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ITV coverage Saturday starts with this Listed event for youngsters over 7 furlongs. MASEKELA is going to be very hard to beat although is not unbeatable. Trained by Andrew Balding, you may remember Masekela was put up by Oisin Murphy as his banker of Royal Ascot.
He couldn’t get the job done there, but has proved Murphy right since – finishing second to the talented Native Trail in the Superlative at Newmarket. That form might well be good enough to beat some decent potential here and William Buick takes the ride.
ITV coverage at Newmarket starts with this fillies’ handicap over 1m 6f. The fascinating runner here is top bumper performer EILEENDOVER. It’s impossible to know whether she has much chance at all off a mark of 92, but connections are now on the Flat as they have decided she won’t get home over Jumps. Pam Sly trains with Shane Kelly up, and he second to Yesyes at Newmarket looks quite decent.
Now the Group 3 Geoffrey Freer over an extended 1m 5f and it’s very hard to oppose the talented HUKUM for Jim Crowley and Owen Burrows. The Shadwell inmate hasn’t always impressed me, but he came of age on his last start when being impressive in the John Smith’s Silver Cup at York, defeating Outbox and Fujaira Prince in style. Conditions here are ideal for a big run.
Handicap company once again over 6 furlongs and this for grey horses only. BRIAN THE SNAIL has raced 52 times and only once at Newmarket where he finished last of 19. That said, he’s a dangerously well handicapped horse at the moment having been dropped to 79 and once been up to 102. He’s not the force of old, but he ran well at Chester a few runs ago off 85 and could well sneak into the frame at the very least.
This is a handicap this time over 7 furlongs and Aratus could be chucked in here, but I will have a few quid each-way on AJYAALL for William Haggas and Tom Marquand. The lightly raced Kingman offspring was beaten off this mark at York last time, but he still ran well when fifth in a big field and the slight drop in trip might be in his favour. If Aratus does not come up to scratch, there is every chance we will get a huge run.
A consolation race here for the main event the Great St Wilfrid Handicap over 6 furlongs and this is tough. TRUE MASON is a very well handicapped horse. He’s been up to 109 in his career, but can now race off 75 and could easily go close for Callum Rodriguez and Phillip Makin. Just a few runs ago he was unlucky in running at this track when a close fifth of 10. I’ll have a few quid on each-way.
Newbury coverage on ITV ends with the Group 2 Hungerford over 7 furlongs. MOTAKHAYYEL does not always run the same race twice, but this distance is ideal and the track should be perfect. Two runs ago, the Richard Hannon-trained inmate was terrific in the Bunbury Cup at Newmarket. He wasn’t disgraced at Ascot last time when sixth behind Danyah in a heritage handicap and, with a mark of 117, has every chance.
Now the main event, the Great St Wilfrid Handicap over 6 furlongs. Defending champion STAXTON might well go in again for Tim Easterby and Duran Fentiman. He won this in 2020 in good style off a mark of 88 and is just 3lb higher here on 91 having been up to 95. That gives him every chance at a track he runs so well, and he wasn’t disgraced behind Mr Wagyu last time at Goodwood. He has strong each-way claims in this.
So best of luck and pray for Yeeehaaas. You hear me Paddy?
13:45 Newbury – Masekela
14:00 Newmarket – Eileendover
14:20 Newbury – Hukum
14:35 Newmarket – Brian The Snail
14:55 Newbury – Ajyaall
15:10 Ripon – True Mason
15:30 Newbury – Motakhayyel
15:45 Ripon – Staxton
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