Seymour Biz returns from a well-deserved summer break. He’s selected 4 horses for your Saturday Lucky 15, including a very useful Mark Johnston inmate.
The television cameras are traveling the length and breadth of the country to try and bring us some exciting fare this Saturday prior to Royal Ascot next week. We have a decent handicap round the turns of the Roodee, then at Sandown a cracking mile handicap to supplement the Scurry Stakes. Up at York the Queen Mother’s Cup is backed up by 6f and 7f handicaps along with the Listed Grand Cup over 1m 6f. Jockey placements might tell a few tales come the day, but meanwhile I will look at the four handicaps and pick out the likely candidates for a Lucky Fifteen.
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The 2.40 at Chester is the City Of London Handicap, a Class 2 affair. The turns of this unique course can throw a lot of horses out of their stride so it is worth looking at one who has handled it in the past. Mark Johnston has a very strong hand here and one of his top class middle distance performers is engaged. Austrian School won here at the May meeting, he made progress six furlongs out, was pushed along and despite not having a clear run, got his head in front and stayed on. This victory marked him out as a brave challenger and perhaps the wide open spaces of Doncaster did not suit him next time where he ran fourth. His other turf victories have come on tighter tracks, Pontefract and Ripon, so he may be well suited by bringing him back here. Istanbul Sultan heads the market, he was a beaten last time when favourite at Wetherby and was found to be one-paced. He won’t be suited by this course. Neverbeen To Paris looks interesting, Michael Bell’s charge has had three runs since mid May. He won first time out this year at Beverley but in his last race the jockey reported he hung left, that would be ideal here, he could go well at a big price.
At Sandown at 3.15 is the Randox Health Handicap over a mile. Top weight here is Saeed Bin Suroor’s Silver Line who has not visited the winners enclosure since he was a two year old. But he has been very highly tried at Meydan and could be anything. Roger Varian has Daira Prince declared and his victory at Nottingham last time was an excellent performance. He was gelded during the winter and that could have contributed to his performance, however he has a 6lb penalty for that win which could have put paid to his chances. Chiefofchiefs heads the market after his win over Mountain Angel and Mandarin, who both oppose him here, I somehow cannot see them reversing the form. The one I like is much lower down the handicap, Vale Of Kent has won three times on the all-weather this year and ran well at Goodwood at the end of May only being overhauled in the dying strides. He can go well here and break his maiden on turf.
Up at York at 2.25 there looks to be a big field for the JCB Handicap over 7 furlongs. Several of the contenders were in action at Goodwood at the beginning of May in a race won by Taurean Star, Medahim was fourth that day but the jockey said he did not get a clear run. There were several others who made similar claims that day including Squats, Masham Star and Right Action. Out of these Masham Star was disputing third 2f out and after he was hampered he dropped right back in the field finishing 14th. He has run better since, being placed at Epsom and Ayr and if he can carry that form on he has a chance at a big price. Spanish City won well last time at Doncaster at the beginning of June fighting out a driving finish but the rise in the weights may be too much for him. Michael Dods’ Get Knotted is looking for his first win of this campaign and beat several of these at this course three weeks ago but ran into Gilgamesh, he may find another couple too good again today.
The 3.35 is a 6f Sprint, the Pavers Foundation Catherine Memorial Sprint Handicap, with any amount of horses in with a chance here I must look at the head of the betting and Foxtrot Lady. Andrew Balding’s charge has every chance of running up a swift hat-trick after victories at Chester and and Carlisle, she has run on well on both occasions but has incurred the stewards wrath and her jockey has received bans each time. She has also incurred a 7lb rise in the weights but has the talent to overcome that. Beshaayir missed the break at Musselburgh last time but was still only beaten just over 4 lengths however the filly can’t afford to do that here. Savalas has run up a hat-trick, the latest leg at Hamilton, however this is a much tougher prospect and I cannot see him adding to his tally. One who could is Jawwaal who won on the all weather at Kempton last month, John Gosden must think something of him to declare him here, he could go well at a big price.
Saturday Lucky 15
2.40 Chester. Austrian School
3.15 Sandown. Vale Of Kent
2.25 York. Masham Star
3.35 York. Foxtrot Lady
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