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There’s three meetings covered on ITV this Saturday, namely Chester, Sandown and York and I’ve a Lucky 31 across the three tracks.
Sprint races around this track are all about the draw – and the break. Havagomecca won at Haydock last time and has also won at Newcastle but ran out of steam at Beverly before her Haydock win. She is a strong traveller and her draw in box one is perfect. Eye Of Heaven has been very disappointing since a winning debut at Newmarket last year but with ‘Mr Chester’ now on board, has to be respected in this small field.
The amateur riders’ Queen Mother’s Cup is a target for many Yorkshire-based trainers as the winning rider receives their weight in Champagne! The top riders tend to have a good record in this contest.
Scottish trainer Jim Goldie won this in 2013 and loves a York winner and Nicholas T has some nice entries in the John Smith’ Cup at this venue and the Northumberland Plate later on. This could be a stepping stone towards that. Civil Law is the obvious danger under Sarah Bowen.
It’s interesting that Jim Crowley goes up to York to ride Baashir trained by Charlie Hills for his retainer with Shadwell Estate Company. Baashir ran very well at Nottingham two starts ago, finishing the race off well on slow ground. He won his novice at Salisbury when it was fast and seemed to enjoy it. He looks versatile now ground wise.
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Another small-but-select field and the lightly-raced, William Haggas’ trained Roberto Escobarr is my pick. He had his first run back recently after wind surgery and there was a lot to like about the performance. The ground at Ascot was soft that day but this son of Galileo will be better suited to these conditions. Tom Marquand rides and I fully expect him to get the job done.
It’s not very often you see Ryan Moore booked to ride for Hughie Morrison and King of Clubs was really impressive at Nottingham when winning by five and a half lengths. He went into a lot of people’s notebooks as one to follow. Dark Lion has been very disappointing of late but drops in grade to a Class 3 handicap and this might be more to his liking, despite top weight.
Mick Fitzgerald’s Lucky 31 for Saturday’s ITV races:
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