Horse racing tips: Frank Hickey’s 6 Saturday picks to keep you in the mix

Newbury, Doncaster and the Curragh on his hit-list.



Sandown 14.40 – Sunday Sovereign

A competitive renewal of the Scurry Stakes and no runner is more intriguing than Sunday Sovereign on his first start for Roger Varian. A very useful two year old when trained in Ireland by Paddy Twomey, he was an impressive winner of his second start when easily account for subsequent Coventry Stakes winner Arizona over six furlongs at the Curragh. He followed that up by showing good speed dropped to five furlongs at Tipperary and went to Royal Ascot has a very strongly fancied favourite in the Norfolk Stakes.

Purchased by King Power on the eve of the meeting, he was just a bit keen in the race and weakened in the final furlong after hitting the front at the furlong pole. He may well have met with a set back as we haven’t see him since but he is a big player here if retaining his ability. Being drawn three could be key, as he should be able to get away and bag the rail and that can be crucial on the five furlong course at Sandown.

ESHER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 06: Runners set off for the start of the Simon Jennings Memorial Novices' Limited Handicap Chase at Sandown Park on December 06, 2019 in Esher, England. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

Sandown 15.45 – Father Of Jazz

Tipping unraced horses isn’t usually my thing but Father Of Jazz has been given very positive mentions from trainer Michael Bell recently and he was due to make his debut at Kempton nearly two weeks ago when he broke out through the stalls and was withdrawn at the start. He was very strong in the market that day, being backed from 20/1 all the way down to 11/2 and it looked a very useful maiden with host of mid 70 rated horses in opposition.

This would appear to be a slightly stronger maiden here but while Byzantine Empire and Mambo Nights have very solid form, neither are exactly warriors of the turf. There is every chance we will get a decent price about Father Of Jazz and he looks worth chancing with a small each way bet.

Newbury 15.00 – Oriental Mystique

Good horses like Great Heavens and Sea Of Class are previous winners this ten furlongs Listed event and there might be a couple of useful contenders here in Cabaletta, Franconia and Oriental Mystique. Oriental Mystique is the one I like, she is a Kingman filly out of a Group One winning mare, so it bred to be very useful and she should plenty of ability when fourth on debut at Newmarket last October.

That looked a very useful maiden and the form is working out nicely. The winner was third in a Group three, the third was touched off in a maiden on next start, the seventh English King has won his maiden and the Lingfield Derby trial and is now challenging for favouritism for the Derby itself and even the horse that finished last won a nursery off a mark of 67.

Oriental Mystique then went to Kempton for a mile maiden and she was impressive in breaking her duck, clocking a fast closing sectional and the form has worked out too. The second and fifth have won maidens and the third was a Listed event in Meydan. Oriental Mystique is very likely to improve for stepping up in trip here and she looks to be value against the other two at the top of the market.


Curragh 17.45 – Son And Sannie (4 places)

Son And Sannie makes his handicap debut here off a mark of 67. Quietly supported on his debut at Down Royal over five furlongs, he travelled really well and hit 1.05 before being a bit green when getting close to hitting the front and just couldn’t go by.

The winner is rated 72, as is the second and Son And Sannie was conceding experience to them. He has run three solid races since, finishing fourth in three maidens at the Curragh, Navan and Dundalk. He starts off in handicaps off 67 and the likely strong pace should play to his strengths and Oisin Orr isn’t a bad booking either.

Curragh 19.15 – Ridenza (4 places)

Ridenza is probably up against it, upped to a classic on just her second start but she was very impressive when winning her maiden at Leopardstown over seven furlongs last August. That had looked to be a useful maiden beforehand with Mythic finishing third on debut at Galway and Tasalka running fourth at the Curragh on debut. Ridenza was very strong in the market, going off 9/4 and the market confidence was proved correct as she travelled and quickened nicely to win well.

The closing sectional was useful and the form of the race has worked out, with the fourth Lemista winning at Listed level since and the sixth Deidra winning a maiden and the ninth Peaceful won a maiden and was touched off at listed level at Newmarket. Ridenza has to take a massive step forward here but she is by Sea The Stars out of a Group two winner, so she is bred for this level and looks worth a small each way play with Paddy offering the four places here.

Longines Irish Champions Weekend, The Curragh Racecourse, Newbridge, Co. Kildare 16/9/2018 A view of the Irish Stallion Farms EBF `Northfields` Handicap Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

Doncaster 14.50 – Abstemious

Abstemious is the only one of this field to have a recent run under his belt and he can make it count here at a rewarding price. A half brother to Triple Distilled, he won a maiden for Kevin Ryan at York last season on soft ground and was found out at Group Two level subsequently. He has switched to Nigel Tinkler since and that is the route Triple Distilled went also, leaving Kevin Ryan for Tinkler at the end of his two year old season.

Triple Distilled won two handicaps last season for Tinkler and I think there is plenty of reason to think Abstemious could do similar. He made his reappearance at Newcastle last week over seven furlongs and shaped like the run was badly needed, travelling powerfully until the furlong pole and weakening from there. That run should leave him spot on for this race and the handicapped has dropped him three pounds also. He steps up to a mile for the first time but is bred to get it and he is worth an each way play at decent odds.

Find a full range of odds from all these tracks over on