JACK HOBBS finished second to his stable companion Golden Horn in the Derby but is entitled to go one better for John Gosden in the Irish Sweeps Derby at The Curragh on Saturday.
It is not often a horse graduates from handicap company to winning a classic in a couple of months, but this is likely to be the case with Jack Hobbs.
His season was kick-started by a fluent 12-lengths demolition job on Rotherwick in a Sandown handicap.
It was then onward and upward as he tackled the traditional Derby trial, the Dante Stakes, at York, and was a creditable second to stable mate Golden Horn in that 10-and-a-half furlongs race.
Next time out in the Derby, he was a praiseworthy second to Golden Horn with another Newmarket runner, Storm The Stars, completing a notable Derby 1-2-3 for Newmarket and Pin Money.
Gosden tells me he is delighted with the progress that Jack Hobbs has made, as is William Haggas with the improving Storm the Stars, who could again chase him home across the Irish Sea at the weekend.
A slight caveat is that the Clarehaven trainer ideally would like some rain to ensure the ground is not too fast for Jack Hobbs.
On the home front, Marco Botti will be hoping to annex the Pitman’s Derby with his 2014 Chester Cup winner SUEGIOO.
After winning the Chester Cup, Suegioo finished a creditable three-and-a-half lengths second to Angel Gabrial in the big Newcastle handicap, before suffering from a hike in the weights.
His trainer fears he might still have too much weight, but I loved the way he stayed on to be fourth to Seamour in his preparatory race at Haydock.
He will again be keeping on at the end of this race, which is always run at a testing tempo.
If you are looking for a long shot, have a little each-way saver on Charlie McBride’s RITE TO REIGN, who has crept in at the bottom of the handicap.
Ed Vaughan has his Machell Place team in fine fettle at the moment and his improving INTERCONNECTION is expected to pay for his long Saturday journey north to Newcastle, with a win in the Betfred Racing Like Us On Facebook Handicap.
It was on this course that Interconnection lost his maiden certificate last backend and, although slow to come to hand this spring, quickly started making up for lost time with a win on his reappearance at Sandown in May.
He then had to settle for second place at York, but the decision to bring him back to a mile and a quarter should pay dividends.
Down at Windsor on Saturday, Hugo Palmer will be looking to PEACE PRIZE to take the Hughes Windsor Price Boosts With Unibet Fillies Handicap.
On the same card earlier in the afternoon, another of Newmarket’s up-and-coming younger generation, Ed Walker, could have initiated a double for us with BUSHCRAFT in the Unibet Livre Ashes betting On Every Ball Handicap.
This progressive individual is also entered in the Betfred Six Best Odds Races Daily Handicap up at Newcastle, so go with him in his chosen event.
Visitors to our July Course on Saturday should take a close look at Giles Bravery’s CABANA SANDS in the Empress Stakes.
After winning at Leicester, she was being aimed at the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot, but when she failed to reach her reserve at the Goffs pre Royal Ascot Sale in London, it was decided to re-route her here.
This move could pay dividends for all concerned in the form of winning Listed Race black type.
The best bet at Lingfield’s Saturday evening meeting is Jane Chapple-Hyam’s AVENUE DES CHAMPS in the Merida Handicap.
The progressive three-year-old has won his last two races at Beverley in fine style and, with the affable Australian’s well-run team in fantastic flying form, a hat-trick certainly looks to be very much on the cards.
Tomorrow evening on our July Course, partygoers can help defray their expenses with George Peckham’s MAJROOH in the NGK Spark Plugs Handicap.
Unraced as a juvenile, this Acclamation colt made a winning debut over at Leicester and the indications are the handicapper has let him in lightly.
Later in the evening, Michael Wigham’s CHAIN OF EVENTS could just about have the measure of Lydia Pearce’s Minstrel Lad in the Newmarket Nights Handicap.
At our July Course meeting this afternoon, John Gosden’s lightly raced improver CILENTO could prove the answer to the Newmarket Nights Handicap.
Moving into the Midlands, go with David Elsworth’s LA SUPERBA, who will give her backers a good run for their money in the 80s Night On Saturday July 4 Handicap and Chris Wall’s ZE KING in the Hands And Heels Apprentice Series Handicap.
n Pin Money found another three winners last week, with INJUN SAND won 7-2, MAHSOOB won 7-4 and DIRECT TIMES won 13-8 all doing the business.