Sport Horse Racing

Saturday 26 May 2018

Wayne Bailey: Kew Gardens ready to bloom at Lingfield

'Saxon Warrior could be anything. He was cut into even-money for the Derby, odds-on with some firms, and he's also favourite for the St Leger.' Stock photo: Getty Images
'Saxon Warrior could be anything. He was cut into even-money for the Derby, odds-on with some firms, and he's also favourite for the St Leger.' Stock photo: Getty Images

Wayne Bailey

I once read somewhere that a well-tailored suit to women is what lingerie is to men.

In the estate in which I grew up, a man in a suit usually meant he was on his way to court, but it's true to say that there's no better feeling than putting on a tailored tin of fruit.

With a few social events coming up, I've decided to invest in a brand new fitted suit following a very successful battle with the bookmakers on the UK racing last weekend.

Irish people hate nothing more than a boaster, and it's never long before the Sport of Kings makes any man humble again.

But I've said it before and I'll say it again - you've got to celebrate and sing when you are winning, even if that is by simply buying a nice new suit. And the important bit: don't give it all back to the bookie.

Lord knows, there's enough losing days in this game, and the Irish selections didn't go so well - but wins for Taurean Star (11/1), Defoe (1/2) and of course Saxon Warrior in the Guineas (3/1) kicked off the Flat season, and the Bank Holiday, with a bang.

Favourite

Saxon Warrior could be anything. He was cut into even-money for the Derby, odds-on with some firms, and he's also favourite for the St Leger.

If he managed to complete the Triple Crown he'd achieve legendary status, as the only horse to do it since World War II was Nijinsky in 1970.

The St Leger has become one of the less fashionable Classic races but the contest, and the sport itself, would get a great boost and plenty of hype if Saxon Warrior wins the Derby then goes for it.

I mentioned last week that it's sometimes said that truly great horses can win over any distance or conditions, and although last week's mile trip was almost certainly on the short side for him, he still won. He's bred for the middle distances and it's highly likely he'll be even better over the Derby trip.

As regards an ante-post bet on Saxon Warrior, I'm not keen on it.

Ante-post betting is essentially two bets. Firstly, you are betting that the horse actually lines up - which is never certain given how injuries can happen and how delicate thoroughbreds can be - and, secondly, you are betting that the horse wins the race.

There's still time for another very good horse to emerge before June 2, although I'd say it's still more likely than not that I'll end up backing Saxon Warrior on the day, depending on prices.

Anyway after last week's excitement, it's a quiet day in the UK with the feature being the Group Three Betfred 'Supports Jack Berry House' Chartwell Fillies' Stakes at Lingfield (3.40), and I'm giving the tentative vote to David O'Meara's Lincoln Rocks, which was trading around 7/1 yesterday evening.

This race looks wide open so it's not a hugely confident selection, but those odds look a couple of ticks too high based on a quite consistent season last term, in which she won a couple of handicaps and a Listed race.

Although she struggled in Group company before, this particular race looks winnable, and she ran reasonably well when shaking off the cobwebs when third in a Listed race on her seasonal debut at Goodwood.

One Master caused a surprise by winning a Listed race at 20/1 back in October, and William Haggas' filly is likely to go off as favourite here under Ryan Moore.

Although she's likely to improve this season, I'd rather take a wait-and-see approach before parting with my money at odds of 7/2.

My biggest bet today will be on Kew Gardens a little earlier at the same venue for the Listed Betfred Derby Trial Stakes (2.30).

Trained by Aidan O'Brien, the Galileo colt was a little disappointing in a Listed race at Newmarket last month, but it was his first time out in six months and O'Brien has said that a lot of his horses are improving for their first run, as the weather has been so bad in Ireland.

Fourth to Saxon Warrior in a Group Two at Naas in September, he subsequently claimed a Listed win in his final race of the season at Newmarket and, although he may not be up to the level of some of his stablemates, the 13/8 available in the early markets looks reasonably generous under Ryan Moore.

Spanner

If a horse throws a spanner in the works, Corelli is the one most likely to do it for John Gosden under Frankie Dettori. Although it was no surprise to see him win a three-runner minor race at Yarmouth recently at odds of 1/3, his manner of victory suggest he's got plenty more to come.

One race I do hope Gosden and Dettori team up to win is the Listed Betfred Mobile Oaks Trial Fillies' Stakes (1.55), for which Stream Song is chalked up at 7/2. An end-of-season win in September, then an opening win this season in a handicap in April, augurs well for the daughter of Mastercraftsman and she's improving with every race.

Aidan O'Brien's Flattering also has strong claims, but looks a little short around 5/4.

EACH-WAY

The Alan King-trained William H Bonney is 1lb wrong in the long handicap, but I still feel is value each-way around 20/1 in the Grade Three Pertemps Network Swinton Handicap Hurdle at Haydock (3.10).

Following some mediocre performances, his mark is now down from a high of 136 to today's 129, but I've a sneaky feeling it's going to bottom out soon, and a recent wind-op might also make a difference.

* Last week's each-way selection, Third Time Lucky, was placed at 11/1

UK SELECTIONS

1.55 Lingfield: Stream Song

2.30 Lingfield: Kew Gardens

2.50 Ascot: Barsanti

3.10 Haydock: William H Bonney (e/w)

3.40 Lingfield: Lincoln Rocks

3.50 Nottingham: Pretty Baby

4.20 Haydock: Arcanada

Irish Independent

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