Friday, October 7, 2011

Week-end racing

England drew and qualified for the Euro 2012, but the main talking point of the game was Rooney's red card. Does anyone wonder why England hasn't won something of note for a long time? It has brilliant players like Beckham, Rooney, yet when the chips are down, the brilliance turns into stupidity. Rooney's red against Montenegro was not as serious as Beckham's red against Argentina, or the same Rooney's red against Portugal, but it outlined the same problem again. Americans call them chokers when their sports stars screw up under pressure. This is worst than choking, it is plain idiocy.

Manager Capello calling Rooney fit to play mentally has to be one of the worst public managerial calls. It was a bold decision for him to make and say, and boy was he ever proven wrong in front of skeptics who rightfully questioned the state of the player following his dad's arrest 24 hours earlier, ironically, for a betting scam involving a red card. Really, the petulant striker's sending off was really written somewhere out there!

This week-end is all about racing with club football leaving the centre stage to the Euro qualifiers until next week. On Saturday, I like Strong Suit's chances in the first race at Newmarket. He's clearly the class of the race and will sport a penalty in this rather weak Group 2 contest. This colt from the Hannon stable is definitely better since his wind operation and he should definitely be in the first 3. I recommend him as an each-way.

The Dewhurst is the main race on the Newmarket race card and Power is the deserving favourite having bagged 4 wins out of 5, including 2 strong Group races in the National Stakes and Coventry Stakes. If Ryan Moore is close to his best abilities after his long layoff, he should have no problem steering the Oasis Dream colt in the first 3. The main opponents look to be the unbeaten Bronterre and Ektihaam, both of whom are stepping up in class for the first time. A Place on Power is the recommendation.

Finally, Gio Ponti runs in the Group 1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keenland, U.S. The 2-time U.S turf champion is looking for his first win of the year after good runner-up efforts in his last 2 races. Although now six, the Tale of the Cat colt is still one of the leading runners at a mile and over in the U.S on turf. He always gives the best account of himself, so can never be disregarded. The race has also attracted Zoffany from the Ballydoyle stable. If he's anywhere close to his best, Gio Ponti should win this. Even if one of the younger brigade were to usurp him, he should still be in the first 3. I recommend him as a strong Place.

Place: Power, Gio Ponti
Each-way: Strong Suit.

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