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The Mandarin’s Saturday Selections for 11th May 2024

The Mandarin’s Saturday Selections from Naas, Haydock Park & Ascot


Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden 1.25
Celtic Chieftain
A close watch will be kept on Celtic Chieftain as he makes his racecourse debut. This well-bred No Nay Never colt fetched a pretty penny as a yearling, and will be high in the ranks of Aidan O’Brien’s Juvenile crop this season. His biggest challenge on the uncommon 5 furlong sprint at Naas would be the wide draw in Stall 11, so Wayne Lordan will have to fire him out of the gate and try to get a decent track position. Plenty to like in the pedigree, and his dam was a winner at two, so enough to get the tick

Al Shira’aa Racing Irish EBF Jannah Rose Stakes (Group 3) (Fillies) 4.15
Je Zous
Joseph O’Brien’s Zoustar filly should come on for the run at Saint-Cloud six weeks ago so gets our vote here. The ground in the Group 3 Prix Penelope was pretty desperate, so with less cut Je Zous should be seen to better effect back on home soil. With Aidan O’Brien starting to get his yard into a run of form, Flight Of Fancy rates the main danger, while Henry de Bromhead’s Golden Horn filly, Higher Leaves is an interesting contender for the predominantly National Hunt trainer. Je Zous to get the better of Flight Of Fancy and tuck Pattern form into her belt

Haydock Park

Pertemps Network Spring Trophy Stakes (Listed) 3.50
Poet Master (nb)
There’s sure to be plenty of pace on for this Listed Spring Trophy with Poet Master and Shartash drawn next to each other in Stalls 4 & 5. The preference is for course and distance winner Poet Master, who lines up here fresh from a Class 2 Handicap win at Newmarket. Karl Burke’s Lope De Vega gelding steps up to Black Type here, but had plenty of zip in that Newmarket win, and Sam James can get a good tune out of him again. Shartash is a decent rival who seems to have improved for the move to Archie Watson’s Saxon Gate yard, but Karl Burke has his string in fine fettle, so Poet Master to win


Lavazza & Ascot 10 Year Anniversary Victoria Cup (Heritage Handicap) 2.40
John & Thady Gosden’s Dark Angel gelding got to a three figure rating last year when winning a Novice Stakes at York, but the season didn’t really progress from there. However, he’s given another chance for the in-form father & son trainers after putting in a decent shift at Kempton on his seasonal reappearance. Course winner Pearle D’or and the useful Popmaster can also figure in this hot Handicap, but Mostabshir gets the nudge

Peroni Nastro Azzurro 0.0% Novice Stakes 3.10
Hallasan (nap)
Charlie Appleby arrives at Ascot on a high after taking home the 2,000 Guineas crown last week with Notable Speech, so Hallasan is easy to back for this Listed contest. He’s a Pinatubo colt, so should be plenty pacy enough for this 5 furlong dash. A half-brother to Al Raya, who won over this trip, Hallasan, though drawn in Stall 3 which doesn’t give any recent winners over this trip, should be too good for this field with the ground drying out in Saturday’s sunshine. A solid enough third on his debut under rules at Newmarket, Hallasan should shed the Maiden tag here

Mariner Systems Fillies’ Handicap 4.20
Ciara Pearl
Prolific on the all-weather, Ciara Pearl won well returned to turf at Bath last time out and should take this step up in grade to score here. The Lambourn based yard of Daniel & Claire Kubler make a notable jockey booking with Jim Crowley in the saddle, and he can get upsides of Andrew Balding’s Warda Jamila in this 10 furlong contest. Ciara Pearl to continue her good run and land the four-timer

The Mandarin

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