Ottoman Emperor looks decent value against the odds-on favourite Hurricane Lane in the Cazoo St Leger at Doncaster on Saturday.
The final Classic of the season is a fascinating affair and appears to revolve around Charlie Appleby’s market leader.
He has only lost once in his life, at Epsom in the Derby, when third to relatively unfancied stablemate Adayar – who of course proved that was no fluke when beating Mishriff et al in the King George.
Since that defeat, Hurricane Lane has landed the Irish Derby in dramatic style when catching Lone Eagle late on and then looked a different proposition altogether when winning the Grand Prix de Paris in France.
However, it is that display which arguably gives a reason for taking him on – he showed so much speed there that if he truly stays 2900m, then he really is something out of the ordinary.
It is not being controversial to suggest were it not for Adayar, Hurricane Lane would surely be the stable’s No 1 Arc hope and the best prep for that is not stretching him out this far at Doncaster.
On the other hand, Ottoman Emperor looks sure to stay given the manner of his Gordon Stakes victory at Goodwood, he is still clearly improving and until his winning streak is ended, we have no idea just how good he might be.
At the prices, Johnny Murtagh’s charge looks a value option.
Reach For The Moon will be all the rage in the Champagne Stakes – but he faces a formidable rival in Lusail.
Owned by the Queen, Reach For The Moon is prominent in the betting for next year’s Classics, but even though he is conceding 1.5kg, Lusail just has a much more solid look to him.
Lusail’s sole defeat came on soft ground so he can be forgiven that. He would not want much rain, but his last two starts have seen him win the July Stakes and the Gimcrack.
The July Stakes form has been franked by runner-up Asymmetric landing the Richmond and going close in the Prix Morny, while conceding 1.5kg and winning the Gimcrack is a rare occurrence.
Lusail is making hay while the sun shines, but for Reach For The Moon it is probably all about next year.
Roger Varian’s Laneqash was a real eyecatcher on his return to action in the Hungerford Stakes and as long as he avoids the dreaded ‘bounce’ factor, he looks the one to beat in the Cazoo Park Stakes.
A smart juvenile, he was second at this meeting last year but having finished last in the Dewhurst, he was not seen again until recently when only Sacred was too good for him.
With the three-year-old allowance, he looks a tempting proposition.
Justanotherbottle has been in great heart of late, winning the Great St Wilfrid over six furlongs and finishing second in the Beverley Bullet over five.
The 1100m of the Portland Handicap, therefore, should be ideal for Kevin Ryan’s sprinter.
Wells Farhh Go has not been seen for over 100 days and must have a bit of juice in the ground, but from stall No 1 he is of definite interest in the Tote+ Stand Cup Stakes at Chester.
A classy three-year-old when he won the Bahrain Trophy, he has been lightly raced since and has only run once this season when far too keen behind Spanish Mission in the Yorkshire Cup.
He is a hard horse to pass when he is on his game though, and stall one should make his front-running task easier.
His trainer Tim Easterby should also be on the mark at Musselburgh with Roach Power in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Novice Stakes.
The Ribchester colt was doing all his best work in the closing stages at Carlisle on debut when closing into second and will be much more streetwise now.
Irish Champions Weekend gets under way at Leopardstown and while there may only be four runners in the Irish Champion Stakes, three of the best horses in the world compete in Tarnawa, Poetic Flare and St Mark’s Basilica.
Preference is for the latter, given his seriously impressive performance in the Eclipse at Sandown.
While holes could have been picked in his French Guineas and Derby form, the way he dispatched Mishriff and Addeybb at Sandown was breathtaking.
He did miss an engagement at York with a minor setback – which Mishriff went on to win impressively – but it also means he arrives at Leopardstown fresh.
Not quite as fresh as Tarnawa, having just her second run but she is surely better over 2400m while the teak-tough Poetic Flare has to prove he stays 2000m.
O’Brien can bag a Group 1 double through Mother Earth in the Coolmore America “Justify” Matron Stakes. – Press Association
TAB is betting on 5 UK race meetings and 1 in Ireland today. Here are the tips:
DONCASTER: Race 1: 14.15 Thunder Legend, Race 2: 14.45 Justanotherbottle, Race 3: 15.20 Lusail, Race 4: 16.00 Laneqash, Race 5: 16.35 OTTOMAN EMPEROR (NAP), Race 6: 17.05 Dark Jedi, Race 7: 18.10 Raadobarg.
CHESTER: Race 1: 14.30 Noteable, Race 2: 15.00 Wells Farhh Go, Race 3: 15.35 Arrow Of Gold, Race 4: 16.10 Little Miss Dynamo, Race 5: 16.50 Powerallied, Race 6: 17.25 Faylaq, Race 7: 17.55 Bay Of Naples.
BATH: Race 1: 14.35 Strike, Race 2: 15.05 Mr Professor, Race 3: 15.40 Choirmaster, Race 4: 16.20 Essaka, Race 5: 17.55 Tasfeeq, Race 6: 17.30 Vandad, Race 7: 18.00 Red Flyer.
LINGFIELD: Race 1: 16.05 Thermal, Race 2: 16.40 Fancy Man, Race 3: 17.10 Bobby Kennedy, Race 4: 17.45 Nikhi, Race 5: 18.20 Maysong, Race 6: 18.50 Glasvegas, Race 7: 19.25 Aramis Grey.
MUSSELBURGH: Race 1: 16.30 Tyche, Race 2: 17.00 Shawaamekh, Race 3: 17.35 Jusumi, Race 4: 18.05 Roach Power, Race 5: 18.40 Navajo Spring, Race 6: 19.15 His Pride, Race 7: 19.50 Redzone, Race 8: 20.20 Arch Moon.
ALL TO COME: Lusail and Ottoman Emperor (Doncaster, races 3 and 5).
IRELAND – WORLD POOLS BETTING ON MEETING
LEOPARDSTOWN: Race 1: 13.40 Corviglia, Race 2: 14.10 Atomic Jones, Race 3: 14.40 Mother Earth, Race 4: 15.10 Maker Of Kings, Race 5: 15.45 St Mark’s Basilica, Race 6: 16.15 Earlswood, Race 7: 16.45 Ever Present, Race 8: 17.20 Masen.
For fields, betting and more information go to www.tabonline.co.za