08-11-2018, 07:00 AM
Sky Sports News HQs Alex Hammond was sweet on Long House Hall last week. Sammy Watkins Chiefs Jersey . Find out who she fancies for this weekend in her latest blog. Reflecting briefly on last weekend - you were right to oppose the odds-on favourite Even Song in the Irish Oaks, but not many people predicted Seventh Heaven bouncing back to form. What did you make of the Classic and where could we see the winner next?Well, I was pleased that my decision to oppose the hot favourite was vindicated, but I was actually kicking myself for not going with my original feeling that Harlequeen could run into a place.I backed her each way at Epsom, but wasnt convinced she was a true stayer after that. She proved me wrong with another smart performance to finish third and not only did she stay but it looks like she will stay further and trainer Mick Channon has actually now entered her for the St Leger; although youd imagine the Park Hill would be the better option. As for the winner, the form looks strong with Oaks runner up Architecture bouncing back and giving the form a solid look. Id imagine Aidan OBrien will take the winner to York for the Yorkshire Oaks next month. The only moderate race from Seventh Heaven this season came in the Oaks, but youd always forgive a horse a bad run at Epsom and she was also hampered at a crucial stage. The Knavesmire should suit her well and she must have a good chance of following up.Dan and Harry Skelton enjoyed a day to remember at Market Rasen when landing the two big Listed races over hurdles and fences - are they set to be even more of a force through the winter than they were last year?Oh wasnt that marvellous? I hope all the blog followers were on Long House Hall in the Summer Plate as I quite fancied the horse to win it for the team. Its so exciting to see Dan and Harry coming through to take on the big boys and it cant be too many years before Dan is Champion Trainer.I havent been lucky enough to visit his Warwickshire yard yet, but Id love a look round. From what Ive seen the facilities are magnificent and with father Nick backing his boys things wont be done by half measures. Someone asked me the other day if I was lucky enough to have a jump horse in training who would I pick to train it. My first response was Willie Mullins, but I think having a horse with the Skeltons would be great craic and theres no doubt youd see results. Sky Racing Tickets Fast, secure racing tickets: Exclusive racing offers near you This Saturdays biggest race is obviously the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot. With last years winner Postponed out, who do you fancy to win the Group One prize?I was disappointed to hear the news that Postponed isnt 100% and misses the race. On Wednesday Id looked ahead to the race on Sky Sports News HQ and spoke about the fact he was bidding to join an elite group of just two former dual winners, but sadly thats now not to be.His absence has made the race more competitive though and there will be a chance for the first two home in the Hardwicke to take each other on again. Dartmouth was game in victory at Royal Ascot, but he only just beat runner up Highland Reel and the latter was arguably a touch unlucky as Seamie Heffernan dropped his whip and the horse was carried right in the closing stages by the eventual winner; they were only separated by a head at the post. Dartmouth had to survive a stewards enquiry there and I cant wait to see the pair take each other on again.Given the trouble in running that day, there will be plenty of people who will fancy the Aidan OBrien trained runner up to reverse those placings, but Im not convinced about his resolution and Id rather have Sir Michael Stuotes colt in my gang. Wouldnt it be fantastic to see Dartmouth win for The Queen in the year of her 90th birthday(s)?Of course, this race pits the best of the classic generation against the older horses for the first time at the highest level, in the season. It would be foolish to discount Dante winner Wings of Desire. We havent seen John Gosdens colt since his 4th place finish in the Derby and as I said about Seventh Heaven, you can certainly forgive a moderate or below par run at Epsom.The soft ground that day and the unusual cambers of the track didnt suit him and with Postponed out, he has to be in there with a real chance. Hopefully he will have grown for the experience and that may have made a man of him from here on in. With a decent weight for age allowance it should be a good battle of the generations and whilst Id be happy to see 4 year-old Dartmouth win and feel he is the better of the two market protagonists, Wings Of Desire at the prices is more attractive to me.The Sky Bet York Stakes features up at York, with Time Test taking a slight drop in grade. Is he too good for these rivals, and do you still think theres a Group One to be won with this horse at some point?Im so pleased that we will be seeing Time Test line up in the Sky Bet York Stakes as he deserves to get his head in front again and I think he will. Followers of this column will know that Im a real fan of this horse and fancied him for both the Prince of Waless Stakes and the Tattersalls Gold Cup, but sadly he didnt run in either as the ground had turned too soft for him. I then hoped he would run well in the Eclipse despite the ground going against him once again and he ran a solid race to finish third.At last we have enjoyed some proper summer weather this week and providing York doesnt get hit with thunder storms, conditions should be suitable on Saturday. There are bits and bobs of rain forecast before the weekend, but as long as its not wide of the mark, it shouldnt go against him too dramatically.Trainer Roger Charlton has his horses in flying form at the moment and Im sure he will be running in this mile and a quarter Group 2 with an eye to the Juddmonte International back at this track next month. He could face Postponed in the York Group 1, but even if Roger Varian gets his Coronation winner back for the race, Ill be rooting for Time Test to win the Group 1 that shouldnt elude him for too long.The weekends big handicaps are the Gigaset International Stakes at Ascot and the Sky Bet Dash at York - does anything stand out in the betting at this stage? Two devilishly difficult handicaps, but at Ascot Ive had a very small sentimental each-way bet on the horse I own a share in, Farlow, in the International Stakes.The baking weather we have enjoyed this week would normally be the exact opposite that we would want ahead of a race for the Musley Bank flyer, but he ran a very respectable race to finish 7th in the Bunbury Cup at Newmarket two weeks ago on good to firm ground, so all is not lost. The 7 furlong trip suits well, but Im not sure Ascot is necessarily his favourite venue as he has yet to make the frame at the Berkshire track. Having said that he is also entered for a handicap at York the same day, so if he goes there Ive lost my stake, but Ill back him for that too. It is probably the kiss of death as he never runs well when I back him, so be warned!The International is wide open as youd expect and Farlow aside, I quite like the look of Glen Moss for Michael Dods. The horse ran a cracker to finish third in the Wokingham over 6 furlongs at Royal Ascot then had a nice confidence booster by winning a small runner race over 6 at Haydock last time out. Hes effective over 7 furlongs too and providing there is no jar in the ground (unlikely) he could run into a place. You can make a case for several of the runners, which include last years winner Heavens Guest for Farlows trainer and fellow columnist Richard Fahey, hes only a pound higher in this weights this time round. Royal Hunt Cup runner up Librisa Breeze is another to come into calculations for trainer Dean Ivory.To York then and the Sky Bet Dash where once again there should be some value to be found. Last years winner Tanzeel is amongst the entries once again for Charlie Hills (hes also in the International, but this is his likely destination). He reappeared late this season in the Bunbury Cup and over a trip that Im not convinced is ideal. The drop back to 6 here will suit and he should be sharper for that return to action earlier this month. He didnt go on from his success last year, but it wouldnt be a surprise to see him win again. He is ante-post favourite though and there must be something else at double figure odds that can finish in the placings for us.I hope Shared Equity runs a big race for Jedd OKeeffe. If the ground ends up good or easier (who knows what the weather will do!?) Id give him an each way shout at a track he has acted well at before; he wouldnt want it too quick though. Jedd is sending out a consistent stream of winners and this horse won over this course and distance off just a few pounds lower in the handicap last season.Shore Step is the horse Ill be backing each-way if the ground doesnt come in the favour of Shared Equity. His trainer Mick Channon has his team in good form and Shore Step ran well on his return to action at Ascot in May. He was runner up in this race last year despite his saddle slipping and Im sure the Channon team would like some compensation this time round.The Go Racing in Yorkshire Summer festival is taking place this week, showcasing the counties finest and I have a bit of catching up to do in the fiercely competitive tipping competition Im taking part in courtesy of our friends at Sky Bet. Im desperate to find a winner or two before the week is out and you can follow the progress, or lack of it, at http://www.skysports.com/racing Also See: Live results service Full racecards Get Sky Sports ￡10 completely free bet! 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