Friday, June 10, 2011

York and Belmont

2 more great results on Friday with Watneya winning and Right Result placed second. Hopefully the good run continues on the week-end.

On Saturday, I like Swiss Spirit in the 16:25 Maiden Stakes at York. Ryan Moore will ride this son of Invincible Spirit which came out a staying-on second on his debut a fortnight ago. The newcomers in the field will have to show above-average potential to prevent this colt from the Elsworth yard from winning. He will definitely be in the first 3, so is an each-way recommendation.

The main attraction Stateside is the running of the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of the American Triple Crown. There won't be a Triple Crown winner this year since Animal Kingdom won the Derby but lost the Preakness Stakes to Shackleford. One thing that seems for sure at Belmont is that Shakleford won't win. He just does not have the stamina pedigree-wise and his front-running style makes him very vulnerable. Unless he succeeds to putting the field to sleep, like he did in the Preakness, he is a great lay.

Animal Kingdom is probably the best horse in the field but this might be a race too much for him in the space of the last 5 weeks. He seems vulnerable to some of the sorts that will run fresh after having skipped the Preakness. The dangers will come from Master of Hounds, Nehro, and Brilliant Speed, with Santiva being the dark horse of the race, in my opinion.

Master of Hounds will relish the trip and if he takes to the dirt like he seemed to do at Churchill Downs, he could be a major danger, and can provide Aidan O'Brien with this first American Classic. Nehro is a fast-finisher who should get the trip on pedigree being by Mineshaft. Brilliant Speed ran a good race in the Kentucky Derby. He stayed on that trip and being by Dynaformer, will appreciate the step up to 12 furlongs. Santiva could spring an upset if he's improved from the Derby and takes to the trip, which should be his maximum distance.

This Classic is an open race and there are no guarantees (except if you lay Shackleford). If you were to fancy a punt, I would advise Master of Hounds and Animal Kingdom as good each-way selections. Staying clear of the betting would make sense as well.

Each-way: Swiss Spirit

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