Betfred’s Owen McMahon picks out his best bet from all seven meetings across the UK & Ireland on Saturday 29 July 2023.
The last time William Haggas dropped MY PROSPERO into Group 2 company, he won. I expect the same outcome when he takes in the York Stakes on Saturday.
The story of the four-year-old’s career to date is one of near-misses. He was second in last year’s St James’s Palace at Royal Ascot and third, beaten only ½L, in the Champion Stakes over course and distance four months later.
However, they’re both strong pieces of form – especially in the context of Saturday’s race – as is his fourth in the Lockinge earlier this season and his sole Group success at Saint-Cloud in July last year.
I suppose the only real blip on his record is his performance in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot just gone, and even that wasn’t completely unrecognisable.
I see no reason why he can’t capitalise on what represents a significant drop in class.
He has only four rivals to see off, including one in Alflaila who’s had 294 days off the track and tackles this trip and ground for the first time in his career.
Royal Champion is a threat, but he’s shown a dislike for deep ground in the past, as is the improving Irish-raider Mashhoor, who is very hard to weigh up. Checkandchallenge would be a surprise winner in my book.
Crucially, My Prospero should relish these easier conditions. His career-best form on Champions Day last year was on good to soft ground, as was his triumph across The Channel. He also coped with it well on his racecourse debut at Newmarket in 2021.
The Haggas string are going great guns at present, with the Suffolk handler operating at a 21% strike rate having enjoyed 9 winners from his last 42 runners, which only boosts confidence in the selection.