WHAT did the Saxons do for us?
Well, apart from inventing football, jelly babies and the iPhone 3 they were, according to Google, partial to a bit of horse racing.
They also liked board games and music-making. It’s a shame they were too busy arguing about Monopoly to practice their archery as they probably wouldn’t have been wiped out in 1066 but that’s for another day.
If you go back a thousand years or so you’ll probably find that ye olde Derby was won most years by one of Aidan O’Brien’s ancestors.
It’s not known who the dominant stallion was. It certainly wasn’t Galileo as it was a good 500 years before the astronomer he was named after started gazing at the sky.
Whether the Coolmore bloodlines go back that far is unlikely but it’s a Saxon Warrior (3.25) I’m expecting to be O’Brien’s record breaker.
He’s unbeaten in two starts and he was impressive both times. The Beresford Stakes he won at Naas last month was a hot race and I’m banking on him being O’Brien’s 26th Group 1 winner of the year in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.
HAVE A DABBLE
Templegate’s tips for ITV’s races at Newbury, Newmarket and Ripon on Saturday, August 19
That would be one more than American trainer Bobby Frankel’s worldwide record – a quite astonishing haul.
Earlier on the card I fancy Al Hajar (2.20). He showed plenty of ability in Newmarket maidens before bolting up by seven lengths at Redcar. This nursery looks well within his compass.
The big race of the day is obviously the Sun Bets Responsible Betting Handicap. It’s packed with in-form sprinters and one of those is Boundsy (4.00).
He won at Chester and Haydock last month. As he only tends to do enough to win the handicapper is going to find it hard to get to grips with him.
Templegate’s TV Tips
2.00 Cheltenham – Viconte Du Noyer: ‘He clearly goes well fresh and he should be even better this season’ (add to your betslip)
2.35 Cheltenham – Twobelucky: ‘Has taken well to hurdling and good ground clearly suits’ (add to your betslip)
3.10 Cheltenham – Poker School: ‘I’m convinced a fast-run two miles on decent ground are his ideal conditions’ (add to your betslip)
3.45 Cheltenham – Thomas Campbell: ‘Has big-field handicap form and should improve for the step up to three miles’ (add to your betslip)
Over the jumps I’m tempted to go all in on Poker School (3.10). He looked good when winning twice around Christmas last year. Both those wins came over further but I’m convinced a fast-run two miles on decent ground will be ideal.
Viconte Du Noyer (2.00) is another one I like at tasty odds. He caused shock at this track last season on his debut for Colin Tizzard. His subsequent form was no great but he did run well when runner-up at the Punchestown Festival. He could easily be even better this season.
- £6 win Saxon Warrior
- 50p each-way Trixie – Boundsy, Poker School, Viconte Du Noyer
Thomas Campbell (3.45) is another in with a decent shout stepped up in trip in the Pertemps Qualifier.
He’s named after the 18th century poet. But it’s Saxon Warrior I’m most interested in today.
But what did the Saxons do for us? Who knows but hopefully they’ll win us some cash today.