Jamesie primed to come up trumps in Belgrave
The Listed Belgrave Stakes at Fairyhouse, won by a 3-year-old Slade Power a couple of years ago, is the feature race this fine Sunday and looks quite interesting, with claims easily made for the majority. Darwin tops the market for now and on last season’s form, would be the one to beat.
Aidan O’Brien’s charge, however, hasn’t yet fired in two runs as a 4-year-old, finishing 30L behind Slade Power in a Group 3 at the Curragh in May (the ground was completely unsuitable) before ending up 8L behind the same rival when tackling the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee at the Royal meet.
That latter run did at least hint at his previous ability remaining in tact and the horse will be rather delighted to drop out of such company and back into a Listed event. It comes at a price, however, as he has got a 5lb penalty for winning a Group 3 last term (over 7f too) and that makes the task more difficult than it needs to be. For now, he has something still to prove and 9/4 ain’t for me.
Sailors Swan is the “could be anything” runner of the race and holds 5/2 second-favouritism at the moment. Dermot Weld’s horses being in such good form of late is an obvious positive and this decently bred 3-year-old should appreciate getting back onto a fast surface. He arrives here on the back of a cracking effort having finished second, albeit by nearly 4-lengths, to Diamond Jubilee runner-up Due Diligence and that would usually make me take plenty of notice. However, the form of those in behind him hasn’t been worth much at all and that would have to be a worry. Apart from the winner, this race has a bit more depth to it as well and although getting some nice lumps of weights in an all-aged event, the price is short.
Russian Soul could be of interest if it wasn’t for this being his first outing since March, so preference is to side with Jamesie back over 6f. The 6-year-old son of Kodiac boasts a less than impressive strike-rate of 4-39 but he has been mostly progressive in the last couple of years and is capable of posting solid figures on a going day. His recent form is decent enough, as he was second in a Cork Listed race and overturned form with the winner of that when a close-ish fourth in a Curragh Group 3 next time. Both were over 5f, a trip that is on the sharp side for this fellow, and as such I’d be inclined to upgrade each effort. 6f on a turning track will help to bring out even more and if the race pans out to suit (could do with some pace), I expect him to go close. He’s a useful sort (getting 5lbs from the favourite) and I don’t think that he’s a 5’s chance to win this. At worst, he should run a big race.
Selection for the Belgrave Stakes (3:40 Fairyhouse):
Jamesie – 5/1, available with Boylesports; 9/2 with Powers.
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