This week’s UK and Irish horse racing action may not have quite the pizzazz of last week’s York Ebor Meeting, but there’s still plenty of Listed Race and Group Race action to enjoy. Tipperary stages both the Fairy Bridge Stakes and the Abergwaun Stakes on Thursday, whilst Beverley, Chester, The Curragh, and Sandown host decent races on Saturday. Beverley stages the Listed Beverley Bullet, whilst the Chester Stakes is Chester’s Saturday highlight. The Curragh then stages both the Flame Of Tara Stakes and the Round Tower Stakes, whilst Sandown plays host to the prestigious Solario Stakes and the Atalanta Stakes.
Tipperary 30 August
Coolmore Stud Fairy Bridge Stakes (18.25)
The Fairy Bridge Stakes is open to fillies and mares aged three and older and is run over 7½ furlongs. It was first run in 2003 and was upgraded to its current Group 3 status in 2012. The race was named in recognition of Fairy Bridge, the mare who gave birth to the brilliant sire Sadler’s Wells. Dermot Weld, Jim Bolger, and Kevin Prendergast have all trained three winners of the race, but Weld has the best recent record having saddled the winners of the 2014, 2015, and 2016 renewals.
Meanwhile, the 2017 winner Realtra was trained by Roger Varian, and he was the first non-Irish trainer to win the race. Three-year-old have the best record in the race having won 11 of the 15 renewals. All of Jim Bolger’s three winners have been three-year-olds and he could rely on Sometimesadiamond, whilst Dermot Weld could saddle Alanannda and the highly-rated Yulong Gold Fairy from the classic generation. However, the highest-rated entry is the Kark Burke trained Ellthea, who could to make it back-to-back wins for English-trained horses.
Kilfrush Stud Abergwaun Stakes (18.55)
The Abergwaun Stakes is a Listed Race run over five furlongs. Established in 2003, it has been dominated by English-trained horses in recent years, with five English winners in the last seven winners. However, the likes of Under The Covers and Wings Of The Rock will have to find some improvement if they are to extend that winning sequence, as the Irish contingent look stronger than in recent years.
Washington DC would have to be a strong fancy if taking his place in the line-up, whilst Hit The Bid should find this easier than the races he was running in earlier in the year at Meydan. Meanwhile, last year’s winner Gorane could try and become the third horse to win the race in successive years after Senor Benny and Inxile.
Beverley Saturday 1 September
Beverley Bullet (14.45)
The Beverley Bullet was first run in 2004 and it is a Listed Race open to horses aged three and older and run over five furlongs. It has been won by some old favourites in recent seasons including Tangerine Trees, Borderlescott, Pearl Secret, Maarek, and Take Cover, whilst the 2016 winner Alpha Delphini recently won the 2018 Nunthorpe Stakes. Take Cover could become the second horse to win back-to-back renewals and he could be taken on by some old rivals in Judicial and Final Venture. Mr Lupton and the El Astronaute are other interesting rivals after recent successes in handicaps.
Chester Saturday 1 September
Foxy Bingo Fast And Fabulous Chester Stakes (15.15)
The fast part of the title of this race probably refers to the sponsor Foxy Bingo, as the Chester Stakes is a Listed Race run over a marathon trip of 1 mile 6 furlongs and 87 yards. Famous winners of previous renewals include Arcadian Heights, Further Flight, Tominator, Big Orange, and Muntahaa. There are no strong statistics for the race, with a variety of different aged horses being successful. No trainer or jockey has an outstanding record in the race either. Course specialist Duretto could be very hard to beat though and he’s been well-backed in the ante-post market.
Curragh Saturday 1 September
Flame Of Tara Irish Ebf Stakes
The Flame Of Tara Stakes is a Listed Race run over a mile that is open to two-year-old fillies. First run in 2003, it has yet to produce a notable winner. However, it is likely that the race may attract a stronger field having been upgraded to a Group 3 only in 2016.
Surprisingly, perhaps, Aidan O’Brien has only won one previous renewal, but he holds a strong hand with five of the early entries. His top-rated filly appears to be Just Wonderful, but Pink Dogwood is open to any amount of improvement after just one run. Jessica Harrington has also trained a previous winner and her Dragon Roll could also go well with the Harrington stable in form. Meanwhile, as the only previous English trained winner was trained by Mick Channon, it’s interesting that he’s entered Chynna.
John Risk & Son Round Tower Stakes
The Round Tower Stakes was first run in 1988 but was upgraded to a Group 3 in 2004. It is open to two-year-olds and run over six-furlongs. Jim Bolger is the leading trainer with six winners, but he’s unlikely to represented this year. Therefore, it may to follow Aidan O’Brien who has trained three of the last five winners, including the last two winners. O’Brien also has some significant entries in the shape of the highly-rated Sergei Prokofiev and Gossamer Wings. Meanwhile, O’Brien’s Ten Sovereign made a winning racecourse debut just over a week ago and falls into the could be anything category.
Sandown Saturday 1 September
188Bet Solario Stakes (14.25)
The Solario Stakes is a Group 3 Race for two-year-olds that is run over seven furlongs. First established in 1974, it has been won by some very exciting horses such as To-Agori-Mou, Oh So Sharp, Be My Chief, Alhaarth, Raven’s Pass, and Kingman. Meanwhile, the 2017 Solario Stakes was won by this year’s Derby winner Masar. Whether there’s anything as good as those horse in this year’s field remains to be seen, but the likely favourite Too Darn Hot is certainly bred for the job as a son of Dubawi and Dar Re Mi. He also made his winning debut here at Sandown and looks to have had this race as his main target ever since. The main opposition may come from the unbeaten Arthur Kitt and recent York runner-up Watan.
188Bet Casino Atalanta Stakes (15.00)
The Atalanta Stakes is a Group 3 Race that is open to fillies and mares aged three and older and is run over one mile. First run in 1986, it has been won by some top-class fillies such as One So Wonderful, Dank, Integral, Persuasive, and Aljazzi. Meanwhile, Sir Michael Stoute has an excellent record in the race having trained four winners in the last 13 renewals.
Three-year-olds have an even more outstanding record having won 11 of the last 14 winners. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the Stoute-trained three-year-old Veracious is the ante-post favourite. She could face some stern opposition in the form of Unforgettable Filly, Threading, Winter Lightning, and Laugh Aloud – but I’m already building up a Veracious appetite for this weekend’s action.