There’s plenty for sports fans to look forward to during the month of September and lovers of horse racing certainly haven’t been left in the dark with some thrilling fixtures marked out on the calendar.
The well-respected Burnt Sugar is expected to be popular with backers when lining up in the Sovereign Path Premier Handicap at Leopardstown on Saturday 15th.
The experienced six-year-old gelding, running out of the Roger Fell yard, has won only six times during a 41-race career but the team travel with form onside having claimed victory in two of their last three. The positives include the Bunbury Cup over seven furlongs in July at Newmarket and the Gigaset International Stakes across the same trip at Ascot.
In fact, Oddschecker have chosen to include Burnt Sugar in a recently published list of horses to follow this season. Encouragingly for backers, one of Burnt Sugar’s half-dozen victories came in this very race when seeing off Silverkode by a solid two lengths to claim last year’s prize, Withernsea back in third, a further length off the pace. Backers had him at a cracking 7/1 12 months ago but its unlikely traders will be feeling as generous this time around.
Despite heading to Goodwood chasing down a hat-trick, Burnt Sugar was unable to complete what would’ve been an impressive treble when ending down the list in a competitive handicap in August. In a 7f race won by Flaming Spear at 4/1 for jockey Adam Kirby – coming home just shy of two lengths ahead of second Cape Byron – Burnt Sugar had to make do with a rather disappointing 11th place, a result that seemed to justify his 12/1 price tag.
It was a performance that fell well below the expectations of those loyal to the cause but excuses can be made for the bare result and although winning was probably a step too far for him that day, he deserved a little more than he got, as Tim Palin explained when speaking to the media in the aftermath.
“We had a bad draw at Goodwood. We rode him for luck. The winning jockey went for the outside, we went for the inside. If he’d have got the splits he might have got through and stayed on for a place.”
Burnt Sugar aiming to defend his Sovereign Path Premier Handicap crown is just one of a number of high profile races taking place that weekend. Other highlights include the St Leger where Kew Gardens is a nailed-on favourite ahead of the likes of Lah Ti Dar, Old Persian and Wells Farhh Go.
Bookies have Alpha Centauri picked to win the Matron Stakes and Roaring Lion will feature on a fair share of betting slips when contesting the Irish Champion Stakes.