Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Neil Morrice: International Racing - Sha Tin Saturday 11 July 2020

Neil Morrice: International Racing - Sha Tin Saturday 11 July 2020

Neil Morrice: International Racing - Sunday 5 July

Neil Morrice brings us all of his best bets and tips from Sunday's racing coming your way from Sandown and Doncaster.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone


Trainer: John Gosden - Jockey: Frankie Dettori

It's the moment of truth for legendary mare ENABLE as she returns as a six-year-old in search of a record third Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe victory. John Gosden is using the same race, which looks hotter than in 2019, to get her back on the road to Longchamp as was the case 12 months ago. Then, the same questions were asked regarding whether Sir Philip Oppenheimer’s pride and joy would be up to the fight, but the answer came with a resounding ‘yes’ as she stormed up the final hill to thwart Magical. This is a big gamble for connections, bearing in mind the immense value of Enable in the breeding sheds, but it’s one that brings with it further fame and fortune if she shows she’s as good as before. Her defeat by Waldgeist in the Arc was her first since April 2017 but she should convert at the main expense of Japanese mare DEIRDRE.

Deirdre has been in great form during her stay in Newmarket, while her jockey Oisin Murphy is the man who guided her to a shock triumph in the Group 1 Nassau Stakes at Goodwood a year ago. She won’t mind if there’s cut in the ground, and should not be underestimated as her exemplary international record goes before her.

GHAIYYATH completely failed to menace in last October’s Arc after having a harder race than connections thought in the Group 1 Grosser-Preis Von Baden. However the Godolphin-owned trailblazer could hardly have been more impressive at the Dubai Carnival in the winter, and again when routing his field in the Group 1 Coronation Cup at Newmarket.

Of those at the forefront of the market, JAPAN could be the most vulnerable. Last season’s Juddmonte International Stakes hero was an underwhelming fourth, beaten six-length by Lord North in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot. There appeared to be no obvious excuse, and can he really show himself a different horse just over a fortnight later?

His stablemate MAGIC WAND is a different entity and can help make this a finish of distaffers without managing to knock her nemesis off her perch. The tough-as-teak traveller is a great advertisement for trainer Aidan O’Brien, comes here after routing an admittedly sub-standard field in a Group 2 at the Curragh and can get into the argument.

2nd Deirdre
3rd Magic Wand
4th Ghaiyyath
5th Japan

Sandown Undercard

Race 2: No10 - LAZULI
Trainer: Charlie Appleby - Jockey: William Buick

LAZULI has been talked about as a Group horse and can now prove it as he steps into Pattern company for the first time. The Dubawi gelding was beaten by the draw on his return on Guineas day, going down to Smokey Bear without being handed anything like a hard race. That was rewarded when he came here to power up the hill and beat Keep Busy three and a half lengths in a Listed. It was the same race in which Battaash started his rise to prominence three years ago, and without saying Lazuli is in that league, I know he’s good.

Trainer: Charlie Appleby - Jockey: William Buick

Godolphin is on the scent of this Group 3 Henry II Stakes with former Melbourne Cup hero CROSS COUNTER granted a tremendous chance to put his career back on track. He hasn’t won since landing the Dubai Gold Cup in March 2019, whilst contesting many of the top staying races around the world. However, it is his staying on third to Stradivarius in last month’s Gold Cup at Ascot that provides proof positive that he’s retained his sparkle.

Race 6: No2 - MAGNY COURS
Trainer: Andre Fabre - Jockey: William Buick

This is a big day for Buick who in this Listed race dons the Godolphin silks on French raider MAGNY COURS. Andre Fabre looks to have the five-year-old on an upwardly mobile course judging from the way he thwarted stablemate Persian King at Chantilly last month. That country’s master trainer wouldn’t bring such a horse here unless he meant business, and to further bolster Magny Cours’ chance Persian King boosted the form when scoring at Saint-Cloud last week, while Buick appears to have chosen him in favour of Spotify.

Trainer: David Menuisier - Jockey: Sean Levey

Menuisier is a former assistant to the late John Dunlop and like his mentor excels with improving stayers such as NUITS ST GEORGES. The gelding appreciated a class drop when scoring on reappearance at Sandown. He’s a consistent operator and can show he has more to offer in this fiendishly tough race.

Race 6: No3 - HEREBY (Each Way)
Trainer: Ralph Beckett - Jockey: Richard Kingscote

This is a big step up in class for HEREBY, but of underfoot conditions deteriorate she can surprise some fillies with better form on the board. By Pivotal out of an Hernandez mare, Hereby was always going to relish cut and showed that on the last of an impressive four-race winning sequence last summer and early autumn. Her trainer also fields Manuela De Vega, but at a massive double-figure price I’ll root for Hereby to show she’s improved.

Race 7: No12 - LAAFY
Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute - Jockey: Richard Kingscote

This Old Newton Cup should bring out the best in LAAFY, who appeared to win with a fair bit in hand when reappearing at Newbury. Waited with, he made up his ground steadily in the long home straight and pulled impressively clear when given the office. The handicapper has had his say, and this is a fearsomely hot affair, but in current mood it will be hard to keep him out of the money at the very least.

Race 8: No1 - GREENSIDE (Nap)
Trainer: Henry Candy - Jockey: Marco Ghiani

GREENSIDE ran better than his seventh placing looked at Royal Ascot and deserves to start favourite for this despite having to concede weight away all round. The veteran frequently attracts market support and takes confidence to post for his enthusiastic connections.

Hollywoodbets Back on Track Punters' Challenge


Race 1: No8 - ZOOKEEPER
Trainer: Mark Johnston - Jockey: Franny Norton

The Middleham dogs have been braking the name of ZOOKEEPER for a while now. The good looking son of Dubawi now gets the chance to convert that good home form to winning on the course itself. He’s out of a Brazilian Group 1 winner on turf, and in what is certain to be a warm heat can deliver.

Race 3: No3 - SOCIETY LION (Nap)
Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute - Jockey: David Allan

Invincible Spirit colt SOCIETY LION returned to finish fourth in a warm race at Newbury which has served the purpose of bringing him forward. But more important is that he now drops back to seven furlongs, the distance at which he impressively opened his account at Yarmouth last autumn. He’s been in great form at home and can give a boost to the claims of Laafy in a later race at Haydock.

Race 8: No14 - AIR FORCE AMY
Trainer: Mick Channon - Jockey: George Bass

Having gone close off this mark at Windsor two weeks ago, the lop-eared AIR FORCE AMY can go one better under the competent Bass, who is well worth his 5lb claim. The selection rarely fails to get into the money and her chance will improve with further rain. She looked in good heart stretching up the all-weather at West Ilsley on Friday.

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