Wow! Nine races Saturday on ITV’s main network with Newmarket and Ascot taking centre stage and the Group 1 July Cup at 15:35.
Let’s just get straight to it!
The show starts with a handicap over 1m. FINEST SOUND was very unlucky to bump into Khaloosy, a horse thrown in at Royal Ascot in the Brittania.
My hope goes well if there is still juice in the ground and should have every chance of going one better for Simon and Ed Crisford. Silvestre de Sousa takes the mount, so he will be hard to beat.
Another handicap here, this time over 7 furlongs. Hard to know how FANTAIL will cope with grass, but she might be another big runner for the Crisfords here.
The selection drops back in distance after not quite getting home on seasonal debut and that stamina could be useful. She can go from the front and might be hard to peg back.
Into Group 2 company now, with the Superlative Stakes for juveniles over 7 furlongs. A big step up in class for SEVENTH KINGDOM, but I was very impressed with his debut win at Doncaster. Admittedly it was only a small field, but Seventh Kingdon still won by four lengths and was not extended.
David Egan keeps the ride for John Gosden and there might well be much more to come. Easy ground would be ideal.
This is the big one, the Group 1 July Cup over 6 furlongs. It might be the three-year-olds can make their mark, but HELLO YOUMZAIN comes here on top form and might well follow up his Diamond Jubilee success for Kevin Ryan and Kevin Stott.
Hello Youmzain will lap up any softness in the going and go from the front or come from off the pace. If nothing else, he should have every chance of giving you a great run for your money.
And finally at Newmarket, the Bunbury Cup handicap over 7 furlongs. There’s a massive chance here for MUTAMAASIK to reverse form with Motakhayyel from Royal Ascot in the Buckingham Palace.
Conditions should be perfect based on the Ascot run, and my hope ran right to the line despite being in a small group away from the main pack. Ryan Moore is booked which is no bad thing.
Ascot kicks off with a handicap over 1m. This is hard! DECLARED INTEREST gets the vote as a horse who will love any dig in the ground and comes here after a fine effort at Royal Ascot.
The filly was fifth in the Sandringham for Ralph Beckett and just weakened close home in that company.
This is not much easier, but she’s lightly raced and probably has more to offer.
Another handicap here, although this time over 1m 4f. EASTERN SHERIFF stayed this distance really well at Ripon last time and while that was only in a small field, he should have more to come.
The son of Lawman is trained by Hugo Palmer and ridden by Andrea Atzeni and while he’s no good thing, he should be bang there.
This is a Group 2, the Summer Mile which is, amazingly, over 1m! San Donato is interesting here, with Atzeni giving up a big chance at Newmarket to come here. Pace will be key, with the horse I love – Mohaather – desperate for a strong gallop.
Almost all the runners are hold up performers, and for that reason I’ll have a few quid on MARIE’S DIAMOND each-way for Mark Johnston and Joe Fanning.
A natural pacer, Marie’s Diamond is much improved this season, but it’s really a fabulous draw and the chance of an uncontested lead that makes me believe he has a hell of a chance.
And finally at Ascot, a sprint handicap over 5 furlongs. Oh my, this is tough. APLOMB is often well supported and does not win as many as he should.
That said, he loves these conditions and he should have every chance for William Haggas and Tom Marquand. I will have to back him again each-way here after a good run at Newmarket first time this season. He didn’t do badly at Ascot last time as well.
So best of luck and pray for Yeeehaaas. You hear me Paddy?
* Prices on our snazzy new bet widget are bang up to date.
13:50 Newmarket – Finest Sound
14:25 Newmarket – Fantail
15:00 Newmarket – Seventh Kingdom
15:35 Newmarket – Hello Youmzain
16:10 Newmarket – Mutamaasik
14:05 Ascot – Declared Interest
14:40 Ascot – Eastern Sheriff
15:15 Ascot – Marie’s Diamond
15:50 Ascot – Aplomb
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