Saturday Horse Racing Preview & Tips – 18th August – Reach High To Rule, At Ripon

A Saeed Bin Suroor horse has what it takes to land this year’s Great St Wilfrid Handicap, according to Seymour Biz. Here are his Lucky 15 picks, for Saturday.

We have three meetings on television this weekend but most of it is pretty mediocre fayre as the trainers are keeping their powder dry in preparation for the Ebor meeting at York next week. Newbury has a decent meeting with the Geoffrey Freer and Washington Singer Stakes, now called the Derford Stakes, and I fancy Hamada annd Boitron respectively. Whilst Ripon has their big day of the year with the Great St Wilfred Handicap. The cameras are also at Newmarket for an ordinary summer meeting, so looking for value is pretty difficult. However I have looked through the cards and there is some to be found so here are my thoughts for Saturday’s Lucky Fifteen.

Starting with Newmarket it’s the Randox Health Handicap at 2.45 with Buffer Zone as the possible favourite. This horse did not perform well on his handicap debut at Windsor in June,finishing only third in a 6 runner contest. He failed to pick up in the final furlong after being well backed in the ring, his best form has been shown in novice/maidens and this is a big step up for him. Roundhay Park was only beaten a neck at Ascot last week in the Shergar Cup, but I don’t put too much store by that contest. Previously he ran a good third to Foxtrot Lady here at Newmarket in July, when drawn highest of 20. He has won twice this season, at Ripon on both occasions. Jawwaal is a horse I’ve liked the look of this season, after two victories in May, John Gosden’s charge was expected to have a good summer in front of him. But after a poor run at York he came back here to Newmarket in Foxtrot Lady’s race and had to switch inside the final furlong, coming home a close up seventh, he is expected to go closer this time. Another with chances is Staxton, he won a small four runner contest here last month, holding on by a neck, Stormbringer was last that day giving away a lot of weight. Spoof has not been seen since running poorly in a listed contest in June after previously winning at Chester, if Charles Hills has him fit he can go well and be placed at a nice price. Weighing up the contenders, I look to Jawwaal to take this at a nice price.

Moving on to Newbury at 3.00 we have the Ladies Day Handicap over the straight 7 furlongs. Mystic Flight is currently the bookies choice for this. Roger Varian’s charge comes here on the back of two victories and a second last time on the all-weather at Chelmsford, the gelding would need to improve substantially to take this. Last years winner Squats has not won since and could go well now he has dropped down the handicap, some cut in the ground would also be appreciated. Second to him last year was Clive Cox’s Graphite Storm, but he has had a poor season since being gelded in the winter. It would be a major surprise were he to figure this year. Sea Fox is trying for a hat trick after good victories at Lingfield and Newmarket however he has moved up the handicap and 9st 10lbs may be too much for him to saddle. Breanski is another on a treble and last months fine win at Newcastle could set him up for this. He is well weighted and trainer Jedd O’Keefe hold this horse in high regard. But the trainer I am looking at to take this contest is Nigel Tinkler with Normandy Barriere. The 6-year-old has been running well this season without getting his nose in front, his half a length second to Dalton at Redcar last week was a good performance and he can build on that. An outsider at a big price with a chance is Charles Molson who was second in this last year, his latest run was at Royal Ascot where he was with the leader only fading into eighth over the last 150 yards, he can run into a place.

The Ladyswood Stud Hungerford Stakes at 3.35 at Newbury looks a good betting opportunity. David Elsworth sends Sir Dancealot, a horse who has had a tremendous season so far with three victories. The latest was in the Lennox Stakes at Goodwood last month where several of the opponents he will meet here were left toiling in his wake. After running over 6 furlongs earlier in the season and coming up against Harry Angel and Brando, he has moved up to seven and that seems to be his forte. Elsworth considers him a Group 1 horse and he will need to take this to fulfill his trainers high hopes. Librisa Breeze is a Group 1 winner having won at Ascot last autumn, the grey seemed to get run off her feet last time at Deauville having to come from the rear. If he stays up with the pace he must have a chance especially with some cut in the ground. Aidan O’Brien sends Gustav Klimt, a highly tried individual who has been unable to get his head in front since winning at Leopardstown in April. Last time at Goodwood he had to switch but kept on and was only 2 lengths behind Lightning Spear. Further down the betting those with a chance of a place include Dream Of Dreams and Emmaus. Dream Of Dreams did not get a clear run last time behind Yafta but was running on well at the finish, the extra furlong here will help. Emmaus was only beaten 3 and 3/4 lengths behind the selection. If kept closer to the pace he can run into a place.

The big betting race of the day is at Ripon. The William Hill Great St Wilfrid Handicap is at 3.15 and will have it’s usual 20 runners. Saeed Bin Suroor has Top Score as one of the contenders but he is at the top of the handicap and seems to find one to good in his races at the moment. Another who is quite high in the weights is Spring Loaded also he finished lame last time at Goodwood behind Gifted Master so is best watched. Third that day was Growl who ran on strongly, he has had problems getting his nose in front over the last couple of seasons however Richard Fahey is rumoured to fancy the gelding’s chances. Another of Fahey’s is Kimberella, a classy individual who won a listed race at Chester last time. But these days he is more suited by small fields than the hustle and bustle of a cavalry charge like this. Flying Pursuit had a great victory at York last time, he had several of these behind him that day including Growl and Golden Apollo, but will carry 3lbs more here. Ruth Carr’s Pipers Note won here last week and will be looking for a quick follow up but this is a big step up in class for the course specialist and as an 8 year old is getting a bit long in the tooth. My preference is for Reach High from Saeed Bin Suroor’s stable, a good second last time when just touched off over the last 50 yards. The drop back in trip to 6 furlongs should suit this lightly raced gelding and he has every chance.

Saturday Lucky 15
2.45 Newmarket. Jawwaal
3.00 Newbury. Normandy Barriere
3.35 Newbury. Sir Dancealot
3.15 Ripon. Reach High


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