Good action coming from HQ at Newmarket plus good racing from Newbury, we also have action coming from Ripon live on ITV this weekend.
I have picked 5 to thrive and I’m going to start at my local track, Newbury.
Andrew Balding has his team in really good form this season and Masekala was pipped at Newmarket last time in a bunch finish and this 7f trip should be perfect for him. Oisin Murphy normally rides and it’s so interesting that his nearest rival in the Jockeys Championship, William Buick, now gets the leg up!
Seattle King is the one I fear most. This son of Kingman is beautifully bred but still looked very green when winning on raw ability at Salisbury first time up.
I cannot believe that this daughter of Canford Cliffs is no better than a 92-rated filly on the Flat. This 1m 6f trip will be no problem to her as she has already won a bumper over 2m. She will handle the ground and any more rain will be even better. I’m just hoping that we will see what she is capable of in this contest for trainer Pam Sly.
Trainer William Muir has had a very good season and it is unfortunate for him that his stable star Pyledriver misses next week’s engagement at York. However, but he might get compensation with Mitrosonfire in the handicap for grey horses.
I was at Ascot when he won last week and his form has been very solid all season. He is only 1lb higher now and that could prove all important.
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Clive Cox’s Aratus is likely to head the market on the back of a comfortable win at Doncaster last time. There is no doubting his ability, but he was very keen to go faster than the jockey wanted and is a work in progress. He could be a star in the making but this will be a different proposition to his last race. I thought Starsheba ran with the choke out at Ascot last time but some of his form is really decent, especially his second at Goodwood to Perotto, three runs back. A reproduction of that form would see him go very close a solid each-way price.
If you look at the stats, a five-year-old who likes to force the pace has won this contest for the last four years the winner has been drawn high in the last three renewals. Gale Force Maya fits the bill perfectly from stall 18 and she ran well at this track a couple of weeks ago. Trainer Michael Dods has a great record with sprinters and has won this race before with Dakota Gold. She looks a great value bet in an open-looking, tough contest.
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