Mick Fitzgerald: I’m ready to Duke it out with Paddy over this 6/1 proven speedster


We kick off Saturday’s TV action at York 1.50pm with the Queen Mother’s Cup at York for Lady riders over 1m 4f. Local trainer David O’ Meara loves a winner at this track and his Chancery put in a good run here a couple of spins back when a neck second to Theydon Grey. Of the others, Mukhayyam under last year’s winning rider, Miss E Easterby could be a good each-way shout in the same race.

Photo finish at the Curragh

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The 7f handicap that follows at 2.20pm looks to be a good opportunity for Michael Dods’ Get Knotted to get back in the winning groove. A winner over course and distance last year, he still looks well treated and the stable is in very good form. There’s 18 runners so let’s take two against the field. Ian Williams’ Shady McCoy from stall 16 can hit the frame again too after two fourth-placed finishes at Ascot and Goodwood recently.

There’s some real favourites in the 1m Listed Ganton Stakes 2.55pm and nobody would begrudge the veteran Gabrial a win for Richard Fahey and Paul Hanigan. However, Mondialiste makes more appeal on the likely fast ground and drops in class having finished fourth to Autocratic in a Group 3 last time out at Sandown.

Horses drawn low look to have the upper hand in the 6f handicap at 3.30pm on the Knavesmire. The likely favourite, Ekhtiyaar is not ideally drawn in stall 11, so Jim Crowley could have a job on his hands getting him home in front. I’ll give Tim Easterby’s Golden Apollo the nod as he’s against the rail in stall one. Almost twice the price too!

Proven speedster

Musselburgh has two big sprints and the first gives Tim Easterby a chance to bag the prize as he has two strong contenders in top-weight Rasheeq and the one I favour, Excessable at 2.05pm. He can be excused his Epsom run as the track is not every horse’s thing, but before that he had won a couple of times at Redcar and Thirsk. Ideally drawn in stall 15, David Allan’s mount can get the better of his stablemate with Straightothepoint another with strong claims.

The 5f Sprint Cup handicap at 3.10pm sees the stable’s Orion Bow near the top of the market. However, David Griffiths has his team in great form and Duke of Firenze is a proven speedster. With a plum draw in box 16 near the stand rail, he should take a bit of beating.

Promising form

At Sandown, the Scurry Stakes 2.40pm is limited to three-year-olds and you have to be careful not to latch onto a horse that hasn’t matured physically. Equally, one that looks that it may struggle could have improved no end over the summer. The booking of punters’ pal Ryan Moore for Fashion Queen makes her a worthy favourite but at a double-digit price I’m drawn to William Haggas’ filly Gheedaa.

Some of her form is promising and she has to be the each-way play to give the favourite most to do.

What do you think?