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Angus McNae

Angus McNae - Saturday 15th June 2013

Twin-pronged attack on the Sprint Trophy is the order of the day

It has been a week when we should have all been preparing for a frenzied five days at Royal Ascot. Instead it has been a week of reflection following the death of Sir Henry Cecil. It was fitting that Lady Cecil saddled a double yesterday and let’s hope that a Royal Ascot success is just around the corner for the yard - that really would be the ultimate send off for the great man. 

As far as today is concerned there is loads of racing to have a go at and I am not quite sure why I have chosen the hardest race of the day for my best bets. The winning will be all the sweeter if I can nail this one and for good measure I am going to recommend we back a couple of horses in the race.

The race is the MacMillan Charity Sprint Trophy at York and the horses are the top-weight Hasopop and Odooj. Let’s start with Hasopop.

I backed this horse last time out at Epsom in the Surrey Stakes over seven furlongs where he travelled like a dream and should have finished a lot closer to the well-ridden winner Well Acquainted.

The drop back to six furlongs today will suit him as he has such a high cruising speed and arguably the best run of his career so far came when he won at Newmarket in May over six furlongs.

A mark of 105 would seem to be stiff enough, but this is a horse who can run triple-digit speed figures over this trip and as such he may not be as badly treated as it may look at first.

The race should be run to suit, in that there will be plenty of pace and he should be involved at the business end of the race. At the time of writing he is a 14/1 shot with William Hill and Coral and he should be backed each-way at that price.

Odooj is an interesting runner. He is trained by William Haggas who won this race last year with Sholaan and both horses have a similar profile.

Sholaan ran a disappointing race at the Derby meeting at Epsom last year before being dropped in trip for this race. Odooj disappointed at Newmarket last time and now he is being dropped in trip.

Significantly Sholaan won this race last year wearing headgear for the first time and Odooj now has headgear for the first time, also. An interesting coincidence! And given that trainers are creatures of habit this is a key observation. Aside from this, Odooj is a horse who possesses plenty of ability. He was fourth in the Gimcrack at York and thereafter was second in the Listed Rockingham Stakes, also at York. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that he will take a big step forward in the headgear and he is currently 16/1 with Coral, which warrants each-way support.

I know I am having two goes to bag the loot, but in a race like this you need at least two stabs - it works for Tom Segal!


Saturday's Selections:

3.50 York: Hasopop at 14/1 with Coral (each-way) 

3.50 York: Odooj at 16/1 with Coral (each-way)



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