The Colonel’s tips - Shergar Cup preview and more

Racing journalist Kevan Minter from Stamford Photo: SM150211-009js
Racing journalist Kevan Minter from Stamford Photo: SM150211-009js
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Top racing tipster Kevan Minter, known as The Colonel, gives Mercury readers his top tips for the week ahead. Kevan, who lives in Stamford, is trackside most days and is regularly on television.

Rosie Napravnik, one of North America’s leading jockeys, and Lisa Allpress, the best female jockey that New Zealand has ever produced, will join Britain’s best, Hayley Turner (captain), in the Girls Team for the 2013 Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup at Ascot on August 10.

Meanwhile Gary Stevens (captain), one of the USA’s greatest ever jockeys, will be joined on the Rest of the World team by Japanese ace Yasunari Iwata, who has won three Japan Cups including the last two on Buena Vista and Gentildonna, and Brazilian star Joao Moreira, who is currently re-rewriting the record books in Singapore.

Colm McLoughlin, Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice Chairman, welcomed the line-up and said: “The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup is truly deserving of its status as a major international horseracing event.

“We are delighted to be bringing together a group of top international riders and creating a unique opportunity for the public to see them in action on the same stage.

“We look forward to revealing the European contingent who will complete the line-up (Europe and Great Britain and Ireland) after the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the end of June.”

Napravnik, 25, is currently ranked second in wins and fifth in earnings on the North American leader board.

She finished eighth in the jockeys’ earnings lists last year which was the highest ever for a female jockey. She became the first female jockey to win the prestigious 2012 Kentucky Oaks on Believe You Can and won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on Shanghai Bobby.

Last weekend, following her third consecutive meet title at the Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans, she finished fifth on Mylute in the Kentucky Derby and rode a double - both Grade Two winners - at Churchill Downs over the weekend.

l Secret Gesture was cut to 7/2 for the Oaks after her faultless victory in the Oaks Trial at Lingfield on Saturday.

Ralph Beckett’s fillie is now co-favourite after her 10 length win.

Battle Of Marengo won the Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown on Sunday for Michael Tabor and is now 11/2 for Epsom next month.

The 2/13 favourite was quite lazy in front and would have needed the run and the Galileo colt ran a pleasing race for the Ballydoyle camp.

Jockey Joseph O’Brian said: “I am very happy with his run. He needed a good blow. He relaxed and then picked up when I asked him.”

Richard Hughes has been backed this week from 1/2 to 2/5 for the GB flat jockeys’ championship with Ryan Moore next best in the betting at 5/2. Richard Hannon is 5/4 to lift the GB flat trainers’ championship.

Tony McCoy is expected to return to action this week after a month on the sidelines due to broken ribs. The 39-year old champion will need to be given the green light by the BHB’S chief medical adviser to set sights on a 19th consecutive jockey’s title - I bet he has been like a bear with a sore head kicking around the house.

Farhh, trained for Godolphin, can take the Group 1 Lockinge at Newbury on Saturday. Saeed Bin Suroor can give a boost to the boys in blue.

Hillstar is set to continue Sir Michael Stoute’s good run in the3.15 London Gold Cup at Newbury.

At Newmarket on Saturday, Greatwood is expected to take all the beating in the 2.20 (Listed) Fairway Stakes.

l Call The Colonel on 07850 602524 for his racing service.