The writer of this article lives in the UK and was born on the fourth of July. It’s great that you guys have a massive party in my honour and the drinks bill could be covered by backing Lady Eli in the Oaks Invitational Stakes at Belmont Park this afternoon. The Derby is less clear cut but Startup Nation would be an appropriate winner. Tonalist is the banker of the night in the Suburban Handicap but punters won’t get rich at the price.

Royal Ascot Preview.

Belmont Oaks Invitational Stakes

Today’s meeting at the New York track celebrates American Independence Day. It’s a top class afternoon of racing with some great betting opportunities and Lady Eli combines a winning chance at a reasonable price. The horse has a win-loss record of five from five including two from two at Belmont Park. The form has been boosted by results in Europe and some collateral form in the States. Sentiero Italia has potential but this is a big jump up in class.

Lady Eli easily gave five pounds and a 2.5 length beating to Miss Temple City who won next time and then ran well at Royal Ascot in England. The favourite was an easy winner last time and the extra furlong of today’s race should be fine. Lady Eli is proven on good ground and better so should handle the firm conditions today. More rain could be a negative so punters should watch the forecast for the New York area but its unlikely any of the home team will be able to live with Lady Eli.

The selection is untested on slower than good but even the longer race should not be an insurmountable handicap. There is added intrigue to the race with the involvement of Outstanding from the leading stable in Ireland, trained by Aidan O’Brien for the Coolmore syndicate. The horse has the profile and breeding to be top class. She is the sister to the yard’s 2013 Breeder’s Cup Turf winner Magician. It’s hard to know how good this one is but the horse clearly has potential and can chase home Lady Eli.

Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes

Startup Nation is the favourite for the Derby Invitational and trained by Chad C Brown who also has Lady Eli in his care so the stable is on track for a wonderful double at Belmont Park. The horse won its first two starts over one mile and one half furling at Saratoga. Startup Nation struggled for pace in the Breeder’s Cup and most recently needed the run after a seven month absence from the track. His reappearance was encouraging and today’s extra furlong should help.

The selection can improve past some former rivals and prove best of all but Postulation could run a huge race at a decent price. The horse is a triple winner from Ireland and the trainer has won several major international races, including the Melbourne Cup in Australia. However, Dermot Weld is 0 from 16 in America since 2008 but this gelding has place prospects in an open race. Canndal is a French trained animal trained by a Breeders’ Cup winner but Startup Nation will be difficult to beat for Brown’s US based team.

Suburban Handicap

Tonalist was trading at 3/5 with this morning but UK bookmakers had him much shorter for the Grade 2 Suburban Handicap over one mile and two furlongs. On form and ratings he has something in hand over five rivals in the most lucrative handicap of the day. Tonalist has to concede weigh to each other horse in the race, from six to nine pounds. The selection can run in several ways, including from off the pace and being handy. He will be suited by a step up in distance and the high class horse should be too good at this level.

Coach Inge is not a viable alternative but place money and no more could be his. He’s found some improvement to win his last two races but John Velazquez has given up the ride to partner Tonalist which could be a huge tip in itself but jockeys have been wrong in the past. The two victories came through slow fractions and Coach Inge won’t be quick enough to trouble the favourite. Mylute and Effinex could dispute second place but Tonal can be several lengths clear by the business end of the race.

Click here for the Belmont Park card.

European odds can be found at British bookmakers William Hill

For a full range of horse racing odds please visit 888Sport