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The Mandarin’s Saturday Selections for 9th September 2023

The Mandarin’s Saturday Selections from Leopardstown & Haydock Park


Ballylinch Stud Irish EBF Ingabelle Stakes (Listed) (Fillies) 1.45
Apricot Ice
Apricot Ice might be the one to follow for the opener against the re-opposing Content, from Aidan O’Brien’s powerful yard. She was just over a length behind that rival on her debut under rules here two weekends ago. but has a nice draw now from Stall 3. The excellent Colin Keane will be making full use of that, and Apricot Ice is taken to reverse the placings with Content, while Kitty Rose can also get into the frame

KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes (Group 2) 2.15
Diego Velazquez
This Frankel colt cost a pretty penny, but went some way to ensuring the faith in him when overcoming greenness to score by nearly 5 lengths at The Curragh. Being a half-brother to both Broome and Point Lonsdale, there’s plenty of stamina assured, so this first try at the mile trip should announce his intentions for the 2,000 Guineas next season. Joseph O’Brien’s Atlantic Coast and Paddy Twomey’s Deepone head the list of dangers, but Diego Velazquez is a pretty solid favourite.If he lands this, is sure to be top spot in the ante-post market for the Dewhurst at Newmarket next month. Exciting

Coolmore America ‘Justify’ Matron Stakes (Group 1) (Fillies & Mares) 2.45

A terrific renewal where Tahiyra will go to post a short-priced favourite. She heads the market with an almost flawless form-book, only losing out to the excellent Mawj in the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket, before making no mistake in the Irish Classic three weeks later. Her win in the Group 1 Commonwealth Stakes at Royal Ascot backed up her credentials, and with the weather set fair this weekend, that win on quicker ground only adds to the appeal. Stablemate Homeless Songs looks the main threat, but Tahiyra should be good enough with a 5lb pull in her favour

Royal Bahrain Irish Champion Stakes (Group 1) 3.20
One of the best European flat races of this season, where the strength in depth of this field makes it one not to miss. The 2,000 Guineas favourite from the start of this term, Auguste Rodin, has proved to be an off-on switch, with a no-show in that first Classic and the prestigious King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot sandwiching wins in both The Derby and the Irish Derby. Roger Varian’s King Of Steel has to figure in the shortlist, being a Derby runner-up and a winner of the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot, while the consistent Nashwa has three Group 1’s already in the book, including the Falmouth, the Nassau and the French Oaks, all her against her own sex. She’s ready to mix it with the boys at the top level, but our preference is for the lightly raced Alflaila. Owen Burrows’ Dark Angel colt looks ready to step up to this assignment, has no concerns over the faster going, and with the brilliant Jim Crowley aboard, there’s lots to like

Dullingham Park Stakes (Group 2) 3.55
Buckaroo (nb)
Joseph O’Brien has had an excellent season so far with his flat runners, and with Buckaroo can add more Black Type. This Fastnet Rock colt is a course and distance winner, and returns from a freshener after a solid third at Royal Ascot. Back on home soil, and with Oisin Murphy aboard from Stall 1, has plenty of points in his favour

Paddy Power Stakes (Group 3) 4.30
Al Aasy
Given here for his latest win in the Rose Of Lancaster Stakes last month, William Haggas’s Sea The Stars gelding has turned a corner this season dropped back to 10 furlongs. He’s so lightly raced for a six-year-old, there’s every chance that there could be more to come, so is taken to serve it up to the classy Adelaide River. Jim Crowley up in the driver’s seat again on what could be a cracking day for the Shadwell Stud

Haydock Park

Best Odds On The Betfair Exchange Superior Mile Stakes (Group 3) 1.50
Regal Reality
The chance is taken on Sir Michael Stoute’s Regal Reality, who is such a solid performer at this level. He’s pretty well out there after twenty-nine career starts, but showed at Salisbury last month that all the ability remains, and looks a decent price in an open race. The veteran trainer places his horses well, so Regal Reality is one to note

Betfair Exchange Old Borough Cup Handicap 3.00
Caius Chorister
In a red-hot Handicap, there’s plenty to make cases for, not least last-time-out winners Forza Orta and Sea King. However, David Menusier’s Caius Chorister gets the tick at the top of our shortlist. Progressive in Handicaps last term, she looked like she was coming back into form when making a late move in the Ebor at York last time out. By Golden Horn, stamina is assured, and Jamie Spencer on board can make a well-timed late run. In the mix

Betfair Sprint Cup Stakes (Group 1) 3.35
Shaquille (nap)
Probably the first name on the teamsheet for Saturdays picks, Julie Camacho’s brilliant sprinter is very hard to oppose for the feature. Despite some issues coming out of the stalls, costing valuable racing yards on more than one occasion, this Charm Spirit colt is now six from seven on turf, and lines up here on a Group 1 hat-trick. James Doyle returns to the saddle after missing the last two Group 1 wins, so it should be his day here on this remarkable colt

Betfair Daily Tips On Betting Betfair Ascendant Stakes (Listed) 4.45
Different conditions from his impressive win at Goodwood last time out, where he quickened nicely to dominate that Listed contest. His debut under rules, though, was at this track, so the course will hold no terrors. Quicker ground this time, but one going the right way for the in-form team of William Haggas and Tom Marquand. Interesting

The Mandarin

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