The biggest juvenile race of them all, the Dewhurst Stakes, and the Cesarewitch Handicap are just two of the seven cracking races to enjoy on ITV this Saturday from a show covering the action at York and Newmarket.
Let’s get straight to it and try and find some winners.
Coverage begins with the Group 3 Zetland Stakes for youngsters over a stamina stretching 1m2f. This could go any way! FABILIS is the one that interests me as Ralph Beckett sent him to Nottingham last time and that is the track that most of the Beckett good horses end up at.
He’s got a bit of experience after three runs and William Buick is on top a horse who stayed very strongly over an extended mile last time. He looks a promising Frankel youngster out of a Lear Fan mare. Lear Fan loved Newmarket.
York kicks off with a Listed event for youngsters over 6f. Tough race to call, but if LIGHT REFRAIN handles the going she might outstay plenty of animals who might prefer 5f. That’s not the case for our William Haggas-trained challenger owned by The Queen, as she dropped back to 6f from 7f for a success last time. Danny Tudhope gets the chance not to be sent to the Tower! Plenty to find on ratings but that stamina might be key.
Now the Group 3 Autumn Stakes for youngsters over 1m. Again so much guesswork. Brian Meehan has a decent bunch of juveniles this term and it might be that AKMAAM is rather good.
He won on debut at Ascot over 7f and this trip should not be an issue the way he went clear then. More importantly, Jim Crowley rides him in preference to Qaader who is rated 101. That is a big tip in itself.
A handicap to get stuck into here over an extended 1m2f. SPIRIT DANCER is not as sexy as some of these in profile, but he loves some cut in the ground, is improving and stays 10f well so he has plenty to suggest he’s worth an eachway bet. A second at Ayr last time followed a success at Ripon and while he’s up another 2lb he’s down the bottom of the weights.
This is the big class event, the Group 1 Dewhurst for two-year-olds over 7f. Pat Dobbs has ditched Etonian in favour of Chindit, but I can’t help but feel the former is now overpriced on the back of that decision.
ETONIAN looked huge on debut at Sandown and did well in the Solario to beat the very useful King Vega when nothing really went his way. He clearly stays well and will be ridden by off the pace by Tom Marquand. A big eachway chance.
And finally from York a sprint handicap over 6f. Wow this is hard! KYNREN is not a horse I have always been kind to over the years, but he’s worth a few quid each way here on his second run after a wind operation.
He’s a very tough, decent handicapper at his best for David Barron and has been a terrific servant. Stamina will be a big plus here as he stays 1m and in the ground he might surprise me after a fine fifth at Ayr last time in the Gold Cup there.
Now the big betting race of the day, the Cesarewitch over 2m2f. I’ll be having a few quid eachway on SMART CHAMPION here. Stevie Donohoe rides for Dave Simcock and he’s on a real stayer who is not badly handicapped.
A fine third at Glorious Goodwood and a fourth in the Ascot Stakes and second in the Northumberland Plate show that my hope is absolutely the type to relish this test and he’s been in pretty good form all season. His one previous run at Newmarket was a smart one when second in the trial race for this main event.
So best of luck and pray for Yeeehaaas. You hear me Paddy?
Matt Chapman’s tips for Saturday’s ITV Racing
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