ITV Racing Saturday Tips and Previews
KING GEORGE SATURDAY! Live racing on ITV from Ascot and York. Can’t wait to see Westover and Emily Upjohn lock horns in the feature race.
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ITV Racing Saturday Schedule
1.50 Ascot Princess Margaret Keeneland Stakes (Group 3) 6f
2.05 York Sky Bet “Jump Jockeys’ Nunthorpe” Handicap 5f
2.25 Ascot Longines Valiant Stakes (Group 3) 1m
2.40 York Sky Bet Dash Handicap 6f
3.00 Ascot Moet & Chandon International Stakes 7f
3.15 York Sky Bet York Stakes (Group 2) 1m21/2f
3.35 Ascot King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes (Group 1) 1m4f
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I don’t think this is a strong renewal of the Keeneland Stakes and it looks a good opportunity for LEZOO to get redemption after missing out at Newmarket 2 weeks ago. She was carried left near the finish by Mawj and that was the end of her unbeaten run. She has form of 1st, 1st, 2nd to start her career and if in the same form as last time should win.
On form so far it would take a step forward by one of the others to beat the selection with stablemate Palm Lily a likely danger after a nice win on debut last month. Of the rest Kinta who is 2 from 2 could go close again and I know the stable are quite confident of a big run.
Obviously wide open but I actually thought last year’s winner SOUL SEEKER looked a bit of value at around 16/1. He hasn’t won since but is 8lb lower as a result and was only beaten two and a half lengths at Beverley last time. I thought he shaped well on that occasion before backing out of it. He hasn’t run at this track since winning here last year so if it perks him up we could see a big run under Sean Bowen.
Val De Travers has won 2 of his last 3 and that is good form beating Sound Of Iona at Musselburgh. I just have a slight concern for him at this track and he is up another 8lb so I wouldn’t want to take such a short price. Dangers include Stone Circle and Son And Sannie.
This is a really open renewal with some classy sorts in here but I am siding with ZANBAQ who I think could improve past the majority of these. She was last seen finishing second in a race I really like with the form working out well in behind. That was solid form at Ascot which counts for a lot and I think she will go very well again here.
Jumbly and Novemba have been running at a higher level and whilst they have gone well they have fallen short. They will both be dangers back at this level. Kind Gesture is the other one I think could be a big improver and be involved in the placings.
Another really hard race to work out and a narrow preference goes to MONDAMMEJ for Antony Brittain. He won 5 times last year and clocked a career best chasing home Royal Aclaim here a couple of weeks ago. He is back in a handicap now but could be the class act in the field carrying top-weight and he is available at a double-figure price so makes plenty of appeal.
Nationwide made it 3-3 on the AW winning at Wolverhampton in May. He was a good third behind Silver Samurai and Music Society at Haydock and is definitely a danger here. Lucky Man also deserves a squeak as just couldn’t get involved at Ascot and first-time cheekpieces make him a bit of an eye-catcher.
This race looks as competitive as ever and with the pace looking like the higher numbers could fare best I have gone for two in double-figure draws. AIR TO AIR is my main chance after a nice win at York at the end of last month. George Boughey’s gelding has won his last 2 at 7 furlongs with a few creditable runs at a mile in between. He likely has another race like this in him and will go well here.
At a much bigger price LION TOWER could bounce back here after finding trouble on his last run. He was over 7 furlongs at York the time before that and looks overpriced here. If the draw favours lower numbers Tactical will be a big danger as he is better than his last run where he didn’t get a clear run. Of the rest Dark Shift drawn in the middle has to be a threat but I did think a 6lb penalty might be a bit harsh back down to 7f too.
Another small field unfortunately but then this never really attracts too many. The money has been for DUBAI HONOUR and if he bounces back from that run in Dubai he will be the one to beat. He was thoroughly progressive last year and he sets a pretty strong standard for the others to aim at. He is still just a 4yo too so you’d be foolish to rule out further progress.
Royal Ascot winners Claymore and Dubai Future are respected but the latter will find this tougher and the former just doesn’t look entirely straightforward and this has more strength in depth than the Hampton Court win.
It is sad to see this race become a regular small field affair as it has always been a race many look forward to as the Classic generation take on older horses. At this stage it is hard to know how good the Derby and Oaks really are but this will be a good indication. I am going to side with the Oaks second EMILY UPJOHN. She only just lost out in the finish (short head) and she clearly has more to come. She was due to go for the Irish Oaks but had travel issues. She will be raring to go and if she steps forward she will go close.
Westover is obviously the main danger after going well clear in the Irish Derby. He is a class horse and will be a threat to all but I am not sure how good the Irish Derby was with Tuesday not running her race due to poor tactics. Mishriff was obviously really unlucky in the Eclipse but this is over further so may not be seen to best effect. Broome would need a tactical masterclass again to win this so the Arc winner Torquator Tasso could prove best of the older horses and give the top 2 in the market something to think about.