Scotland V England Saturday 24th February. 4:45PM. BBC One Scotland v England renew their rivalry…
Watch the Irish 2,000 Guineas and live action from Goodwood and Haydock on Channel 4
Kingman is widely expected to atone for his narrow defeat at Newmarket earlier this month by landing the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas at The Curragh on Saturday.
John Gosden’s colt was mightily impressive when sprinting clear of Night of Thunder in the Greenham Stakes at Newbury last month, but was beaten a neck by that rival in the Qipco 2,000 Guineas on the Rowley Mile subsequently.
In the opinion of many Kingman was beaten by the draw at Newmarket, having raced against the far side rail whereas the winner eventually finished the race up the centre of the track. The Invincible Spirit will be suited by the slightly easier surface at The Curragh and is without question the one they all have to beat.
However, I for one am not convinced that it will be anywhere near as cut-and-dry as the betting suggests. Shifting Power and War Command, fourth and ninth respectively in the English 2,000, both merit respect but the fly in the ointment could prove to be MUSTAJEEB who can be backed at a tempting 6/1 with William Hill.
The son of Nayef showed plenty as a two-year-old, landing a decent Galway maiden prior to chasing home War Command in the Futurity Stakes at this track. He appeared to improve when making a winning reappearance in the Group 3 Amethyst Stakes at Leopardstown 13 days ago, showcasing a good turn of foot to mow his rivals down inside the final furlong.
Mustajeeb will be taking a steep step up in class on Saturday, but it was impressive to see him beat his elders with such authority at Leopardstown, something which is not easy for three-year-olds to do at this stage of the season. He remains open to further improvement and his trainer, Dermot Weld, could scarcely be in better form.
Streak too hot for Temple rivals
The most prestigious of the seven races televised by Channel 4 from the other side of the pond on Saturday is the Group 2 Betfred.com Temple Stakes at Haydock, a race often used as stepping stone for the King’s Stand at Royal Ascot.
Sole Power outpointed several of these rivals in the Palace House Stakes at Newmarket earlier this month, but with plenty of rain forecast the scales are tilted in favour of HOT STREAK who was making his seasonal reappearance when a close-up third behind Edward Lynam’s charge in the aforementioned Group 3 contest.
The Iffraaj colt travelled supremely well in the Palace House and only gave way in the dying strides. The ground was plenty quick enough for Hot Streak on that occasion and, likely to be sharper this time, he is confidently expected to reverse the placings with Sole Power on 2lb better terms this time.
Pearl Secret will also appreciate any rain and could emerge as the main danger to the selection, while those considering a bigger-priced each-way option could do far worse than turn to the redoubtable Jack Dexter who is currently 14s with BetVictor.
Wee Jean can tower above rivals
Over at Goodwood, the 32red.com Stakes is likely to be one of the most frenetic betting heats on the card. Supplicant was a Group 2 winner last term and has to be accorded a great deal of respect, as does Mick’s Yer Man who took his form to a new level when landing a Listed race at Ascot on his latest start.
However, that duo will be conceding lumps of weight to their rivals and, from a handicapping point of view, the one that appeals most is WEE JEAN. The selection was beaten three lengths by Mick’s Yer Man in a 6f conditions race at Leicester last month, but meets that rival on 11lb better terms here.
Mick Channon’s filly has subsequently produced solid efforts in defeat in handicaps back over this trip at Yarmouth and Ascot respectively and, with underfoot conditions unlikely to be a problem, she is well worth supporting.
Saturday racing tips:
1.50 French Navy
2.20 Pether’s Moon
2.55 Wee Jean
2.40 Hot Streak