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Paul Mulrennan: The three I like at Newmarket and York on Saturday

By Paul Mulrennan
Fri 8 Oct 2021

Racing TV ambassador Paul Mulrennan has his feet up on the sofa this weekend, but can't wait for some top-class action from Newmarket and York and offers his thoughts on the pick of the weekend action.

On the sidelines

It’s always frustrating to be side-lined through suspension and I’ll be itching to be back in the saddle at Newcastle on Tuesday, but on the plus side it offers an opportunity to do other things. I’m off to Birmingham for the Horse of the Year show, and then it’s back north for a few days in Liverpool.

We’re drawing ever closer to the final stages of the Flat season but there’s no shortage of top-quality action on Racing TV this weekend with the continuation of Future Champions Weekend at Newmarket and the ever popular October finale at York.

Native Trail for Dewhurst glory

The Darley Dewhurst Stakes (2.55pm) is one of the features on the Rowley Mile at Newmarket. I touched on Native Trail earlier in the year, and he’s now 3-3 after a most impressive victory in the National Stakes at the Curragh. He’s done nothing but improve from race to race and he’ll be even better next year. I really like the fact that, as a young horse, he’s gone and travelled in order to gain experience. The trip over to the Curragh will have hardened him further and without a shadow of doubt, he’s my selection.

 Paul Mulrennan is a big fan of Native Trail (Photo: Inpho/HRI/LICW)
Paul Mulrennan is a big fan of Native Trail (Photo: Inpho/HRI/LICW)

Ger Lyons and Juddmonte have supplemented Straight Answer for £32,000. He was an impressive winner of a Listed contest at Fairyhouse, and should be fine over this extra furlong, although this does represent a more significant test. Of the others, there was a clear absence of pace in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster so it’s difficult to accurately assess Bayside Boy, and it’ll be interesting to see how Glounthaune fares for Aidan O’Brien.

Mullins for more Cesarewitch success?

Willie Mullins is mob-handed with six runners as he bids to win the Together For Racing International Cesarewitch Handicap (3.35pm) for the fourth-time in succession, and you certainly wouldn’t put it past him doing so. The market indicates M C Muldoon is the pick from Closutton. He ran well in the Ascot Stakes (second), clearly stays well and most significantly has the best rider (Ryan Moore) aboard. William Buick rides the hat-trick seeking Burning Victory, while Seamie Heffernan takes over on last year’s winner Great White Shark.

 Will the perennial Irish champion jumps trainer plunder the Cesarewitch yet again? (Photo: Focusonracing)
Will the perennial Irish champion jumps trainer plunder the Cesarewitch yet again? (Photo: Focusonracing)

The Richard Hughes-trained Calling The Wind is another with strong Royal Ascot form (runner-up in the Queen Alexandra Stakes) and he’s since been successful over this kind of marathon trip at Goodwood, while I also like Mick and David Easterby’s Elysian Flame. He has had the Cesarewitch on the agenda for much of the season and is capable of making his presence felt at double-figure odds.

However, I’ll elect to stick with Donald McCain’s Goobinator. He’s a horse I’m familiar with, and from the foot of the weights is a good spare ride for Midge Mullen. Goobinator stays, won’t mind the ground and went up marginally (3lb) despite winning a shade comfortably at Haydock. He’s drawn close the rail in stall 2 and that’s another major plus, unlike for a most unfortunate Live Your Dream (stall 35). I’m hopeful he’ll run a big race at a big price.

Solving the lottery of York’s Coral Sprint Trophy

York’s Coral Sprint Trophy (3.15pm) provides punters with another difficult puzzle, albeit with an onus on speed rather than stamina. David O’Meara (x3) and Kevin Ryan (x2) have dominated this race in recent years. O’Meara’s Gulliver shaped well in the ‘Bold Lad’ at the Curragh, and is on a race hat-trick after winning this contest in 2019 and 2020.

Mr Wagyu (stall 6) is a fast horse, and as a York regular he’ll be bang there early doors. Tim Easterby’s Copper Knight is the winning-most horse on the Knavesmire, but he competes over six furlongs for the first- time in a 61-race career, while the high-profile winners Commanche Falls (Stewards’ Cup) and Staxton (Ayr Silver Cup) merit respect.

In somewhat of a lottery, the suggestion is the Irish-raider Laugh A Minute. He didn’t get much luck in-running at the Curragh yet still ran a solid race to finish fourth of 15 to That’s Mad. Furthermore, he promises to be suited by stepping up in trip to six furlongs. His trainer Adrian McGuinness had a Group 1 winner with A Case Of You at Longchamp and deserves such success after working hard over many years. Ronan Whelan is a very good young rider, and it’s equally pleasing to see that he’s starting to get the kind of breaks that we all require.

Harriet Bethell

The raw courage and determination shown by trainer Harriet Bethell since her gallops accident continues to serve as an inspiration. Harriet is still undergoing weekly physiotherapy for her extensive injuries, but will bravely walk a circuit of Pontefract Racecourse on the morning of 18th October in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund. Please do dig as deep as possible to support Harriet and the IJF.

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