Take Cover ran in the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes at York last week and was not totally outclassed. If the horse shows similar form he will win the Beverley Bullet on Saturday for the second year in a row. Take Cover has won 14 of 46 starts and the 11-year-old can add to that tally at the East Yorkshire track this weekend. Beverley is in a great setting and the course is well run. It’s well worth a visit and if you go on Saturday you should back Take Cover.
The Flat season is now in a bit of a lull after the wonderful York Ebor meeting and before the St Leger in two weeks and the Prix de l‘Arc de Triomphe and Champions Day at Ascot in October. Haydock stages its only Group 1 Flat race next Saturday for which Harry Angel is the favourite. Limato has finally come back to form after some disappointing runs and looks a big price in the ante post market for Haydock’s Sprint Cup run over the five furlongs straight course.
Old Persian ran a good trial for the St Leger at York while Latrobe won the Irish Derby and De Ex Bee was second in the English version. Kew Gardens is the favourite for Aiden O’Brien but there has been a bug in his stable and many of the horses have been underperforming. There are signs that his horses are now running up to their form but if ill health is lingering amongst the animals in his yard backing his runners should be approached with some caution.
Three-year-old fillies have a great recent record in the Arc but it is not a level playing field. Horses in this bracket receive the age and sex allowance which seems unfair. The best horse should win a Group 1 championship race and not the horse that is the best weighted. The weight-for-age and gender scale has been fit for purpose for many years but change can be a good thing. Male and older horses are physically able to run faster but may be beaten by horses carrying up to 10 pounds less which seems excessive. Enable could have won the Arc last year off level weights.
There are no horses proven at the highest level running at Beverley on Saturday. Take Cover would be a hugely popular winner and the horse has a good chance based on the ratings and past form. Perfect Pasture represents some each way value because the horse has a pound better Racing Post Rating than Take Cover. The Beverley Bullet is a five furlong sprint and takes about one minute to run. There are no races over a shorter official distance in Britain and Ireland.
Graham Lee is booked to ride Mythmaker and he won the Nunthorpe at York. As a rider of a Grand National winner he has won the shortest and longest races in the UK calendar. Mythmaker has something to find with Take Cover and Perfect Pasture but Lee won the Nunthorpe on an unfancied horse. He has experience in getting sprinters to deliver as he did with Amberleigh House in the 2004 National. That horse was trained by Donald ‘Ginger’ McCain, famous for training Red Rum, the only horse to win three Nationals. Lee looks booked for a place at best behind Take Cover in the Beverly Bullet which takes about eight minutes less than the National.