Sligo - 05 August
Nap of the day – Vasoni (6.30)
5.30 – Irish Stallion Farms EBF Auction Maiden - Gossip Central – Win
Well supported when second here in June, Gossip Central might be up to winning this. He chased home Rathbride Native but had subsequent Bellewstown winner Greyscape just behind him which gives the form a healthy appearance. Outlaw Blues was not beaten all that far when seventh on his debut at the Curragh and he must have a chance on that while Charms Bracelet had both Set To fire and An Droichead behind him when third to Roibeard at Down Royal. Newcomers Wexford Voice and Camile are certainly worth a second look.
6.00 – Ladies Day At Sligo August 6th Nursery Handicap - Touch Of Frost – Win
This looks tricky, but Touch Of Frost might be winning as he goes into a handicap for the first time. He has done well on each of his four starts and the highlight would be two good runs at Naas when there was plenty of cut in the ground. Berlios ran third to the gambled-on Leath Na Hoibre at the Curragh in last month and he should run another good race as he steps back up in trip.
6.30 – Foley’s Bar & Off Licence Handicap - Vasoni – Win
A three-time course and distance winner, Vasoni must be fancied to run another big race as the ground has certainly turned in her favour. She had Chillie Billie the best part of two lengths behind her when winning here on heavy going in early May and has not had her ground in two runs since. Indeed, she finished behind Chillie Billie when he won at Galway last week but is a confident choice to beat that rival again now. Bainne was a winner over the course and distance two years ago and won her first race since when scoring at the Curragh last month. She rates as a danger to the selection as does Hurricane Twister whose three wins have come on heavy ground but she was well beaten when runner-up over a longer trip than this at Ballinrobe two weeks ago.
7.00 – Irish Stallion Farms EBF Connacht Oaks Fillies Handicap - Ceylon – Each/Way
A winner here in May, Ceylon might go in again. The ground was heavy on that occasion and she could not have been an easier winner. She has been in good form since and her run when third to Digeanta and Awesome Star over two miles at the Curragh last month reads quite well. Sr Cartage won on heavy ground at Gowran Park in May and is of definite interest as she goes up in trip for this. Sierra Sun was fifth to Modem in the big amateur race at Galway last week and should go well again.
7.30 – GAA Race Day August 18th Handicap - Swamp Fox – Win
Swamp Fox can defy top-weight to win. He went close when second to the gambled-on favourite Bog War at Galway last week and reproduction of that run would be good enough. He had earlier run well when third at Killarney on softer ground and looks the one to beat. Duke Of Medina had both Torthai An Ghra and Chicago Dancer behind him when he scored on soft ground at Wexford and he is given a big chance along with Magic Kitten who was well behind the selection at Galway but had earlier won well on heavy ground at Gowran Park on May.
8.00 – Students Day At The Races September 30th Handicap - Rock Critic – Win
Having gone close here in June, Rock Critic looks the one. He was having his first run since last September when a short-head second to I’ll Be Your Clown and had both Gentleman Duke and Queen Of Alba behind him. Certain to improve, he can now win from Xebec who has done well since winning here on heavy ground in May and just lost out to Castle Guest at Leopardstown last month. Waydownsouth would probably want better ground but clearly has a chance on his best form.
8.30 – Sligo Weekender Race - Sidra – Win
Only three declared for this and Sidra is difficult to oppose. She was a winner on good ground at Gowran Park in late June and had subsequent winner Princess Aloof just behind her when second to On A Pedestal at Killarney last month. If handling the different conditions now, she can win from Nebulla who will need to improve on his effort at the Curragh in July when well beaten behind Have A Nice Day. Mr Right ran at Cork last night and has it all to do if turning out again.
SAINT MALO - 5th AugustRace 1
This 8th GNT stage is a very open one considering the doubtful form of many reappearing contestants, however (8) VAL ROYAL is certainly prepared for it and has the look of the most feared, ahead of (5) A NOUS TROIS, who is a tough runner and could go far. (11) TAORMINA D'EM has already raced decently at a higher level and finds a good entry here, while (6) VOSTANIA DE VIETTE is inescapable judging on her recent runs. It would not be surprising to see (10) URFEE JALLERIE on the podium.
Winner six times and placed twice out of fourteen runs, (12) AGUERO DE JOUDES deserves the title of favourite ahead of (1) AS DE BREVOL who seems to become reliable, while (11) ANGE KARLANN could find the further progress needed. (8) ASMAR DE VIETTE is fancied to run well as long as he gets a good trip.
In this very open European mounted race, it will be all or nothing with (3) VISITANDINE, who only has to trot to be competitive, but (5) MAFFIOSO FACE seems to have enough class to easily win if he starts correctly. If (8) AQUARELLE AIMEF is back to form, she could give the favourites a hard time, while (10) YPSILON BOKO is a reliable one and could also be the winner with a clear run.
Back on a right-handed track where he has credits, (10) CALZAC DE GUEZ gets the vote in this average level 3yo field, but (2) CRACK EXPRESS is also proven on this track and seems to be a reliable sort. Both reappearing after having shown decent ability, (9) CRISTAL ROYAL and (12) CHICA DE JOUDES deserve some attention and have a word to say for the places at least.
Obviously late in earnings, (1) JUST MAGIC should not be beaten in this category, starting from the first line. Driven by Franck Nivard today, (8) TORNADO DE TALONEY is also fancied to run well, while (12) TITAN DU LIEUVIN was noticed last time in a similar race. (13) UNE TOSCA needs a clear run to flatter her rally, and (9) OBAMA GEL, on his first French outing, is an amusing gamble if he behaves.
(5) VITA DU CAIEU has many assets in this 8th stage of the amateur GNT, but she will remain shod, so (3) UNE VALSE D'AVRAN could take advantage of her current form to beat her, while (7) URAWA DE VAUVILLE, who is perfectly entered, could be a major player if the favourites misfire. (11) SEYMOUR CARTERY has only raced once since November but is worthy of a race like this.
Only seven runners are battling in this weak 5yo mounted F grade race for apprentices, and (7) AUSTRAL FUN seems to be far above the rest of the field. (6) AVEC BRIO only needs to remain in trot to be placed but he is a quirky one. (5) ALPINE DE RENIER, who could be slightly improving, and (2) AIKO DE SUHARDIERE, who has already won on this track, will try and take advantage of favourites' failures.
Having both shown a decent form right on reappearance, (13) BALADE DE MARS and (9) BELLINO D'AUVRECY are evenly matched and should clash here. If (10) BAIADERA is on a good day, she could as well be the winner with Franck Nivard in the bike, while the other Thierry Duvaldestin's runner, (5) BARON DAIDOU, is not out of it even after a lengthy break.
MAUQUENCHY - 5th AugustRace 1
As her name doesn't suggest, (1) COMBATTANTE was disqualified last two times but showed enough ability to score today in this weak field. (9) COMMODORE has reasonable form and his last failure in Paris can be forgotten. He deserves second spot ahead of (11) COMTESSE DE JAVENE who merits respect. (6) CONCERTO DU RUEL could be there pitching as could many others.
There are many question marks abut several runners on this mounted event over 2850m but not for (5) BELIEVE PERRINE who has clear potential in this discipline and deserves to win. (11) BLUE JAG DE SAON is unproven on left-handed courses but is worth this race while mounted debutant (10) BROOKLYN TRIXIE is ridden by David Thomain. (6) BRYAN BUCH is barefoot this time and could create a surprise.
In this F race for apprentices over 2850m, (6) ARENE DES ANTHIEUX is fancied to win. She showed a glimmer of form last time for her new trainer and could carry on improving. (8) ALEX DES CHAMPS ran well last two times and is an obvious chance. Front runner (3) ATHENA DE GAUTIERS is in ascending form and can't be forgotten while (12) ALOUSTE DE ROME's last effort at Vincennes was encouraging.
Recent winners (12) VICTORIA EMPRESS and (10) VOLTORB D'OLIVERIE could fight for the win again. The former is barefoot this time and the latter has real ability and can start a nice series. They should beware of (8) URUS MERITE who has two reappearance races and is also unshod on all four this time. (7) VIVAROT DE VIETTE has stamina and could put his rivals in order with a prefect run.
This E race over 2850 for 4yo fillies is more open than it seems. Vote goes to maiden (5) BRASILIA DU PERCHE who has potential but is not easy to drive. (10) BELLA D'OCQUE is returning to a longer trip and can hit board while (11) BELLAMIKA seems to have stepped up in class in her new stable. Improving (6) BRENDA DU CHATELET has a good chance for a place.
The females are the main ones to consider in this very interesting mounted event over 2850m. (12) UTIANE DU HOME is behind in earnings and if she is back to her best, she looks difficult to beat. After a reappearance race, C&D specialist (8) UVEA DE SIMARDIERE shoud show improvement and play a key role. Quirky (6) ANGEL PERRINE needs to trot fluently to be in the shakeup while (7) VICTORY COGLAIS can be potentially placed.
(10) BATMAN DE FARCHAT has untapped potential and must be retained in this E race over 2850m for 4yo colts. The best (9) BICOLORE DU RIB could also grab gold like (8) BYRON DU KLAU who has patchy form. (7) BUSINESS DE BERJOU could cause a surprise judged on penultimate start.
(7) SERGENT DE CERISY and (9) SOLEIL DE FRANCE always do their best in amateur races and they should battle for the win unless (10) UNITED DU PARC, who hold the best C&D record, bounces back to form. (6) SPOT DE BELLANDE is driven by Jean-Charles Piton and has to be considered.
LA TESTE DE BUCH - 5th AugustRace 1
(9) MIMOSA beat some of today's rivals last two times and gets the vote in this low level conditions race but (7) ALGTAAH is open to improvement and mustn't be overlooked. (2) IVAN EL TERRIBLE performed well in good company last time and could be another answer. Reliable (11) VANESSE has an obvious chance, just like (8) SANDY STORM.
This open handicap for 3yos may throw up a few surprises. (2) LURAYAN will be suited by the shorter trip and must be retained while (1) RIZZICHOP is moving down in class. Strong finisher (8) BOWL is another potential winner while (4) MARTA SMART could strike again if she reiterates her eye-catching last run.
It's difficult to make a clear choice in this Listed Race which is the big event of this meeting. (4) AQUAMERICA is well-regarded by her connections but Jean-Claude Rouget's runners (3) THE TURNING POINT and (6) GOONA CHOPE both will be preferred. Experienced (1) YOU'RE SERIOUS could go far.
All is a question of personal intuition in this grade G race with two newcomers. (3) ZVALINSKA has now two races under her belt and should fight out the finish. (5) INDECENCE CHOISIE beat with ease some of today's rivals on her debut and mustn't be overlooked. Unraced (7) DEESSE BERE may cause an upset with Olivier Peslier up while improvement is expected from (1) SIGNS OF PEACE.
There are some well-bred horses in this grade G race with six debutants. Amongst them, Dabirsim's brother (6) ZIRGON will be observed with interest. (2) JUSTWANTACONTACT caught the eye at Deauville while (1) SAAJID's first effort instils confidence. (8) BABEL'S BOOK is also trained by efficient Christophe Ferland and may cause an upset on his debut.
(2) SAINT GREGOIRE caught the eye on this track last time and could strike again while improvement is expected from (1) DIEGO VALOR with Ioritz Mendizabal up. (3) KERAVNOS is another podium chance while the shorter distance will not be a problem for (4) PICKING UP PIECES who should be in the shakeup.
Four or five runners can claim victory in this grade G race. Amongst them, (5) MR ALADAN is moving down in class and could play a main part. Beaten by (4) TOPDAK last time, (6) CALAF will try to reverse the placings with his rival today. (8) SAPPHIRINE performed well in good company on May 25 and must be retained.
Olivier Peslier knows how to ride (3) KARDOOS who will be preferred in this race. (1) AL NASHMI is still maiden too but mustn't be neglected. (5) MISS FANTASIA has the best rating and should be thereabouts while (2) NIDDAL must be considered next.