Betfred’s Owen McMahon picks out his best bet from all three meetings across the UK & Ireland on Tuesday 22 August 2023.

NAP of the Day

  • 5.45 Roscommon – Bad Desire @ 11/4

It’s currently Yielding to Soft (Soft in places) at Roscommon, and the latest weather forecast suggests up to 10mm of rain before racing on Tuesday. Basically, it’s going to be testing – and it could get very testing.

That’s good news for Joseph Patrick O’Brien’s BAD DESIRE, who must have every chance of winning this two-year-old maiden over 7½f.

The son of Wootton Bassett ran very well in deep ground on his racecourse debut at Galway the other week and was withdrawn at Leopardstown just four days ago on account of good ground, so it’s fair to say connections believe this is a juvenile who desires such conditions.

I thought he showed plenty of promise when beaten just under 3L by Aidan O’Brien’s heavily-fancied Navy Seal, and over 4L clear of the rest of the field, at Galway.

His conqueror that day was prominent in the betting for the G3 Acomb Stakes at York’s Ebor Festival (see my Day 1 tips here) prior to his absence at the declaration stage on Monday morning and holds entries for pretty much all of the top juvenile races yet to come, so indications are that’s a strong piece of form.

The selection also boasts some eye-catching entries – specifically a trio of Group 2 contests including the Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket in late September – and ought to be winning this if he’s to take up any of them.

Thor’s Hammer and Star Hunter represent the main dangers of his nine rivals, but neither are certain to enjoy the ground – while the unraced Cambridge, despite being typically well-bred and also entered for the Royal Lodge, would have to be out of the top drawer to take this first time up.

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