ITV go horse racing crazy Saturday with 10 races on offer from Ascot, Haydock and Newmarket.
So let’s get straight to it to try and find a couple of winners for Saturday’s marathon coverage including Shergar Cup day at Ascot.
We’ll start with the 1.05pm at Ascot, the Shergar Cup Dash over 5f. ENCORE D’OR has been fancied on one or two occasions recently and hasn’t come up to scratch for Robert Cowell. However, he has run well here before and has a fabulous each-way chance if anywhere near his best and the stable has a good record in the race.
The 1.40pm is the Stayers’ over 2m. TIME TO STUDY has not been at his best of late, but he’s down to a winning mark and could be another to bounce back to form for Ian Williams. Gerald Mosse is a fine jockey booking out of the hat.
The 2.15pm at Ascot is the Challenge Cup handicap over 1m 4f. There is no doubt the most likely winner here is MANDARIN, who has banged in two great victories at this trip at Windsor and Newmarket. He’s 11lb higher than the first success but being in great form might be enough for Williams once again.
We go over 1m at Ascot at 2.50pm. ZWAYYAN is done 2lb for Andrew Balding and might bounce back to form here. He certainly has an each-way chance at his best and has plenty of classy form at this track, while in the Classic over 1m 4f at 3.25pm, VIVID DIAMOND has been banging the door down of late and it might just open here.
Tadhg O’Shea a quality jockey booking for Mark Johnston. My hope was second at this track last time and should take a bit of stopping.
And finally at Ascot the 4.00pm, it’s the Sprint over 6f. VICTORY DAY returned in great form at Ripon and ran a fine race at York last time when just touched off. He’s up 6lb for that defeat, but is clearly an improver and how lucky has William Haggas got with the jockey booking? Jamie Spencer is on board having ridden the horse at York!
Meanwhile, ITV’s coverage at Haydock starts with the 1.55pm, a handicap over 1m. MIKMAK has gone close on recent starts and clearly has nothing in hand of the handicapper. However, he’s in form and should give Tim Easterby and Jack Garrity an each-way chance.
We follow that at the Lancashire track with the 2.30pm, a Listed event over 1m. FELICIANA DE VEGA is easily the most exciting horse in this line up even if she gets beat. She landed both her starts last term, at Newmarket and at Deauville. If there is something special in the line-up it is the Ralph Beckett animal.
The feature race at Haydock is the 3.05pm, the Group 3 Rose of Lancaster over an extended 1m 2f. WISSAHICKON is on the comeback trail here, having been off the track since the all-weather finals in April. He was disappointingly beaten that day, but has plenty of cool turf form and can bounce back here for Frankie Dettori.
The one race shown from Newmarket is the Sweet Solera, a Group 3 over 7f for juveniles at 3.45pm. SOFFIKA should relish a step up in trip here and could be exciting for Sir Michael Stoute. She made a fine debut at Pontefract and James Doyle is on board for the Crystal Ocean owner.
So best of luck and pray for Yeeehaaas. You hear me Paddy?
*Prices correct at time of publishing