Another Saturday smash-up of TV action and although the Group races have cut up a bit there’s still plenty of tricky-looking handicaps that will be difficult to solve.
The Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes (3.05pm) has been won three times by Sir Michael Stoute and looks an ideal race for Kings Fete to carry on his upward curve. He has to give weight away to all the other runners but Pat Smullen will keep it nice and simple up front and the others will struggle to get past him.
Humphrey Bogart did really well in the early part of the season winning the Derby Trial at Lingfield but the worry for him is they may not go quick enough early on for him to settle into a nice rhythm. That’s a negative in a small field for Richard Hannon’s runner.
Ormito has run some decent races lately but it would be a surprise if he could win this for Andrew Balding while Battersea is capable but his last effort looked tame.
Red Cardinal is a progressive type who really caught the eye with his finish at Yarmouth. He beat Rawasi who went and won his next two starts.
He’s going up significantly in the ratings and could be the one for the forecast with Kings Fete.
The Hungerford Stakes on paper looks tailor made for Home of The Brave as you could see him dictating the pace and not getting headed. He beat Convey earlier in the year at Haydock were there was only three parts of a length between them.
I do think this track may suit Convey better though and if the favourite does not perform to his best, Convey will beat him.
Convey won an ordinary race easily at Pontefract last time so confidence will be high. Jallota looks to have been found a good race to pick up some prize-money in and Markaz looks held on previous runnings against Home of the Brave. Golden Steps looked better suited to 7f last time and has a squeak with Frankie on top.
The handicaps are tough with the 6f Great St Wilfrid at Ripon being the usual cavalry charge. I really don’t want to tip one of the market leaders but you can’t ignore Orions Bow who was beaten by a Group horse in Dancing Star in the Stewards Cup.
He travelled up with the pace that day, a tactic that should suit him at Ripon. His claims are hard to ignore on that run but I’m also going to suggest two course and distance winners in Intisaab and Snap Shots for a bit of each-way value.
I like Henry Candy’s Noble Peace in the Newbury 3.40pm. He won at Lingfield first-time out this season and the stable is in better form now. He could be quite lively at a fair price in this contest.
There’s a chance to recoup losses on Projection at Newmarket 3.20pm after his fifth-place finish to Hoof It at Goodwood. He’d no chance from his stall 22 draw that day but should be at home in box 7 – despite top weight – at HQ.
Good luck as we gear up for York’s four-day Ebor fixture next week.