Angus McNae's top tips for Sunday: 14-1 looks generous for Bless Him

By Angus McNae
Sun 9 Aug 2020

The Racing TV presenter has four selections for the racing action at the Curragh, Salisbury and Thirsk on Sunday, and all meetings will be shown live on Racing TV.

I was really impressed with Shale at Leopardstown on Thursday. She won the Group Three Silver Flash stakes in taking fashion, and in a fast time.

She has a classy pedigree being by Galileo out of 1000 Guineas winner Homecoming Queen. She will probably run in the Debutante stakes next and if she won that, she would be a lot shorter for the 1000 Guineas next year than the 33-1 that is available with William Hill. She is worth an interest at that price.

There is Group One action at the Curragh on Sunday plus some competitive racing at Thirsk and Salisbury, and I have four selections for you.

Watch how Shale landed the Silver Flash Stakes at Leopardstown

2.30 Thirsk: Intrinsic Bond at a general 100-30

A smart win last time out at Doncaster signalled that this horse is destined for better things, and another win looks very likely here.

He races off a 7lb higher mark here, but the authority of his success last time out suggests he is capable of defying his new rating

He got a strong pace to aim at last time (his finishing-speed percentage was 96.3) and that really does bring out the best in him.

For a sprinter, he has a change of gear in a strongly run race which makes me think he will take higher rank.

The 10-3 available seems more than fair and he is likely to go off shorter.

3.10 Curragh: St Mark's Basilica at 9-1 with Bet365

This horse is a very well-bred and promising colt trained by Aidan O Brien whose debut effort here at the Curragh was most eye-catching.

He was far too green to do himself justice that day where he was slowly away and somewhat clueless, but under a hands and heels ride, he finished his race off well.

He is just brimming with potential as he should be given his hefty price tag. He needs to take a big step forward against classy rivals, but at 9-1, I’m happy to take the chance.

3.25 Salisbury: Bless Him at a general 14-1

Bless Him is a 14-1 chance here and that is just too big. This is clearly a strong race and Bless Him will have to be on his A-game to score, but there were signs last time out that he was beginning to find the sort of form that saw him win twice at Ascot last season.

That performance came in the Golden Mile off a rating of 106 where he shaped well from off the pace to be sixth.

Up in grade now, he should be suited by the run of the race here with Marie’s Diamond likely to set a strong gallop. He can produce his customary late surge to spring a surprise.

3.40 Curragh: Sonaiyla at a general 6-1

There are higher-profile horses in this race, with the likes of Millisle and Speak In Colours, who are at the forefront of the market, but this filly has won her last two races and may spoil the party at a generous-looking 6-1.

She won at the Curragh last time out in a very fast time – the Timeform speed figure for that performance was 116 - and it was no fluke.

She was always prominent and found plenty when challenged. She had won a Listed race at Cork on her previous start and will be underestimated here.

It’s encouraging that she handles the Curragh so well and whilst this is a step up into Group Three company, I believe she is capable of going close at this level.

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