Neil Morrice shares all of his best bets and tips for Saturday’s racing coming your way from Sandown Park, Haydock Park, Beverley, Carlisle and Hollywoodbets Durban July.
Check out Neil's video preview for the Hollywoodbets Durban July and Coral Eclipse below:
Race 2 No9 TRAIS FLUORS (Each Way)
Trainer: Mick Channon – Jockey: Silvestre De Sousa
TRAIS FLUORS gained his last success over this course and distance 13 months ago, since when he’s not enjoyed the rub of the green but become well handicapped. His run at Windsor last week was better than it looked, and now returned to a bigger field and from a good draw he can raise his game and get into the money.
Race 3 No5 HEREDIA
Trainer: Richard Hannon – Jockey: Sean Levey
HEREDIA landed an ante post gamble in the gamest fashion to stretch her unbeaten record to four in the Sandringham at Royal Ascot. The daughter of Dark Angel has room for further progression and looks booked to pick up black type in this first venture into a Listed race.
Race 4 CORAL-ECLIPSE (Group 1)
No2 BAY BRIDGE (Nap)
Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute – Jockey: Ryan Moore
In what is one of the best Eclipses of recent years, there’s little to split the six runners with even rank outsider LORD NORTH a player if he can recover from a couple of recent blips.
Stablemate MISHRIFF finished third to St Mark’s Basilica in last year’s behind-closed-doors running and went on to take out the Juddmonte at York when having ALENQUER six lengths behind him. However, Alenquer has gone on to better things and recently landed the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh, with Lord North behind him in fourth but beaten only a couple of lengths.
Three-year-olds NATIVE TRAIL and VADENI give the mid-summer showpiece further va va voom and especially the latter who was a spectacular winner of the French Derby for Jean-Claude Rouget and Christophe Soumillon. The Churchill colt has to be taken seriously while Native Trail reasserted after losing out to stablemate Coroebus in the 2,000 Guineas to capture the Irish version at the Curragh.
This leaves us with BAY BRIDGE, who after a dominating display in the Brigadier Gerard Stakes at this course in May was one of the most heavily backed runners at Royal Ascot only for State Of Rest to steal a March on him and prove a hare that never came back in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes. Ryan Moore will be alert to all developments in this important mid-summer feature, and the combination can swoop to conquer.
Prediction: 1st BAY BRIDGE, 2nd Alenquer, 3rd Native Trail, 4th Vadeni
Race 2 No3 ACHNAMARA (Each Way)
Trainer: Mark Johnston – Jockey: Jason Hart
ACHNAMARA had to use up plenty of energy to obtain a prominent early position in the King George V handicap at Royal Ascot and beat a hasty retreat in the home straight. He’d previously won at Beverley and run well at Doncaster and is capable of bouncing back and taking home a cheque against recent winners Sea King, Double Cherry and Duty Bound.
Race 3 bet365 Lancashire Oaks (Group 2)
No5 NELL QUICKLY (Each Way)
Trainer: Denis Coakley – Jockey: David Probert
Although carded to go off the rank outsider, NELL QUICKLY is not a filly to dismiss lightly and has room for manoeuvre to close the gap with her Pinnacle Stakes conqueror Sea La Rosa. There should be less to separate them, and as Nell Quickly possibly was more in need of that return outing than he rival she has a good chance of turning the tables.
Race 4 No5 GAASSEE (Nap)
Trainer: William Haggas – Jockey: Cieren Fallon
Sea The Stars colt GAASSEE has built up an impressive winning sequence ahead of this Old Newton Cup mission and is very much the one to beat. He will start very short for what should be an ultra competitive handicap, but if in the mood that saw him romp home at York should make it a nap hand of victories.
Race 5 No6 NORTHCLIFF (Each Way)
Trainer: Tim Easterby – Jockey: David Allan
NORTHCLIFF can give us a good run for our money in the first nursery (handicap for two-year-olds) of the season. The Dandy Man colt had an impossible task against subsequent Coventry Stakes winner Bradsell at York, and wasn’t beaten far when in the money in Cold Case’s race at the same track last time. He deserves a change of luck, and can get it as he employs a new line of attack.
Race 2 No5 SECRET GUEST (Nap)
Trainer: Bryan Smart – Jockey: Graham Lee
Havana Grey colt SECRET GUEST was beaten in a blanket finish in Washington Heights’s race at Carlisle. He’s gone forward in his work since that pleasing first foray into the track and can open his account at a course whose stiff uphill finish is not dissimilar.
Race 7 No6 ROAMIN IN GLOAMIN
Trainer: Karl Burke – Jockey: Sam Fielden
ROAMIN IN GLOAMIN was a captain of industry for his connections through the winter, placing six times on the all-weather. He’s been given a well earned break since an underwhelming run at Pontefract and is suitably refreshed to raise his game on just a third outing on grass.
Race 3 No2 SIXCOR (Nap)
Trainer: Linda Perratt – Jockey: Harry Russell
SIXCOR is doing his connections proud and can make this a third win from his last five outings. The Sixties Icon gelding has shown a preference for Ayr, but should appreciate the stiff finish on a first visit here.
Place Accumulater Perm (Races 1-7)
7, 2, 8 x 2 x 2, 7 x 7, 2, 4 x 7, 4 x 8, 3 x 9, 1
Race 7 HOLLYWOODBETS DURBAN JULY HANDICAP
With R5m up for grabs and a crowd for the first time since 2019, this is the ‘July of Julys’, and the anticipation in and around Durban is at fever pitch.
What makes it a special race in every sense is the depth of the field in terms of ability, and the large amount that can actually win. And so the first line of attack from the pen is to run it through the names of Red Saxon, Second Base, Astrix and reserve Airways Law. Eighteen then becomes 14, including a Mike De Kock quartet that’s very hard to split.
At the Beach Pre-Party on Thursday the trainer predictably maintained a certain air of unbias, but reading between his engaging vibes perhaps Daily News hero SAFE PASSAGE is the spearhead of his arrow formation. Given that was his first run in three months he should in a perfect world come on for it and give Muzi Yeni a favourite’s chance of notching an overdue first triumph in Africa’s greatest horse race.
SPARKLING WATER also goes into the mix as a valid contender and in a good place to serve it up to the boys. Dual July winner DO IT AGAIN is getting longer in the tooth but was perhaps the most impressive of those that participated in the July gallops.
With his marked preference for KZN and off a smooth Grade 2 success he’s a player. Belgarion will I fear struggle to make it a fairytale comeback for Pier Strydom and there are more questions than answers about JET DARK (trip) and POMP AND POWER (temperament), though he could take the lead if there’s no early pace.
Dean Kannemeyer’s WATERBERRY LANE has the look of a joker in the pack and wouldn’t surprise me if he were to give his trainer a fourth success in the race.
KOMMETDIEDING needs to defy top weight if he’s to take out back-to-back Julys and will find this way more competitive than the Met.
This leaves the horse with ticks in every box for a huge run and impossible to leave out of all permutations, his name LINEBACKER. Vaughan Marshall’s gelding hasn’t put a foot wrong since
chasing home Kommetdieding here 12 months ago and has enjoyed the perfect preparation. He looks bombproof for a big earning run, and granted the rub of the green can definitely win.
Prediction: 1st LINEBACKER, 2nd Safe Passage, 3rd DO IT AGAIN, 4th Sparkling Water, 5th Kommetdieding, 6th Waterberry Lane, 7th Al Muthana, 8th Flying Carpet