With the San Gabriel Mountains in the background, a racecourse surrounded by Palm Trees and almost perfect 70 degree sunshine there are very few places in the world where you can race in such wonderful surroundings. However for the British faithful who have travelled either as supporters, trainers or jockeys to compete in this showcase event this weekend there is a lot to do between now and Saturday night. For the travelling faithful there’s a lot of eating, drinking and punting to be done. For connections there is a lot of worrying to make the big day with your charge in rude health, taking on the very best horses in America. Just 5% of your best and you simply cant win. Its that competitive.
That doesn’t mean we should not get involved, in fact quite the opposite. Its a must. So how do the UK & Ireland chances look on Day 1. In truth we might scrape a winner to get us off the mark but I cant see much past that. London Bridge (8.45) looks to be completely outclassed in the Marathon. It looks like Jo Hughes and Paul Blockley fancied a trip to America and that this was the best way of getting the tax man to pay for Paul’s convalescence after his recent heart operation. Its not the trip, it could be the dirt (an unknown) but its definitely the class. I hope the horse runs well as I like connections but this really is a bridge too far.
Outstrip will start as favourite in the Juvenile Turf for Colts (9.25) and rightly so. We farm these turf races and he is top draw after his win on Future champions day. However don’t rule out Wilshere Boulevard. His was a good run on ground he didn’t like at Longchamp, to finish fourth and I can assure you there won’t be a hint of soft in the going when they line up tomorrow night.
At 10.50 Al Thakira for Marco Botti is joined at the starting gates by Chriselliam for Charlie Hills. I find the form of both confusing and whilst they are no doubt good animals there just might be an American filly capable of taking this race off them,although its not obvious form the betting. With big fields and tight tracks on the turf, luck comes in to play and I don’t think either has a lot in hand to compensate for bad luck in running. For that reason they both look a little shorter than I would like. Vorda for France was very impressive over 6f at Newmarket and if this trip and ground suits then Olivier Peslier might well be right with his assertion that she is a super star waiting to happen but as the likely favourite at 4/1 there looks to be too many guesses about her form for me to be happy at that price.
Its an exciting night to kick things off and our tips will be up by 3.00pm tomorrow on the website so look out for more information and lets see if we can make some money for the big day on Saturday.