ITV Racing Saturday Tips and Previews
SHERGAR CUP DAY FROM ASCOT ON SATURDAY! Plus racing from Haydock, Newmarket and the Curragh live on the channel.
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ITV Racing Saturday Schedule
1.35 Ascot Dubai Duty Free Full Of Surprises Classified Stakes (Class 3) 7f
2.10 Ascot Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Dash Handicap (Class 2) 5f
2.25 Haydock Betfred ‘Play Fred’s £5 Million’ Handicap (Class 2) 1m
2.45 Ascot Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Stayers Handicap (Class 2) 2m
3.00 Haydock Betfred Rose Of Lancaster Stakes (Group 3) 1m21/2f
3.20 Ascot Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Challenge Handicap (Class 2) 1m4f
3.40 Newmarket (July) Jewson Sweet Solera Stakes (Group 3) 7f
3.55 Ascot Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Mile Handicap (Class 2) 1m
4.15 Curragh Keeneland Phoenix Stakes (Group 1) 6f
4.30 Ascot Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Classic Handicap (Class 3) 1m4f
5.05 Ascot Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Sprint Handicap (Class 2) 6f
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The opener on ITV is set to be interesting with Orbaan lining up after winning easily at Goodwood last week. I am not sure he will have as much pace to set it up for him here and will oppose with DIVINE MAGIC. Marco Botti’s filly is in outstanding form at this trip 3rd, 3rd, 1st and 2nd in her last 4 runs. She rarely runs a bad race and if Takeshi Yokoyama gives her a good ride she will go close at a nice price.
Orbaan will be the main danger but only if he gets the pace he needs (not guaranteed) but Epsom Faithfull could also feature if showing her recent 6 furlong form at this trip.
Another competitive race with it being 4/1 bar the field at the time of writing. While MANACCAN has a bit to find I thought he ran a nice race when second to Look Out Louis at Chester. That coupled with a big run at Royal Ascot prior to that he should run well under Hayley Turner. I have him marked down as one that will go off a fair bit shorter than the 13/2 on offer so worth playing.
King Of Stars is probably the one to beat on recent form. He was only beaten a length by Call Me Ginger here last month and while that winner has been beaten since it is still solid form and he should run his race.
This looks wide open so I am going to take a chance on the only 3 year old in the field MR MCCANN. His last run at Ascot in a 30-runner race probably didn’t suit and is better judged on his 4th in the German 2,000 Guineas which looks outstanding form. If he runs that level here he will go close let alone improve which he could well do making him a good bet at the prices.
Electrical Storm is no doubt the main danger after he returned from a long lay-off to win at York and followed that up with a good run at Sandown. Back at this trip he is a threat to all. Dutch Decoy back at a mile is with noting with 2 wins at this trip already this season.
I am really keen on one here in the shape of SUPER SUPERJACK for Milton Harris. This 5yo has looked progressive all season and I thought he was a bit unlucky at Goodwood last week. He was ridden quietly but just got going too late and the winner had already flown. The front 3 came 4 lengths clear from the rest and I still think he is progressing. He won nicely over C&D earlier in the season and I don’t think we’ve seen the best of him yet so he gets a confident vote.
If Red Force One gets a run he would definitely be a danger but as it stands Rock Eagle is the likely main danger. He carries top weight and comes here off the back of a good second to Reshoun at Newbury. A similar performance would see him in the mix.
A really competitive Rose Of Lancaster this year with a whole host of horses in here that likely have more to come at the trip. ROYAL CHAMPION gets a narrow vote at a nice each way price. Before his run at Epsom there was talk of him being a Group horse and he finally showed what he could do winning a good handicap well at Epsom. This looks like a logical step and he will go well.
The two dangers are Grocer Jack who romped home in a 5-runner race at Newbury last time and Anmaat who won a good race on seasonal reappearance and will surely be better for that. Of the two I favour the latter.
I know THE WHIPMASTER saw his winning run come to an end here last month but that came at the hands of the progressive Juan De Montalban and the pair came a country mile clear from the rest. He saw the trip out well enough for me and I think he can resume his progress here. He is only 1lb higher and I can’t see how he doesn’t run a big race? Definitely one of the better bets of the day.
Charging Thunder comes here on a hat-trick and is the danger. Pride Of Priory is also on the up and he is entitled to plenty of respect as well. There is a lot of pace on which should help the selection and might go against one or two of his main rivals.
Newmarket (July) 3.40
The Sweet Solera is always a good race with plenty of Royal Ascot form on show with a few unbeaten fillies added to the mix. I am going to side with one of the unbeaten horses in NOVAKAI who won her only start at Doncaster. She pulled clear easily and won by just over 4 lengths. The time of the race looks solid and Karl Burke could have another very good one here.
Lakota Sioux and Ivory Madonna are both big dangers with both going well on every start so far and if they run to their Royal Ascot form they will be thereabouts. The selection will have to be good to beat them but looks to have the scope for plenty of improvement.
I’ve been waiting for MONTASSIB to step up to a mile and this looks a great chance for him to get back in the winners enclosure. He won his first 3 starts in the style of a promising horse and he defied market weakness to win on soft ground at Goodwood back in May – the sign of a good horse. He went down just a length and a half in the Buckingham Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot before backing that up with another huge run in the Bunbury Cup. He is still improving to my eye and must have a major chance here.
Isla Kai continues to run well in defeat and might not be too far away again. Bopedro caught the eye running well to finish fourth on debut for his new stable a couple of weeks ago. If he builds on that he could also have a say here but if the selection relishes the mile like I think he will then he might always have them covered.
This looks the race of the weekend with two Royal Ascot runners going head-to-head in Bradsell and LITTLE BIG BEAR. Both races have worked out really well but I had to side with Aidan O’Brien’s colt. The master trainer has won 12 of the last 20 runnings of this race and has another great chance here. He won the Windsor Castle before stepping up in trip where he looked even better in a Group 3 at the track last time. In a competitive race I think he is the one to beat.
Bradsell is the main danger after a cracking win in the Coventry on his 2nd start. He is unbeaten and has plenty more to offer. Persian Force will likely edge out Blackbeard for 3rd. This has plenty of strength in depth!
With Charles St now out FRANZ STRAUSS looks to have a good shout here. It’s an open race but he ran well going down just half a length to Australian Angel at Sandown. His form is strong and if he improves again he will be right in the mix at the business end here. This is competitive though so quite a few dangers.
Berkshire Breeze has clocked the best speed figure of these but he continues to find one or two too good and I’m not sure he likes winning 43322. Hamaki won at Haydock last time and also has to be feared but Jamie Spencer on was enough to put me off!
The final race of the Shergar Cup and I think STERLING KNIGHT could be a massive price. He has won over course and distance earlier in the season and is clearly in good heart as he showed at Windsor on Monday. In an open race he is worth a bet each way.
Spangled Mac has put together a great run of 4 wins in-a-row and is a danger but a mark of 94 without his claimer could see his run end. Of the rest Razeyna is never far away and William Haggas’ filly has so much scope to improve.