SATURDAY’S Irish Derby proved a stroll in the park for Epsom winner Australia, the Ballydoyle colt that was bred for classic success completed the double with the minimal of fuss and heads the betting as the 3/1 favourite with BetVictor for the Prix De L’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in October.
June has produced a month of excellent flat racing with Kingman, The Fugue and Olympic Glory all three star performers at Royal Ascot and despite Alutiq (4.00) disappointing at the Royal meeting in the Sandringham Handicap, she can return to winning ways at Pontefract.
The filly takes a massive drop in class after spending last season in much stronger company, running excellent races in defeat and returned to winning ways in a conditions race at Kempton before spending the New Year tumbling down the handicap.
She should be suited to the drop back town to six furlongs and from a career low mark of 89 and she looks primed for a big run with Jamie Spencer back in the plate.
Elsewhere on the card the mile and a half handicap for 3-y-o’s looks a fascinating race on paper with a host of unexposed animals and plenty potentially ahead of the handicapper however the stand out runner looks to be Inevitable (4.30) for team of Mark Johnston and Franny Norton.
After two excellent winners at Royal Ascot in the form of Sandringham Handicap winner Muteela and Queen’s Vase winner Hartnell the Middleham based handler has trained a further nine wins over the last four days; it’s fair to say his string are in good nick.
Fresh off a break and stepped up in tripped he has to be player from a mark of 68 with the handicapper relenting due to poor efforts over a mile last term however the gelding has a pedigree that screams stamina and with a run under his belt and the stable in better form, a big run is fancied.
Searchlight is an interesting runner for Kevin Ryan in the six furlongs race that follows it however Boy In the Bar (5.00) was impressive when shedding the maiden tag over course and distance last month and is given the nod for the David Barron yard.
He justified favouritism when hacking up here and was well backed to follow up on his handicap beau at Ripon before ultimately being found out on heavy ground.