Drag the television into the garden shed and warn loved ones that you are not to be disturbed, on Saturday, as there’s a feast of live action to get your teeth into! Seymour Biz looks forward to a fantastic day of equine entertainment and provides you with tips for a Lucky 15 combo bet. Find all previous UK racing previews in his weekly column: Saturday Horse Racing Tips.
We are blessed with an extravagance of riches this weekend with no fewer than ten live races on the ITV this Saturday. The main card is the final day of Newmarket’s July Cup meeting, where the 3-year-olds meet their elder counterparts in the big race. Backing that up we have the fine spectacle of the Bunbury Cup as part of the undercard, which is probably the best 7 furlong handicap of the season. York stages the John Smith’s Handicap for middle distance horses as part of its excellent four race TV offering, while the whole afternoon is completed by a couple of contests at Ascot which includes a 5 furlong sprint handicap. Added to these televised offerings there are afternoon meetings at Chester and over-the-sticks at Newton Abbot along with evening cards at Hamilton and Salisbury which means practically the whole country is covered. So if you fancy an enjoyable day out it should mean you won’t have a million miles to travel, so make the most of our wonderful summer and get along to experience live racing if you can. If you can’t I have picked out four of the top televised races that offer the best value and here are my thoughts for this week’s Lucky 15.
Starting with the 1.45 at Ascot, the Betfred Heritage Handicap we have a great turnout of handicap sprinters. At the top of the betting is Clive Cox’s ‘Tis Marvellous on the back of his fine second in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot. Cox obviously thinks he likes the course as he brings him back here to run over the distance he won over last August but that was his only win over the last three years, he does seem to have difficulty getting his head in front. Fool For You won last time on the all-weather at Newcastle beating Eeh Bah Gum, Line Of Reason and Blue Vega. You would expect to confirm those placings but the sand of Newcastle is not the lush grass of Ascot. David O’Meara’s Watchable has had a fine season to date and led briefly in the Wokingham before running out of steam, he is dropping back in trip after that effort but is meeting some speedsters here. Another Richard Fahey horse coming back to form is Growl but he is a 6f specialist and is another who may struggle in this company. Tim Easterby’s Eeh Bah Gum was not suited by the surface at Newcastle last time, he is a 5f specialist having won five times over that distance last season. He has been reasonably lightly raced this year and as he is down in the handicap he can break his duck for the season here.
York hosts the John Smith’s Diamond Jubilee Cup at 3.50 over 1m 2f. Top of the handicap is Afaak from Charlie Hills stable, a winner last time at Royal Ascot in the Royal Hunt Cup but he is saddled with a 5lb penalty for that fine win. John Gosden sends Stylehunter who was fourth behind Afaak that day at Ascot, he didn’t get a clear run there on only his second run of the season and he is a consistent sort. Mountain Angel is the bookies favourite after his two Epsom victories earlier in the season but he was found out next time in the Wolferton at Ascot, he reverts to handicap company but is high in the weights. Andrew Balding’s Pivoine has had a poor season to date but is a previous course and distance winner and may well run into a place but it’s Stylehunter for me.
Moving south to Headquarters, Newmarket hosts the bet365 Banbury Cup at 3.30. Kynren is the bookies favourite and so he should be! He has not won in ten outings and has helped to fill their satchels over the last couple of seasons, it’s not as if he isn’t a trier he has come close on several occasions but never quite gets his head in front. I just cannot see this race being any different. William Haggas runs Solar Gold who is another who is there or thereabouts after his Bath win last September, I don’t think he is good enough for this. Ambassadorial from Jane Chappell-Hyam’s yard will be popular given current events but he did win last time out on the all-weather at Chelmsford, that form may not be enough to take this. I will side with Roger Varian’s Spanish City who is another horse who has been knocking on the door this season. He won over 7f at Doncaster last June and has run only three times this year being placed twice here at Newmarket. Varian’s patience can be well rewarded this time.
So we come to the big race of the day with the Darley July Cup Stakes at 4.40. Here we have a race where the the 3-year-olds meet their elder counterparts and the juniors have a pretty good record recently winning three of the last four. At the head of the betting is Martyn Meade’s Advertise on the back of his great victory in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot. He was one of my Twelve To Follow at the start of the season and after Meade dropped him back in distance he has been a revelation. He stayed on strongly at Ascot winning by a length and half and can run well again against his elders especially with Dettori again on his back. But the strength of the other contestants cannot be understated such as Sir Michael Stoute’s Dream Of Dreams who was just beaten by Blue Point in the Diamond Jubilee at Ascot, he is sure to run Advertise close and looks the best of the older contenders. Cape Byron won the Wokingham at Ascot but he is essentially a handicapper and is stepping up in class here. Limato is a previous winner of this race but 6f seems a bit on the sharp side for him now. As for the other horses from the junior ranks Aidan O’Brien has two entries – Ten Sovereigns and Fairyland, the former was fourth in the Commonwealth Cup and is another who is dropping back in trip after flopping in the Guineas. Fairyland has been running in all sorts of distances from 5f to 1m without success but she won four times over 6f as a 2-year-old, she looks the biggest danger to Advertise from the junior ranks however I take Meade’s colt to prevail.
Saturday Lucky 15
1.45 Ascot. Eeh Bah Gum
3.50 York. Stylehunter
3.30 Newmarket. Spanish City
4.40 Newmarket. Advertise