THE Tattersalls sales kick off at Newmarket today with 502 bluebloods going under the hammer. The main focus will be Godolphin’s buying strategy and whether they continue their new trend of buying progeny of Coolmore stallions. For the record, Galileo has 19 offspring for sale this week. Watch this space. On the track Death Duty (3.50) makes his chasing debut at Tipperary. Gordon Elliott’s promising beast is 2/5 so not a punting proposition but it will be interesting to see how he jumps the bigger obstacles. The trainer has never hidden his admiration for the horse.
In other news, Aidan O’Brien has been outlining plans for some of his better animals. Check out what’s going where here. He is three short of Bobby Frankel’s record of 25 Group One wins in a calendar year. You wouldn’t bet against him reaching his target, would you?
Garde La Victoire, one of my favourite horses, runs at Auteuil for Philip Hobbs and champion jockey Richard Johnson in the Lorrain Listed Handicap Hurdle (1.20). The eight-year-old has been a star for owner Diana Whateley, and if his French mission ends in success, connections will pick up more than €55,000.
Elsewhere, in punting terms, two horses stand out at Kempton this evening. Fivetwoeight (7.40) was desperately unlucky at Windsor last time out and can make amends tonight. He is up against older horses but he has the able assistance of Silvestre de Sousa. Best priced 10/3 with Sky Bet.
The other one who appeals at a decent price is Big Time Maybe (6.10) who has been a bit disappointing since his debut at Bath. His best run since was on the all weather at Chelmsford when he was nailed on the line and this speedy gelding looks overpriced at 7/1 (bet365, Hills) to break his duck.
A notable non-runner is Send Up (8.40), a typical Sir Mark Prescott late season improver. She has won her last two and I thought she did it with a bit in hand at Chelmsford last week. The hat-trick looked on but she has been scratched. Watch out for her wherever he turns up next.
Following Nigel Twiston Davies’ horses around this time of year is always a very wise thing to do. He has had seven winners in the past week and today has just one runner in Arthur’s Gift (4.50) at Southwell. He is returning after a lay-off and the trainer seems to fancy him if you check out his website. An each-way poke, perhaps?
Finally, at Southwell Zamoyski (6.00) regained winning form last time out off a ridiculously attractive handicap mark and although he has been raised 8lb he looks capable of doubling up. He is one of today’s main market movers and has been backed in from 7/1 to 4/1. Someone knows.
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