It's double delight at Monmore tonight with both the Summer Stayers Classic and Gold Cup up for grabs. Darrell Williams pinpoints the best bets...
"I’s hard not to argue that Sparta Master has improved for the recent step up to six bends where his four runs, all over tonight's CD include two victories highlighted by last week's semi-final where his early speed has proved the catalyst those performances and if he can trap in front again the 10/3 with Sportsbook could soon look generous"
Just weeks after claiming the Classic at Sunderland Angela Harrison's Velvet Juliet again bids to put the boys in their place in an exciting Gold Cup final (20:57).
A fastest time in the semi-finals coupled with her consistency at traps rise should allow the rapidly improving bitch to run her race particularly if she can get close to last week's split while a draw inside rails seeking Newinn Missile can only add to her claims.
But while she is a worthy favourite and the most likely winner this is no straight-forward task in a field that also includes defending champion King Turbo whose record-breaking Category One CV needs no introduction. Denied a clear run in both preliminary rounds it would be no surprise to see him bounce back having broken marginally the quickest of the qualifiers last time.
Roar on Tiger in red
However, it's Seaglass Tiger drawn inside him in trap one that interests me more with Pat Janssens runner boasting an excellent record when clad in the red jacket that accounts to seven wins in his last eight starts with the only defeat coming when runner-up in the Puppy Derby final over course and distance back in the spring. That was also his only reverse in four runs from trap one at Monmore where his overall record of six wins from 10 including what was arguably a personal best when winning his semi-final (from trap four) makes the 5/1 with Sportsbook so appealing.
Sparta to Master the Stayers
The Stayers Classic final (20:27) is more competitive but it's hard not to argue that Sparta Master has improved for the recent step up to six bends where his four runs, all over tonight's CD include two victories highlighted by last week's semi-final where his early speed has proved the catalyst to those performances. Shawfield handler Gary Ferguson has done an excellent job and if he can trap in front again the 10/3 with Sportsbook could soon look generous. Threats are aplenty with anything resembling a reasonable break from Antigua Fire likely to make him the most potent given his strong running style and lone wide seed status. However, potentially well-drawn Sheldan, providing he handles the red jacket and Droopys Live, approaching peak form, are also not out of an intriguing affair.
On a rich supporting card previous CD winner Droopys Carat, runner-up in the Puppy Trophy on Derby final night, makes plenty of appeal in a youngsters contest (21:16) while Leger runner-up Magical Icarus back over his preferred 684m trip, where he boasts a three from four record (20:11) is also worthy of interest.
Magical Icarus To Win 20:11 2*
Sparta Master To Win 20:27 1*
Seaglass Tiger To Win 20:57 1*
Velvet Juliet To Win 20:57 2*
Droopys Carat To Win 21:16 1*