. So, both horses have run well and been slightly disappointing in their last two starts.
Much more consistent is Rivellino, a good third in the Wokingham but now 4lb worse off with Rocky Ground for just over a length. There may not be much between them and, with several runners looking to have little further progress in them (eg, Ahtoug, Es Que Love), my selection could represent value.
Meanwhile, LUSTROUS could also be over-priced in the Darley Irish Oaks at the Curragh, a race thrown wide open by the late defection of English Oaks winner Taghrooda.
Beyond the latter, who now heads for the King George, this year's three-year-old crop of fillies look fairly ordinary and neither Tarfasha (second) or Volume (third) were any match for Taghrooda at Epsom where Irish Guineas winner Marvellous (now fitted with blinkers) was disappointing in sixth and stable-companion Palace finished seventh.
The winner aside, the strength of that form is open to question and possibly no better than Royal Ascot's Ribblesdale Stakes in which 1000 Guineas flop Bracelet bounced back to beat Lustrous by half a length.
With little between the two fillies on their efforts there, it is surprising to see that the runner-up, who stayed on well on her first attempt at 12 furlongs, is now available at nearly three times the odds of her conqueror.
A gutsy winner over a mile at York previously, Hannon's Lustrous tries hard and could repay an each-way interest.
Joseph O'Brien takes the ride on Tapestry who, therefore, looks Aidan O'Brien's number one contender, but this is a big step up in distance now after a decent sixth (not enjoying the best of runs) behind Rizeena in the Coronation Stakes at Ascot. Although by Galileo, she looks a bit light on stamina on her dam's side.