Another feast of racing for armchair punters to get stuck into this Saturday with a few group races mixed in with some big field handicaps.
The weather could yet have its say for the 6f Haydock Sprint Cup and if it rains it could be bad news for the favourite Limato. He looked the real deal when bolting up in the July Cup on fast ground and lost little in defeat when going down to Meccas Angel in the Nunthorpe at York. The forecast rain is a worry though.
Magical Memory ran a cracker in this contest last year and will be hoping to put a poor run in the July Cup behind him while The Tin Man looked the part at Newbury and jockey Tom Queally struggled to hide his excitement when talking to me after the race.
Suedois has run some great races this season behind Limato and Twilight Son while two outsiders who can’t be ignored are Strath Burn (who was only beaten a short head in this race last year and is a live each-way chance) and Donjuan Triumphant who finished in front of Suedois at Deauville.
The one I fancy is Quiet Reflection who won’t mind any rain. She was placed in the July Cup after winning the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot and her trainer Karl Burke is happy to let her take her chance now as she’s had a few hiccups since that Newmarket run.
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The Superior Mile at Haydock should see the rain come in time for Mitchum Swagger – who has run some good races in defeat. This looks a perfect opportunity for him to pounce late and see off Newmarket Group 3 winner Breton Rock, who will love it if the rain falls, as it was heavy ground at HQ.
Convey is a hard horse to work out. He has run some nice races but there have been a few shockers thrown in so I’ll pass him over. We haven’t seen Hathal for the in-form William Haggas and Frankie Dettori since he won at Newbury 351 days ago. He’ll be popular if not too rusty and while Custom Cut has been a disappointing of late he may get the run of the race up front.
The two other races from Haydock on the box are the 3.30pm where Shakopee could get us some compensation after a narrow defeat last time. Hugo Palmer’s Walpole with 8st 6lbs makes a lot of appeal in the same race.
The 5f spint at Haydock at 4pm is a pin-job as luck-in-running will count for a lot. Dutch Masterpiece has slipped to a really nice mark and could be involved in the shake up. Lightscameraaction is another who could go well.
The September Stakes at Kempton is an ideal opportunity for Arab Spring to get back on track. He ran poorly when down the field behind Postponed in the Juddmonte International and this looks a perfect chance to bounce back.
Sky Hunter has not been seen since he ran down the field in the Melbourne Cup and is having his first taste of the all weather track. Fire Fighting keeps surprising while Robin Of Navan could be the dark horse in the field worth keeping an eye on.
He won a Group 1 as a two-year-old in France and started his season well with a good second at Saint Cloud. He then got injured when down the field in the French Derby. Harry Dunlop is hoping for a good run on Saturday ahead of some Autumn targets.
Barye has done well at Kempton but has a little to find on the ratings and Denis Coakley is hoping Miss Marjurie can be rewarded with more black type.
The Ascot handicaps have lots of runners which should help us get some value. Firmament looked so good at York it is hard to ignore him in the 7f handicap at 2.40pm but SQUATS with Ryan Moore booked catches the eye as does his good second place finish Librisa Breeze over course and distance in July.
I find myself drawn to Gawdawpawlin in the 3.10pm at the same venue. He’s a nice price at the bottom of the weights and won on Derby day at Epsom and could continue the good run of trainer Sylvester Kirk.