Thursday, June 2, 2011

Ladies Day

Rafael Nadal dismissed Soderling in 3 straight sets but Zarabajad came out 2nd after a very suspect ride from Johnny Murtagh. I think the Aga Khan jockey is the best in the business in Ireland but he did not seem to have his customary zest at the finish.

Talking tennis, I can't see past a Djokovic/Nadal final (again) in the French Open. Nadal should be too much to handle for Murray, and Djokovic certainly has the mental edge on the aging Federer. So I recommend Nadal and Djokovic to win their semi-final matches on Friday.

Friday is Oaks day in racing and there are 3 fillies/mares that I will be following closely. In the first race, I like Antara who makes her seasonal return for Godolphin. She clearly is the classiest of the bunch and the only question mark is her current fitness. Bin Suroor mentions that she will improve for the run, which indicates that she will not be at her peak. She won this race last year on her seasonal return as well, so the track and long layoff should not be of concern.  I recommend her as a Place prospect and see Timepiece from the Henry Cecil yard as her main opponent.

The Coronation Cup seems to be a 2 horse race between St Nicholas Abbey (SNA) and Midday. Dandino should be a close third if one of the two mentioned fails to fire. It's hard to forge a clear opinion on how good is SNA. If he runs to the potential that he showed as a 2-year old and confirms his win at Chester 28 days ago, he will be hard to beat. This race will see confirmation of whether he is a serious horse, one that "could walk on water" according to his trainer Aidan O'Brien. Midday is the more reliable to side with and is almost always in the frame. She gets my vote as a Place recommendation.

The Oaks race is very open in my opinion. I am not a huge fan of Blue Bunting although she surprised me considerably (and many others) by winning the 1000 Guineas. On pedigree she should have just enough stamina for the 12 furlongs being by Dynaformer and a middle-distance mare. She has never raced over 8 furlongs though, and with the speed she's shown in the Guineas, 10 furlongs might be a more suitable distance for her. I like Wonder of Wonders in this race. She has raced and won at the distance, and she's got that fantastic pedigree being out of All Too Beautiful, daughter of super mare Urban Sea. I see her being involved at the finish and I recommend her as a Place.

At Doncaster, I like Tortoni in the first race. The son of Teofilo has been placed in his first 2 races and I see him being in the frame again. Whether he actually wins depends on how good is Campanology from the Richard Hannon stable who have interestingly booked Johnny Murtagh for the ride. Tortoni is recommended as a Place.

Win: Nadal, Djokovic.
Place: Antara, Midday, Wonder of Wonders, Tortoni.

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