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Friday, 26 August 2011

We seek him here, we seek him there..........

......... that damned Elusive Pimpernel! Because that's the horse that can deliver us to riches on Saturday with a deserved win in Windsor's Listed August Stakes. John Dunlop's charge was highly impressive as a 2 year old with a win in the Acomb & finishing 2nd to St Nicholas Abbey in the Racing Post Trophy, then winning the Craven Stakes as a 3 year old before starting as 9/2 2nd favourite & finishing 5th in the 2000 Guineas. He wasn't seen again as a 3 year old but has run some good races in defeat in 3 Group 3's & 5th in a decent Listed race. With an official rating 9 pounds clear of his challengers he should take all the beating & with odds against available & the Like Buying Money team will be hoping to be considerably richer come Sunday morning. Brushing is a danger as she takes a marked drop in class after finishing down the field at big prices in 2 of the best female only races this season, Classic Punch should help set a gallop that can play right to the Elusive Quality colt's strengths & Elusive Pimpernel should comfortably prevail. Odds of 7/4 with William Hill are more than generous as we believe they should be closer to odds on.

Elsewhere during the day there are good meetings at Newmarket, Goodwood & Beverley & we will go to the first race at Goodwood for what should be a simple way to get a good start to the day. Drunken Sailor  won this last year & should follow up at his preferred distance of 1m6f even though carrying a 5lb Group 3 penalty. That penalty was gained by beating the useful Harris Tweed last time over 2 furlongs shorter but this distance will see Drunken Sailor in a much better light. Akmal would be dangerous if showing the form that has bagged him a Group 2 & Group 3 but he seems to need pretty quick ground to show his best whilst our pick seems to handle most conditions. Sir Mark Prescott seems to have also tried to avoid softish ground with his runner Motrice & we're unconvinced by her overall level of form anyway, get on side with Drunken Sailor at 6/5.

For our final pick we go to Yorkshire & Beverley racecourse & their best race of the year the Listed Beverley Bullet Sprint Stakes which has attracted a very nice & competitive field of runners. Captain Dunne will be popular as he's hugely consistent for a sprinter finishing in the first 3 on 22 of his 45 starts but has a difficult draw as 2nd widest in stall 14 & may just come up short. Course & distance winner Group Therapy has chances under the strong riding of great sprint jockey Graham Gibbons but has never managed victory at this level, slightly bigger odds than the 13/2 available would be tempting & maybe a punt on the place only market could get rewards. Our pick is another course & distance winner, John Quinn's pacey Duchess Dora whose handicap mark has risen as she keeps putting in big performances in good handicaps, she has a nice draw & her style of running means she has a great chance & stand out odds of 9/2 with Betfred are begging to be taken.

Windsor 6.10 - Elusive Pimpernel at 7/4 with William Hill
Goodwood 2.15 - Drunken Sailor at 6/5 (general)
Beverley 3.35 - Duchess Dora at 9/2 with Betfred (7/2 elsewhere)

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