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It’s a super Saturday with racing galore in the UK and Ireland and we’re after one thing… winning horses. Don’t forget the day’s feature is the Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes (15:35) at Doncaster and the ITV cameras are there.
So, we’ve asked our superstar pundits of Matt Chapman, Mick Fitzgerald, Jason Weaver and Ruby Walsh to put their top tips today into a Lucky 15. And thankfully, they’ve obliged us!
Okay, let’s get to the bets…
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Jordan Gainford won on The Shunter at the Festival in March for Emmet Mullins and now teams up with his boss Gordon Elliott, who will be very keen to get winners at this meeting. DEFINITE PLAN is wearing cheekpieces for the first time and this is only his fourth run over fences. With a featherweight on his back over this trip, he has to be of real interest.
The Irish raiders plundered all the handicaps at the Festival and he could provide more of the same. Go Another One is hoping to continue the great run of trainer John McConnell with his UK runners. Cloth Cap needed his first run last year before he went on to win the Ladbroke Gold Cup at Newbury and started among the market leaders for the Aintree Grand National. He now has to defy a career-high rating, but does have the ground conditions in his favour.
Robinnia is two from three over fences, but she’s unlucky not to be three for three. She fell at the last at the Galway Festival, but she was travelling really well before that. She bounced back to win at Listowel in September and she’s going in the right direction. Robinnia’s in good form at home and looks hard to oppose.
MAX VEGA looked very unlucky not to land a massive pot up in the Ebor at York, when continuously denied a clear run in the straight. The ground had gone against him at HQ last time, where it was just too lively as he loves to leave a hoofprint.
The forecast is for very heavy conditions at Newbury, which will suit his style down to the ground. Admittedly, Charlie Appleby’s Siskany will be a tough nut to crack and also has a liking for soft ground. However, it could be extremely soft or heavy ground and he’s unproven on that.
ITV are also at Doncaster for this Group 1 Vertem Futurity for two-year-olds over 1m. Luxembourg might blitz them for Aidan O’Brien but I’m going to back IMPERIAL FIGHTER each-way for Andrew Balding and David Probert, who’s trying to land his first Group 1 success.
The ground might be key to this horse, as he won well on debut with juice at Goodwood. Next time at York my hope was behind Royal Patronage but was staying on well over the 7 furlongs and then he chased home Coroebus at Newmarket. He’s clearly a very strong stayer and will be hard to keep out the frame again.
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