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There are ten races on ITV on Saturday, starting here with a handicap over 1m6f. HOCHFELD is up 1lb for his effort in the Chester Cup when a fine third behind Falcon Flight, but there is no reason why he won’t run well again here. Hochfeld goes on any ground and has some back form which suggests he can operate from this mark. Franny Norton rides for Mark Johnston.
This is a handicap over 7f. TOM COLLINS never got in the hunt in the Cup at Thirsk first time out this season but is better than that. He should have each way claims at least for William Haggas and Tom Marquand as a horse who loves the conditions and stays a bit further than this. A wide draw is not such an issue when the ground is deep as they may we’ll come middle to stands side.
Now a Listed event over 1m2f. Al Zaraqaan was a big flop at Newmarket last time and is back in trip which connections must think will help. I’ll risk the old boy DESERT ENCOUNTER for Dave Simcock and Martin Harley. My hope showed he still had some sparkle at Sandown last time when second to Waldkonig and everything is in place for a bold show. He just would like one of them to go off at a decent pace.
Now a handicap over 2m. Postileo is a stayer I like and he should go well. However, I’ll have a few quick each way on the SPEEDO BOY for Ian Williams and Like Morris. Speedo Boy is well handicapped and was far from disgraced at Chester last time when a decent fourth. He stays and goes with juice in the ground so he should have place claims at the very least.
Fillies on hand here for a Group 3 over 1m6f. MIGHTY BLUE was third in the mares’ novice hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March but that doesn’t mean she can’t win this. She’s already proven as a decent flat stayer for Joseph O’Brien and picked up a nice prize at Gowran in May. That suggested she could mix it with this crowd and the track and ground are no issue.
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Another handicap here this time over 1m. HEIGHTS OF ABRAHAM has a high head carriage and doesn’t always look that willing. However, the Keith Dalgleish runner is in fine form after a win at Ripon and the going and drop in trip should not be a worry. He’s not a bad horse and might have a bit more ability than he shows so can give us an each-way run.
Classwise this is the best on offer with the Group 1 Irish 2000 Guineas. It might seem mad after he was beaten last weekend in France, but I’ll stick with the Newmarket 2000 winner POETIC FLARE. The Jim Bolger runner finished sixth in the French 2000 but that only tells half the story. Halfway up the home straight I thought he would be tailed off, but he rallied well close to home and finished best of all. I suspect the pace of the race was just all against him and that won’t be an issue here. He’s an each-way price under Kevin Manning.
This is a Group 2 for 3yos over 6f. ISABELLA GILES takes a drop in trip here for Clive Cox and while that’s not definitely going to suit, running at a fast pace is just what she wants to do. The Belardo filly has not been disgraced in two runs this term and is an each-way price on the back of her third at Lingfield. That gives Hector Crouch a big chance.
Back to handicap company over 5f. MONDAMMEJ looked a little unlucky at York the other day when a fine third and he might make amends here. He probably wouldn’t want the ground to get much softer, but if it stays roughly as it is at time of writing – which is good to soft – then that should be fine for the Anthony Brittain contender ridden by Cam Hardie.
Now the big sprint, the Group 2 Temple Stakes over 5f. I’m not sure about the ground for Que Amoro and I’m all over LIBERTY BEACH for Jason Hart and John Quinn. The filly did really well last season ending up third behind Wooded and Glass Slippers in the Abbaye at Longchamp. She goes well with juice and even first time out should take some pegging back. So best of luck and pray for Yeeehaaas. You hear me Paddy?
Matt Chapman’s picks for Saturday’s ITV racing:
Goodwood 13:40 – Hochfeld
Haydock 13:55 – Tom Collins
Goodwood 14:10 – Desert Encounter
Haydock 14:25 – Speedo Boy
York 14:40 – Mighty Blue
Haydock 15:00 – Heights Of Abraham
Curragh 15:20 – Poetic Flare
Haydock 15:35 – Isabella Giles
York 15:50 – Mondammej
Haydock 16:10 – Liberty Beach
MORE SATURDAY TIPS
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