Horse Racing tips: Frank Hickey’s 7 savvy picks across the tracks on Saturday

Top PP racing trader previews the King George VI Stakes and lists some lively chances at Ascot, York and Newmarket.

Frank Hickey Racing 2021


* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

Ascot 13:50 – Attagirl (Each Way)

Attagirl cost €90k as a yearling and has a Lowther Stakes entry. She was beaten three quarters of a length on her debut at Haydock over six furlongs, but was a nice winner at that venue on her second start in a similar time to Mr Wagyu, who won on the card off 85 (though did carry 7lbs more).

Mr Wagyu went close in decent handicaps at York and Hamilton subsequently.

Attagirl needs to improve but System won a Listed race at Newmarket last time off the back off finishing second in a maiden, so I don’t think the bar is set overly high in this contest.


York 14:40 – Musicka

Musicka won this race last season off 87 and won again over course and distance in October off a rating of 88 with Angus Villiers claiming 5lbs. He runs this year off 88 and Villiers claims 5lbs again but has shown he isn’t completely out of form this season.

He was beaten a half length at Beverley off 91 in April and was beaten a neck by Ejtilaab at Chester in June. Ejtilaab bolted up on next start off 4lbs higher to give that form a right boost.

Ascot 15:00 – Starshiba (Each Way)

Motakhayyel fairly bolted up in the Bunbury Cup two weeks ago and a 3lb penalty won’t be the reason he doesn’t follow up in this, if in the same form. He’s actually 6lb well in. He won the Buckingham Palace Stakes here last year at the Royal meeting, so we know he acts on the track. The draw in 19 looks a positive and there looks to be very little negatives about his chance.

Starshiba is an unexposed four-year-old but has a fairly progressive profile in seven furlong handicaps and is a half brother to Barshiba, who was a Group 2 winner for the same connections.

Disappointing efforts have come when Starshiba has stepped up to a mile. Last time out was a mile at Salisbury when he got trapped out wide from a really high draw. Previous to that he was a short head second to Perotto in a seven furlong handicap at Goodwood.

Perotto won the Britannia Handicap on his next start. The fourth The Attorney won two starts later and seventh The Kodi Kid won next time out. That looks fair form and I liked the way Starshiba made his move in that race, travelling well and only getting nailed on the line.

He gets to run off the same mark of 87 again and looks like he will be held up, which is a positive over this trip.

Jonny Peate claims 7lbs but looks like he could be quite decent and I liked the hold-up ride he gave Bhubezi at Newbury last week, albeit in a relatively small-field handicap.

Starshiba is a huge price and any rain on Saturday shouldn’t inconvenience him.

York 15:15 – Armory

Mohaafeth comes in looking for a five-timer after winning the Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot when last seen. I would just question the depth of his form and suggest it isn’t up to much and think that getting 12lbs might not help him to beat Armory.

Armory is no superstar but he is very good, winning a Group 2 and Group 3 as a juvenile, a Group 3 last year, as well as placing in the Group 1 Cox Plate in Australia.

He has won the Group 2 Huxley Stakes at Chester this season and was only beaten a length and a half in the Prince Of Wales Stakes at Royal Ascot. He’s down in grade now and he can win despite the penalty.

York Races Ebor Festival



Ascot 15:35 – Love

Love was weak enough in the market in the Price Of Wales Stakes but showed a great attitude to battle to a 3/4 length victory over another Group 1 winner in Audarya. She was coming into that race off an unbeaten three-year-old season where she won the Guineas, Oaks and Yorkshire Oaks.

The ground is ideal for Love and she is versatile with regards to tactics, so she will be tough to beat.

Adayar was impressive in the Derby and Hurricane Lane hasn’t let that form down subsequently but he has never raced on ground as quick as he will face now and I would just swerve him because of that.

Wonderful Tonight is another that could do with easier ground but will be a force to be reckoned with when she does get it in the Autumn. Mishriff isn’t proper Group 1 class and his limitations were exposed in the Eclipse.

Newmarket 15:40 – Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire is well regarded by Martyn Meade. He won on his debut at Kempton last December. The second and third have since won handicaps, the fourth won at Listed level, sixth won a novice and eighth won a handicap.

It wasn’t a bad maiden despite being run in December and connections were hoping to go the Epsom Derby but missed it.

He ran in a Listed race against older horses at Sandown earlier this month but was a little disappointing when fourth of five. However, he lost a shoe and that run was a big step up from winning a maiden. He’s down to a handicap mark now of 94 and he can rate a fair bit higher than that.

York 17:00 – Reina Del Mar

Reina Del Mar is an unexposed three-year-old and they have an advantage over middle and staying distances at this time of the year due to the weight-for-age allowance.

She won at Newbury on her handicap debut in June off 73 and was unlucky not to follow up there off 78 when she got the door slammed in her face over a furlong out and had to switch – but the chance was gone.

She did run on well to be third but would have gone close to winning with a clear run and she could make amends now.

Frank Hickey’s picks for Saturday’s races:

Ascot 13:50 – Attagirl (Each Way)
York 14:40 – Musicka
Ascot 15:00 – Starshiba (Each Way)
York 15:15 – Armory
Ascot 15:35 – Love
Newmarket 15:40 – Gloucestershire
York 17:00 – Reina Del Mar

* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.



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