Taghrooda Arc Favourite – Weekend Racing Review

Those lucky enough to have been present at Ascot on Saturday witnessed a memorable victory from Taghrooda in the King George, where the Epsom Oaks winner followed up by destroying a high-class field by 3l.

Prix de L’Arc De Triomphe
Not many 3yo fillies manage to achieve that in the King George, and

…punters took note by steaming into the undefeated filly to land the Arc in early October, where she is now the 4/1 favourite.

It’s unlikely the ground will be fast for that event, which would suit John Gosden’s runner, plus the fact four of the last six Arc’s went to females is another major tick for her profile.

There was another weekend pointer for the Arc though, as Lucky Lion won a German Group 1, beating Frankel’s brother, Noble Mission. A glance back three weeks ago reveals that Lucky Lion was beaten himself by a whopping 11l by the unbeaten Sea The Moon in the German Derby, which now looks to be a performance from the top drawer. With Sea The Moon 5/1 for the Arc, and last year’s winner Treve 6/1, it’s beginning to look like showdown time at Longchamp in October – who’s your money on?

Glorious Goodwood
Back to Ascot, and another winner catching the headlines was Mark Johnston’s Heavy Metal, who took the International Stakes Handicap at 33/1. As Johnston is not known for keeping his runners under wraps, it’s likely Heavy Metal will reappear quickly, just as Johnston’s 2013 International winner, Galician, did in finishing an “each-way fourth” in the big Mile Handicap at Glorious Goodwood. Heavy Metal is currently 14/1 for the same race on Friday.

On a similar theme, Willie Haggas’ Muthmir, rewarded backers when justifying 4/1 favouritsm in the big sprint handicap at York on Saturday. Not many horses win races of this nature with a bit to spare, and Muthmir clearly enjoyed the quick ground. He has been backed for another of Goodwood’s major handicaps in the Stewards’ Cup on Saturday, where he is the standout 7/1 favourite. Punters may well be tempted into playing up their winnings if the rain stays away.

2,000 Guineas
Last week also saw a taking performance from Aidan O’Brien’s Gleneagles, who impressed in winning the Group 3 Tyros Stakes at Leoparstown. While this juvenile had to knuckle down in holding on at the line, he did well to quicken off a slow pace and can only get better in a more true run race – there were only three runners here.

With past winners of the Tyros including the likes of Rip Van Winkle, New Approach and Teofilo, Gleneagles could be a name we’ll be hearing more of later this season – let alone in 2015 where he is 25/1 for the 2,000 Guineas.

As for the weekend’s biggest eyecatcher who may gain compensation in the near future, than David Marnane’s Zalty is a worthy candidate. This former 7f/1m performer was an excellent fourth in the aforementioned big sprint handicap at York behind Muthmir from what looked a trappy draw in stall 2 – the first three home were drawn in 12-18-20. Still unexposed over sprints, a race like the Ayr Gold Cup could suit.