That’s likely to be the universal chant from racecourse managers across Ireland and Britain this weekend as the inclement weather conditions wreaked havoc on this week’s Tralee festival plus of course York’s hallowed Ebor fixture.
All eyes will hopefully be firmly focused on Goodwood this Saturday as the Group 2 totesport.com Celebration Mile highlights proceedings at the scenic Sussex course.
Raven’s Pass is without doubt one of the most consistent three-year-olds’ in training in Britain at present and John Gosden’s charge in all probability posted a definite career best effort by chasing home Aidan O’Brien’s dual 2000 Guineas winner Henrythenavigator in the Group 1 BGC Sussex Stakes at this same venue in July.
The likelihood is that Raven’s Pass won’t have to contend with anything of the calibre of Henrythenavigator here and he’s therefore selected to show a clean pair of heels to the hat-trick seeking Paco Boy.
The main supporting event is the Group 3 toteswinger Prestige Stakes for two-year-old fillies and it should pay to side with Faraway Clover. The Barry Hills-trained Faraway Clover recently made a victorious start to her racing career and she’s likely to fight off the attentions of Vitoria here.
Everymanforhimself could atone for a slightly disappointing effort last time by returning to the coveted number one slot at the expense of Methaaly in the Goodwood Revival Stakes and marginal preference is for Luca Cumani’s Sanbuch over Folk Opera in the Windflower March Stakes.
Also on the box
The Channel 4 cameras will also be positioned at both Newmarket and Beverley.
At Newmarket, the Countrywide Steel And Tubes Hopeful Stakes occupies centre stage and it should prove profitable to row in behind Winker Watson in this listed six furlong contest.
Winker Watson was undoubtedly one of the best juveniles in training last season, but Peter Chapple-Hyam’s colt hasn’t been witnessed in the same positive vein this time around. However, ‘once a class horse, always a class horse’ and Winker Watson can vindicate this accepted maxim by disposing of King’s Apostle.
Stevie Thunder can justify the lengthy trek southwards from Alan Swinbank’s all-conqueroring Yorkshire stable by disposing of Lady Rangali in the Chris Blackwell Memorial Handicap and Good Again can provide Gerard Butler with yet another winner by eclipsing Proclaim in the Adnams East Green Nursery.
Meanwhile, there’s just one televised live race from Beverley and that’s the totescoop6 Heritage Handicap. Competition is bound to be intense in this £40,000 event and it’s surely significant that Sir Michael Stoute is despatching Decameron northwards for this particular race. Decameron will have the considerable assistance of Robert Winston and the hint should be taken as the pair are recommended to excel from Craigstown.
Hopefully, the proposed final day of the Tralee festival will indeed receive the green light on Saturday and there’s also racing at The Curragh.
At Tralee, Prince Erik should prove capable of collecting the Feis Point Hotel 4-Y-O Handicap Hurdle.
The Dermot Weld-trained Prince Erik is a confirmed mud-lark that showed a return to form by finishing a fine fourth off 11-7 in a two and a quarter mile handicap hurdle on the final day of the Galway festival earlier this month. Ultimately beaten some nine lengths on that occasion, Prince Erik is recommended to beat Cru here.
Tony Martin’s Green Mile, who was well fancied for last month’s Galway Plate only to fall at the sixth fence, can make the most of his novice status by claiming the scalp of Hot Port in the Bank Of Ireland Novice Chase whilst Persian City should continue Willie Mullins’ excellent run in the bumper division by landing the Cadu Properties INH Flat Race from Pass The Vodka.
At The Curragh, Westphalia is the clear class act in the Group 2 Galileo European Breeders Fund Futurity Stakes.
On his most recent start, the Aidan O’Brien-trained Westphalia was never seriously tested when winning a listed extended seven furlongs race by three lengths at Tipperary earlier this month. Westphalia is a multi-talented colt that’s taken to continue in a victorious vein at the expense of Gan Amhras.
John Oxx’s Hasanka will surely take all the beating in the K & M Timber Ballycullen Stakes over one mile six furlongs.
Hasanka, yet another HH Aga Khan homebred, posted a possible career best performance by chasing home Unsung Heroine in a fiercely competitive renewal of the Group 3 Ladbrokes Give Thanks Stakes over a mile and a half at Cork earlier this month. The extra two furlongs of this race should hold no fears for Hasanka and she’s selected to account for Kitty Hawk Miss.
Classic Blade should continue the excellent run being enjoyed by young British handler Tom Dascombe by claiming the scalp of What’s Up Pussycat in the €300, 000 Tattersalls Ireland Sale Stakes.
Tommy Stack’s recent Gowran Park maiden winner Smart Coco should continue on her skyward trajectory by disposing of Sapphire Spray in the Loder European Breeders Fund Fillies Race.
On Sunday, racing is planned for both Ballinrobe and Cork. At Ballinrobe, it will take a smart one to lower the colours of Adajal in the Water Towers Chase. On his most recent start, Charlie Swan’s Adajal came home as he pleased in a two mile maiden hurdle at Wexford. Whilst this will be Adajal’s initial start over the larger obstacles, he seems to be progressing and he’s likely to possess too many aces for Kalderon.
Drunken Sailor should continue rookie handler Paul Flynn’s excellent run by winning the Armstrong Ceilings Handicap whilst Lara Celeb is another that’s bound to play a major starring role here. Eddie Lynam’s Art Sleuth should put his vast experience to a positive use by dispensing with Choir Singer in the Corrib Oil Maiden.
Meanwhile, Larkwing is the undoubted class act in the featured Kevin McManus Bookmaker Hurdle at Cork.
Eric McNamara’s Larkwing was never seriously tested when beating Definate Spectacle by four lengths in a Grade 3 two mile hurdle at Tipperary last month. The likely ease in the ground will hardly inconvenience Larkwing and he should continue on his merry way here at the expense of Dani California.
Dermot Weld should keep his supporters happy by sending out last month’s Curragh runner-up Carefree Smile to beat Grand Admiral in the Coolmore One Cool Cat Maiden and Cathy Harrison’s recent course and distance winner Career Move should have most to fear from Elaine’s Twinkle in the D O’Meara & Sons Mares (Pro/Am) INH Flat Race.