Tuesday 17 September 2019

Trading Point is the place to start for an outside shot

The Damian English-trained gelding looks an attractive punt at a big price

Lethal Steps and Davy Russell (left) negotiate the fifth flight on the way to winning the opener at Galway. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Lethal Steps and Davy Russell (left) negotiate the fifth flight on the way to winning the opener at Galway. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Wayne Bailey

Wayne Bailey

Galway remains the focus for punters on this side of the Irish Sea, but allow me to kick off with the Glorious Goodwood Festival which gets underway today, as I'm very keen on Pinatubo in the Group Two Qatar Vintage Stakes (2.25).

A race for two-year-olds, the winner is always worth keeping an eye on later, and recent names on the roll of honour include Expert Eye, Galileo Gold, Highland Reel, Toormore and Olympic Glory.

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Seven horses go to post, but Pinatubo is the real stand-out colt with three wins in as many races for trainer Charlie Appleby, the most recent being the best of the lot. He stepped up in trip to today's seven furlongs to take the Listed Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot last time out at the expense of one of this afternoon's rivals Lope Y Fernandez - as tipped on these pages.

Pinatubo clocked a very fast time in the Chesham and there's no reason to believe the form will be reversed here, but Mark Johnston's Visinari is a live threat, having won his debut novice in fine style. However, he disappointed somewhat, finishing third of seven when odds-on in a Group Two last time. The selection also beat another of today's rivals Platinum Star at Wolverhampton when both made their debut, and early odds of 6/4 is my idea of a great value bet.

Nobody will get rich backing Stradivarius in the Group One Qatar Goodwood Cup (3.35) around 4/6 but the John Gosden-trained five-year-old is impossible to oppose under Frankie Dettori. He's now on a seven-race unbeaten run, all of those either Group One or Twos, and even though he's aged five, he's improving with every race.

He has staying power as proven in the Ascot Gold Cup where he beat today's two main rivals Dee Ex Bee and Cross Counter over 2m3f, but he's very effective at this two-mile distance and he's one of those horses that is a joy to watch.

Rory Cleary
Rory Cleary

If his price is too short for you to back, it's still worth taking the time out to watch the race without a bet, as he attempts to win this contest for the third time.

Getting back to Galway, it's no surprise to see a Dermot Weld horse, Jassaar fairly warm in the early betting for the feature Colm Quinn BMW Mile Handicap (7.40) with talented young jockey Ben Coen claiming 5lbs.

With two wins and two places from six runs, four-year-old Jassaar is going places - although he was well beaten by the Ger Lyons-trained Basic Law last time off this mark in a handicap at the Curragh. Indeed, odds of 11/4 in an 18-runner competitive affair don't appeal.

Instead, I'm going to take a chance on each-way outsider Trading Point, expected to go off at 33/1 with Rory Cleary (pictured below) in the saddle.

Trained by Damian English, it's probably no surprise that he's friendless in the markets having finished near the back of the field in his latest two starts, but he struggled to settle down in both.

Previously, he went close on his first run for this yard when runner-up in a Naas Handicap, so today's reasonable weight leaves him in with an excellent shout of a place.

Another one at Galway which seems overpriced today is Kasakh Noir, which was trading at 8/1 for the Latin Quarter Beginners Chase (5.55) for James Lambe under Rachael Blackmore. A decent hurdler for Dan Skelton, he failed to fire in two runs over fences for that trainer but a change of scenery can sometimes do some good, and I suspect he'll run a little better than those odds suggest.

TODAY'S SELECTIONS

2.25 G'wood: Pinatubo

3.35 G'wood: Stradivarius

5.20 Galway: Fine Brunello

5.55 Galway: Kasakh Noir

7.05 Galway: Limit Long

7.40 Galway: Trading Point (e/w)

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