Angus McNae's Sunday tips: There's nothing unclear about Illusion's chances

By Angus McNae
Sat 10 Oct 2020

Sottsass was a nice 13-2 winner for this column last week when successful in the Prix De L’ Arc De Triomphe at ParisLongchamp.

There are three meetings live on Racing TV on Sunday, including Goodwood and the Curragh, and I have four selections spread across both meetings. Best of luck.

2.55 Goodwood: With Thanks at 4-1 with Bet365

Ability to handle the heavy conditions at Goodwood on Sunday will be key and With Thanks fits that particular criteria and has lots going for her in this Listed contest.

She could be underrated given that she only won a Novice stakes at Catterick last time out, but deeper analysis tells us that her success there was obtained in a very decent time and the ground was heavy, as it will be at Goodwood.

Indeed, conditions seem to be key to her given that her two wins - from three career starts - have come on heavy ground and being so lightly-raced, she is open to more improvement.

Clearly this is a big step up in grade, but we know conditions are fine and we know she can run fast, so there is a lot in our favour backing her.

As listed contests go, this is not particularly strong and she has been ideally placed by William Haggas to take full advantage of conditions and her latent potential. She rates as a strong bet here.

3.25 Goodwood: Alaadel at a general 5-1

Alaadel won this race last year on heavy ground and once again has the conditions that bring out the best in him.

Two of his four career wins have come on heavy ground, the other two both had soft in the going description.

Ground conditions aside, he looks to be finding some form given his excellent effort at Kempton last time when not ideally placed before finishing well to be beaten three lengths in fifth.

Oisin Murphy rode him last year when winning here and he is back on board in what looks a winnable race on a horse who is relatively fresh having had a lightly-raced season. Most importantly though, he goes well in the mud.

I rate him as having a decent chance to gain a repeat success in this race and he should be backed to do so.

3.40 Curragh: Royal Illusion at a general 6-1

The Irish Cesarewitch is typically competitive, but I am happy to side with last year's winner Royal Illusion.

He absolutely bolted up in this race last year winning by 8 and a half lengths in very soft conditions.

He faces similar conditions here and although he is 11lb higher in the weights, he can still be very competitive.

His first run for ten months last time out was an excellent prep run for this race. That race was over an inadequate mile and a half yet he may well have won but for meeting significant trouble in running.

That strikes me as being a perfect set up for this race, he has conditions to suit and Joey Sheridan claims a valuable 5lb, as he did last year.

A repeat win in this race seems to have been the Mullins plan and there is a good chance that the plan will come to fruition.

4.10 Curragh: Mt Leinster at a general 8-11

This Amateur Riders Derby can go to the Mullins team. Mt Leinster was a very easy winner last time out and looked to be a slightly improved model, making all the running and winning impressively.

He has, in the past, promised more than he has delivered, but in that latest performance he looked to be fulfilling his potential.

He is a useful hurdler and is set to go chasing, but it is important to remember that he has won two of his three starts on the flat.

This looks to be a weak contest and importantly, it looks to be set up perfectly for him as he may well get an uncontested lead.

He will not be much of a price, but I can see him making all the running and winning easily under Patrick Mullins.

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