Saturday’s action looks relatively low-key and plenty of punters will be keeping their powder dry for the big upcoming races at Ascot and Glorious Goodwood. For those of you that fancy a modest weekend flutter, Seymour Biz has picked out 4 horses for your Lucky 15 bet and they include a Dan Skelton inmate that has been mothballed since winning over course and distance in the Spring. Find all previous UK racing previews in his weekly column: Saturday Horse Racing Tips.
A quieter time on the racing front this weekend after the hectic action last week so everyone can get their breath back but still some excellent value to be found as there is a change to the usual mid-summer fare with a change of codes. We have some summer jumping to look forward to this Saturday with two Listed races from Market Rasen on television. The main flat action is from Newbury with four races being shown including a 5 furlong sprint for 2-year-olds and a 10 furlong Listed race to start the action. This is all backed up by a Listed fillies race from Newmarket, so here are my thoughts for the week’s best action.
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Starting at Market Rasen with the Betway Summer Handicap Hurdle at 2.10, we have several horses that have been laid out for this race since the spring. Top weight and top of the betting is Dan Skelton’s Longhouse Sale, a horse that is undefeated since June last year and if this gelding is able to make a leap up in class and take this it would be some training achievement. Wells De Lune from Peter Bowen’s yard won at Cartmel at the end of June and he had several of these behind him, I cannot see any of those improving on that, even though he has risen in the weights. David Pipe has made no secret that Legal History has had this race as his target since he ran second at Perth in May, but he seems high enough in the handicap after his wins earlier in the Spring. Pam Sly’s Frensham is moving up the weights after two wins in April but this looks a step too far. Olly Murphy comes here with a strong hand in Valentino’s Dancer, who won at Perth in June, and St Gallen. The latter won two races in May including over the course and distance and has since been rested in preparation for this and with the assistance of the champion jockey, Richard Johnson, he should be up to mark to take this important contest.
We have chase action at 3.20 with the Betway Summer Plate Handicap Chase over 2m 5f and several trainers have strong hands here. Nicky Henderson currently has three declared at or near the top of the handicap , Pacific De Baune, Theinval and Casablanca Mix. The latter won at Aintree in May but has a 5lb penalty for that and the other pair seem overweighted. Last year’s winner More Bucks comes back to defend his crown but with 5lbs more to carry this time may find that difficult. His trainer Peter Bowen has another weapon in his armoury with Henryville but after his win at Newton Abbot last week he has shot up 10lbs. Dr Richard Newland’s Ronova won twice in June but this is a major step up on a stiffer course. Dan Skelton knows what needs to be done to win here having been successful in 2017 and he can win it again with Gortroe Joe. He won over the course and distance in April in a novice chase and has been put away since with this race in mind, he comes here off a low weight and can take his opportunity here and revisit Market Rasen’s winners enclosure.
At Newbury we have the Marsh Cup Handicap at 2.25 run over 2 miles and a bit. Mark Johnson has top weight with Making Miracles who won the Chester Cup in the mud back in May. He hasn’t found that going since and was even tried in the sand in the Northumberland Plate. Who Dares Wins won that day and I would expect him to confirm those placings but they may have both risen too much in the handicap to win this. Proschema was third at Newcastle and Tom Dascombe sends him here, however he usually finds one or two too good and that may be the case again. The Grand Visir comes here on the back of his fine win at Royal Ascot but he was behind Proschema prior to that and is near the top of the weights. Carnwennan won the consolation race at Newcastle on Northumberland Plate day giving him a hat-trick for trainer Charlie Fellowes. His prior win at York was particularly satisfying and although he is up in the weights he has the making of a fine Cup horse and is the selection here.
At 3.40 it’s the Weatherbys Super Sprint Stakes, a 5 furlong sprint for 2-year-olds. These races are notoriously difficult to predict as can be seen by the prices of past winners, but here we have a very short-priced favourite in Ventura Rebel. Richard Fahey sends his top-class colt here after his fine second in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot, he had won twice previously at Ascot and Thirsk so the form cannot be denied but I think there are some improvers in the field. Emten was a big priced fifth in the Norfolk however she was never nearer than at the finish when going past beaten horses. Fahey has another fancy here with Mighty Spirit but she has yet to get her head in front and was well beaten when going off at odds-on at Beverley last time out. Never In Paris is from Kevin Burke’s stable and won her only race to date at Nottingham. Burke said “She did the job very well and will definitely improve”. She may progress into a 6 furlong horse in the future but the stiff five here at Newbury should suit her well.
Saturday Lucky 15
2.10 Market Rasen. St Gallen
3.20 Market Rasen. Gortroe Joe
2.25 Newbury. Carnwennan
3.40 Newbury. Never In Paris