HAPPILY, with Ryan Moore (pictured above) expected to ride after his overnight stint on Mendelssohn in the Kentucky Derby, can provide Aidan O’Brien with a third successive win in the Group 1 Qipco 1000 Guineas (3.35) on Sunday afternoon, and his fifth in total in this historic fillies’ mile classic.
With our original recommendation September announced as a surprise absentee from the race at the start of the week, Happily (11/4 with bet365) is our revised choice, as noted in our most recent free horse racing tips and analysis for this great race.
The sister to English and Irish 2000 Guineas winner Gleneagles and half-sister to Irish 1000 Guineas heroine Marvellous is bred to do the job, and reports from Ballydoyle suggest last year’s winner of the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes and Group 1 Prix Jean Luc Lagardere at Chantilly (see video below) is doing everything asked of her ahead of Sunday’s big race.
As noted in our previous analysis, Karl Burke’s Laurens (10/1 each-way with BetBright) could be a very big danger. We’ll leave you to revisit the reasons we remain convinced that the Yorkshire based filly, winner of last year’s Group 1 Fillies’ Mile over course and distance, can make a proper race of it with the favourite.
Charlie Appleby’s pair of Wild Illusion, winner of last season’s Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac at Chantilly (see video below) on the same day Happily scored at the picturesque French track, and Soliloquy, the preferred mount of William Buick, are also respected, along with Willie McCreery’s unexposed Liquid Amber, and in-form Mick Channon’s supplemented Dan’s Dream.
Godolphin’s Wuheida Looks Too Good in Dahlia Stakes
With trainer Charlie Appleby’s horses still in cracking form – he’s had 5 winners from his last 12 runners – it’s hard to look too far beyond the likely hot favourite WUHEIDA (10/11 with Sky Bet) in the Group 2 Charm Spirit Dahlia Stakes (2.20).
William Buick’s mount is a genuine Group 1 performer as she showed when producing a tremendous effort to land the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Del Mar in the US in November, gaining her revenge on old rival Rhododendron. Yet another high quality daughter of Dubawi, Wuheida also won a Group 1 as a juvenile, beating Promise To be in the Prix Marcel Boussac at Chantilly, and with the greatest of respect to her rivals on Sunday, most are Group 3 standard.
Although she has to concede her Group 1 winner’s 5lb penalty to all her rivals, Wuheida looks good enough to do just that. French raider Golden Legend, and Ireland’s Elegant Pose appear most likely to step up and give the favourite something to think about, but Appleby’s four-year-old should be more than up to the task and can start her campaign off on a winning note.
ADVICE: Wuheida (10/11 with Sky Bet)
Lah Ti Dar to Hit The Heights
The listed Tweenhill Pretty Polly Stakes (4.45) is a proper Investec Oaks trial, so having made a massive impression when hacking up on her racecourse debut at Newbury just a couple of weeks ago the beautifully bred John Gosden-trained LAH TI DAR can confirm her classic potential by maintaining her unbeaten record.
Owned and bred by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, Lah Ti Dar is by high-class stallion Dubawi out of Lloyd Webber’s tremendous racemare Dar Re Mi, a three-time Group 1 winner. Her half-sister So Mi Dar, was also smart only narrowly failing to win at Group 1 level a couple of seasons ago.
Given a typically polished ride by Frankie Dettori, Gosden’s filly really caught the eye as she eased to a six length debut success at Newbury over Ralph Beckett’s well regarded Arcadian Cat, a performance that has sacred of many from the five-day declarations living just five rivals to face our selection.
The 800,000 guineas Godolphin purchase Espradille, a winner of two All Weather events, and Expressiy, runner-up in the UAE Oaks at Meydan in March, both give Charlie Appleby a decent shout, but Lah Ti Dar can land this race for the fourth time in the last five years for her handler who sent out the great Taghroodah to win in 2014 before before Sheikh Hamdan’s filly went on to land both the Investec Oaks and the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes that season.
Those not keen on taking a short price for this race might consider backing Lah Ti Dar at 12/1 with Betfair for the Oaks prior to this event, as her odds will surely be slashed if, as we believe she will, she lands the spoils on Sunday afternoon.
ADVICE: LAH TI DAR (12/1 with Betfair) for the Investec Oaks, Epsom, June 1
Jack’s The Lad in Hot Sprint Handicap
The race prior to the Qipco 1000 Guineas, the longholes.com Handicap (2.55), is a fiendishly difficult six furlong contest in which a good case can genuinely be made for at least half the runners.
Twelve months ago Richard Fahey’s Mr Lupton landed the spoils, getting the better of old rival and stable companion Eastern Impact by a length and a quarter, conceding 5lb. Eastern Impact, who himself won this race back in 2015, is 12lb better off with Mr Lupton so must have a fine chance of gaining his revenge. Both horses have run well in their only respective outings so far this term and look to have been laid out for a repeat battle.
Aeolus, runner-up in last term’s valuable Stewards’ Cup at Glorious Goodwood, scored here in good style over course and distance last month with Eastern Impact third and Ekhtiyaar fifth. He’s gone up 4lb for his trouble and should again be on the premises, while Roger Varian’s Ekhtiyaar gave the impression he would be better off for that run and has a serious chance of turning the tables this time.
Class act Magical Memory has plenty of weight and would ideally appreciate more cut in the ground but a bold show is not out of the question, but Irish raider MEDICINE JACK 12/1 (each-way with BetVictor) could well be the one to have on your side having been a very smart two-year-old before being restricted to just one run last season.
Ger Lyons’ charge was subsequently gelded and returned from a 302-day lay-off to win in very testing ground at Naas on the first day of the flat season in Ireland in late-March, but despite a rise of 4lb he is still rated a tempting 10lb lower than when a good third to the high-class Caravaggio in the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes over Sunday’s trip. That performance followed a victory in the Group 2 Railway Stakes at the Curragh (see video below) where he beat another Ballydoyle speed merchant Peace Envoy.
Medicine Jack wouldn’t be the first smart juvenile to lose its way at three only to bounce back as a four-year-old, and looks worth an each-way interest with four places on offer.
ADVICE: MEDICINE JACK (12/1 each-way with BetVictor)
Written by Paul Alster
Paul Alster has been part of the British and international racing media for more than three decades working as a race commentator, TV/radio presenter, journalist, betting correspondent, SP returner, and form analyst. He’s always sought out overpriced runners in handicap races, a quest that excites him as much now as it did at the start of his career.