The Week Ahead – What Racing To Focus On This Week

Thundering Nights ridden by jockey Shane Crosse (centre) wins the Alwasmiyah Pretty Polly Stakes from Ryan Moore on Santa Barbara during day three of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival at Curragh Racecourse in County Kildare, Ireland. Sunday June 27Thundering Nights ridden by jockey Shane Crosse (centre) wins the Alwasmiyah Pretty Polly Stakes from Ryan Moore on Santa Barbara during day three of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival at Curragh Racecourse in County Kildare, Ireland. Sunday June 27

With Royal Ascot over for another year, we look ahead to this weeks racing, where it’s the turn of the Irish to have the feature racing of the weekend. The Irish Derby and Pretty Polly Stakes may be the key races this week, but there’s plenty of other eye-catching racing to look forward to – we highlight all the key moments to look out for this week.

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See all the key meetings and races this week in our weekly guide ↓


Monday

A qualifier race to the Windsor Sprint Series (6:05) takes centre stage on the Windsor card this evening, with last year’s final 1-2 lining up – Capote’s Dream and Treacherous.

Jockey Sean Bowen prior to competing in the EBF British Stallion Studs a??National Hunta?? Novicesa?? Hurdle at Leicester Racecourse. Picture date: Wednesday February 2, 2022.

Elsewhere, Sean Bowen currently tops the Jump Jockey Championship and has a chance to extend his lead with a trio of rides at Southwell this afternoon:

  • Salley Gardens (1:50)
  • Matchmaking (3:30)
  • Windy Cove (4:00)

There’s another jumps card at Chepstow, whilst the other flat action comes from Sligo and Wolverhampton.


Tuesday

The ‘John Cleverly Memorial Handicap’ looks to be the feature race at Beverley and features a hot favourite in Myristica. Tim Easterby’s charge won well at Ripon last week and if returning in the same form, he could take some stopping!

Hollie Doyle had a classic winner with Nashwa at the weekend and has solid chances with all three of her rides at Newbury:

  • A Taste Of Honey (6:00)
  • Zephina (6:35)
  • Alablaq (8:10)

There’s further flat action at Brighton and Sligo, whilst National Hunt fans are treated to a good-looking card at Newton Abbot.


Wednesday

Mark Crehan riding Oscula (white) winning The Free Tips Daily On attheraces.com Restricted Maiden Stakes at Brighton Racecourse. Picture date: Monday May 24, 2021.

A busy day with six meetings across the board. The pick of the action comes from Naas, with the Listed Naas Oaks Trial (7:10) looking like a cracking race. Johnny Murtagh’s One For Bobby has won both races so far in his career, including beating Show Of Stars, Suwayra and Jezebel Queen last time out – and the four all line up again here.

There’s also Listed action at Carlisle, with the Eternal Stakes (3:55). Snooze N You Lose won a listed contest last time out, but this looks tougher and with the likes of George Boughey’s Oscula in the race, it should be a thriller.

Elsewhere, there’s further flat action at Bath, Kempton and Salisbury, with the sole jumps action coming from Worcester.


Thursday

Newmarket hosts their second meeting on the July course, with the ‘Feature Space Fraud Fighter Handicap’ (3:45) the pick of the races on the card. Plenty of interesting entries for the race currently, including the unbeaten Shining Blue and Ralph Beckett’s Deodar, who has only been beat once in his three races, and that was by Commonwealth Cup runner-up Flaming Rib!

The first of three days of action at Newcastle’s all-weather course features the Class 2 ‘Seaton Delaval Handicap’ (2:45), with last year’s winner (Hartswood) and third (Eagleway) set to do battle again to land the honours.

It’s all about the flat on Thursday, with the other meetings coming from Hamilton, Leicester, Newcastle and Nottingham.


Friday

The quality of racing starts to pick up as we edge into the weekend, with both Newcastle and the Curragh hosting Group races. Newcastle’s Group 3 Hoppings Fillies’ Stakes (7:10) is their feature, where impressive Ayr Listed scorer My Astra looks set to line up. William Haggas and Tom Marquand teamed up to win the race in 2020 and will hope to repeat that effort with My Astra.

Twilight Gleaming at Del Mar Racecourse, USA

Over at the Curragh, the Group 2 Curragh Cup (6:43) is a race which has been dominated by the O’Brien’s in recent years – in the last nine years Aidan has won it six times, whilst son Joseph has won it twice. The only trainer to stop them has been Jim Bolger, who won with Twilight Gleaming in 2019. Ironically, Twilight Gleaming won it again in 2020 but had moved to Joseph O’Brien’s yard!

There’s plenty of other flat action to look forward to on Friday, with cards at Chester, Doncaster, Newmarket and Yarmouth, plus a sole jumps card at Cartmel.


Saturday

It’s the turn of the Irish as the Curragh hosts the Irish Derby (3:45). Ralph Beckett’s Westover has a nightmare passage in the Epsom Derby last month and will be bidding for redemption here. He’ll have some tough competitors to crack though, including Piz Badile, Cash and Stone Age.

There’s two fascinating Group races complimenting the Irish Derby card, with the Group 2 Railway Stakes (3:05) and the Group 3 International Stakes (4:20).

Back in England, one of the big betting races of the year goes to post at Newcastle with the Northumberland Plate Handicap (3:30) – where there was a 33/1 upset in the race last year as Nicholas T won for trainer Jim Goldie.

The Chipchase Stakes (2:25 Newcastle) and Criterion Stakes (3:15 Newmarket) round off the Group races on the day, with Newmarket also hosting a couple of Listed races on a cracking day of racing!

There’s also cards at Chester, Doncaster, Lingfield and Windsor.


Sunday

Thundering Nights ridden by jockey Shane Crosse (right) wins the Alwasmiyah Pretty Polly Stakes from Ryan Moore on Santa Barbara during day three of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival at Curragh Racecourse in County Kildare, Ireland. Sunday June 27,

The pick of the action is again in Ireland as the Curragh hosts the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes (3:45). Thundering Nights put in a battling display to hold off the late challenge of Santa Barbara in last year’s renewal (well worth a watch!).

There’s also the Group 2 Airlie Stud Stakes (2:10) on the Irish card, in a race that can throw up a star or two in recent years. 2019 winner Albigna went on to land Group 1 honours that year, whilst 2017 scorer Clemmie went on to win the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket later that year.

Britain’s sole flat fixture comes from Windsor, whilst there’s jumps action at Cartmel and Uttoxeter.


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