The UK flat season is now well underway and there’s terrific televised action to look forward to in the South of England. Seymour Biz provides his Lucky 15 selections and fancies a Paco Boy-sired gelding to get it right at the second time of asking. Find all of his UK racing previews in his weekly column: Saturday Horse Racing Tips.
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A great days racing in prospect for Saturday with some fine meetings up and down the country both on the flat and over the sticks. The ITV cameras are at Newbury and Newmarket covering seven races. The Lockinge meeting at Newbury is one of my favourite days out of the year, it has a great mixture of races with a Conditions Stakes for 2-year-olds, a Listed sprint, a top class 10f Handicap and the Lockinge itself. TV is backing this meeting up with three fine races from HQ, one of which is the Charles II Stakes. So there is plenty for me to get my teeth into and I have looked for value among the cards and here are my thoughts below along with my fancies for this week’s Lucky 15.
Beginning at Newbury with the Shalaa Carnarfon Stakes which is a Listed race over 6f for 3-year-olds, we have some interesting individuals involved. Current favourite is Moyasser from Richard Hannon’s stable who won last time. That was at Newmarket earlier this month where the colt ran much better than he had run in his previous outing at the same course. I am not sure he can be trusted due to his in and out form. Sunsprite has good form as a 2-year-old winning three times, trainer Richard Hughes sends him out for his first run of the season in this Listed race which may be a big step up in class for him. Red Impession has great form on the all-weather with a couple of wins last year but this is his first run on turf for Roger Charlton and he is best watched. My fancy here is from Charles Hills yard who is also having his first run of the season, Khaadem, who finished off last season winning a classy contest at Doncaster in September. He can improve on that and take this top class race.
At 3.00 is the Al Zubarah London Gold Cup Handicap, a contest which is always targeted by all the top trainers. Roger Charlton’s Headman is up at the top of the handicap, he has had a prep run on the course last month but his best form is on the all-weather. John Gosden sends out Forest Of Dean, a colt who has already won twice this year, latterly at Doncaster where he stayed on strongly winning by over three lengths. Solid Stone is highly fancied and it’s not difficult to see why after finishing last season with a win on the all-weather. Sir Michael Stoute then sent him to Newmarket last month where he stayed on under pressure to beat War Tiger, he steps up in class a little and is favourite for this. But William Haggas has Sinjaari in the mix who won his maiden at Windsor three weeks ago, this is a big step for him to move into handicap company but he shown this year that he is capable of taking a contest of this nature.
The big race of the day is at 3.40, the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes. The bookies favourite here is Aidan O’Brien’s Le Brivido formerly trained by Andre Fabre. He won the Jersey Stakes under the French maestro but has had an interrupted career since. He had a return to racing last month at Naas where he reared in the stalls and was slowly away. He eventually managed to finish third after staying on over the last 100 yards, but this Group 1 needs him to run better than that against this opposition. Romanised won the Irish 2000 Gns last year but has not shown any of that form in his races since. Karl Burke sends out quintuple Group 1 winner Laurens and she must be respected. He says this race has long been her target and he is very excited to see her out. She is very highly rated and I do fancy her but, and there’s always a but, I have my eye on Beat The Bank. Trainer Andrew Balding fancied him for this last year but he ran no sort of race, this time around he has had a prep race and won that at Sandown. He is something special and that win in the Sandown Mile should well set him up for this.
Over at Newmarket at 3.15 we have the Betway Handicap over 6f. Moraawed from Roger Varian’s yard is the bookies choice after he won last month at Doncaster beating Dazzling Dan by a head in a tight finish. Pam Sly’s Gelding is 2lb better off here and that may be enough to reverse those placings as after the pair finished clear of the rest of the field. Yousini had a good start to the new season when running second to Top Breeze, he will come on for that run. The other horse I like the look of here is William Haggas’s Luxor, a dual winner at the end of last season he will surely continue to be successful this year. But as this is his first run of the current campaign I feel I must side with Dazzling Dan to take this handicap.
Saturday Lucky 15
1.50 Newbury. Khaadem
3.00 Newbury. Sinjaari
3.40 Newbury. Beat The Bank
3.15 Newmarket. Dazzling Dan