BRENTFORD HOPE 16/1 Paddy Power and Betfair – 0.75 POINTS E/W (6 places, 1/5 odds)
Given the amount of places on offer I am happy to increase the stake on BRENTFORD HOPE especially as we also have a talented 7lb claimer on board. The horse they have all got to beat is Gaassee but he is plenty short enough at this stage of his career in my opinion and although he is the likeliest winner, I would not be rushing to back him at the tiny price he is. Instead BRENTFORD HOPE offers lots of value as although he is rated 105 by the handicapper, that mark comes down to 98 when you take the 7lb claim into consideration. Deon Le Roux takes the ride and watched his last ride at Lingfield which was a winning ride aboard Brunel Charm, giving it a peach. He looks worth every bit his 7lb claim as he is tight and neat in the saddle and he could be very valuable to follow over the coming months.
BRENTFORD HOPE is a horse who placed in group races last season and even won off a mark of 98, today’s mark with the claim.
He has a high draw which means he should come wide around the bend and if he can get a nice early position, it results in him being against the rail just before the next turn.
Another horse who I am confident runs a big race. E/W
NATIVE TRAIL 3/1 generally – 1.5 POINTS WIN
The betting suggests this race is between the two 3 year olds in Vadeno and NATIVE TRAIL and it is hard to argue with that given they both get 10lb in weight from the horse’s 4 years or older. I respect Vadeni and he won the French Derby impressively although I am not sure how strong that Derby was. It was always run on soft ground so the ground is a little different here and described as good, drying out all the time. At the prices I am happy to side with NATIVE TRAIL who I have been waiting to step up in trip for what seems a lifetime. From when he won the National Stakes at Curragh as a 2 year old, everything pointed to the horse wanting 1m 2f – 1m 4f. Finally he is running over a trip which he so desperately needs. Despite my beliefs of the horse wanting further he has actually not put a foot wrong over 1m this season and the only race he has lost was in the English 2000 guineas, a race he probably should have won. The winner of that race has since gone on to win again and NATIVE TRAIL went on to win the Irish 2000 guineas, again shaping like he needed much further.
Although I respect the likes of Bay Bridge, Mishriff and Alenquer, I can’t see how they give a horse of NATIVE TRAIL quality, 10lb in weight.
I am even happy to raise the stake as this is a horse who keeps finding in the last furlong over 1m and with that speed which he can sustain over a long way, it really will suit him around a course like Sandown. I am quietly confident.
At a big price I can actually see Lord North running a big race as he blew the start at Royal Ascot and maybe his performance was better than what it looks like on paper, given he had to make up so much ground to get into contention. WIN.