Matt Chapman: Look closer at 4/1 Hermosa for Saturday glory at Newmarket

Three tracks. Eight races. One Matt Chapman. What's not to love?

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There are eight races on ITV from Newmarket, Ascot and Redcar on Saturday, while Sunday it’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe or Enable day at Longchamp. What a great game.

A wide-open 1m 2f handicap gets us up and running at Newmarket 13.40. I was at Lingfield when NEAROOZ scored there last time. She was impressive and is big filly with scope and must have an each-way chance for David Egan and Roger Varian.

Next at Newmarket is the 14.15, a sales race over 5f. UNDER THE STARS really should take all the beating here for Oisin Murphy and James Tate. She was far from disgraced when fourth behind Daahyeh at Newmarket the other day and this should be easier despite the size of field.

The Group 1 Sun Chariot for fillies and mares over 1m is the feature race at 15.25. The dual 1,000 Guineas winner HERMOSA is the each-way bet here, as she bounced back to form when second to the re-opposing Iridessa at Leopardstown last time.

Aidan O’Brien’s hope may come on for that run and is hard to keep out the frame as the older horses look very beatable.

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Meanwhile, the action at Ascot starts at 14.00 with a Listed race over 5f. DANZENO runs this track well and might be able to pick up Dakota Gold who had a tough race at Newbury last time. Mick Appleby’s runner did well at York last time and this distance is no problem at all.

The Group 3 Cumberland Lodge over 1m4f rocks up at 14.35 and while MORANDO is not an easy horse to win with – he didn’t do much wrong at Newbury last time. With a BHA rating of 112 he should take all the beating for Andrew Balding and Silvestre de Sousa.

The 15.10 at Ascot is a tough handicap to solve over 7f. Many of the leading contenders love Ascot, and I’ll play ESCOBAR each-way after two eye-catching runs in defeat at York and Ascot. He keeps staying on at one pace and a strong gallop here gives him every chance for David O’Meara and Adam Kirby.


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Ascot wraps up at 15.40 with the Group 3 Bengough Stakes over 6f. This is not a strong renewal, and CAPE BYRON has a much easier task than he did at Newmarket in the July Cup and in a hard contest last time. His form has tailed off a fraction for Roger Varian this season, but a good chance to bounce back under Andrea Atzeni.

The big juvenile event of the day carries Listed status and comes up at 14.55.  SUMMER SANDS is not as good as his 100/1 third in the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes suggests, but he still has every chance here on previous form at York and Ascot. A good opportunity to get another win on the board for Richard Fahey and Barry McHugh.

What a Saturday of domestic action ahead of Sunday at Longchamp. You hear me Paddy!

*Prices correct at time of publishing 

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