Find all previous Seymour Biz racing previews in his weekly column: Saturday Horse Racing Tips
After a wonderful Royal Ascot with some great coverage by ITV, with a couple of exceptions, (why were they showing some bloke making Scotch Eggs?) it’s a return to some more mundane fare this weekend. That said, although we may not have the class of horse at the two televised meetings on Saturday we certainly will have some highly contested races on offer. There are three races from Newmarket starting with a hot handicap, then a Group 3 and lastly a Listed race. All look very competitive and I’ve tried to find the best value from them for part of this week’s Lucky Fifteen. Up at Newcastle it’s their big day of the year – Northumberland Plate day – also known as the Pitman’s Derby which is now run on their Tapeta surface. The Tapeta was extremely unpopular at first with the public but I think they are starting to warm to it especially as the very best trainers are sending their top horses to Gosforth Park, think Enable and Stradivarius from John Gosden’s yard for starters. ITV are covering three other races there besides the Plate and they are two sprints and a Fillie’s race. The sprints consist of a handicap and the Chipchase Stakes where the young horses get to take on their older rivals, 4-year-olds have a great record in this. It looks a very tricky card but I am sure there some decent priced winners to be found to round off this week’s Lucky Fifteen. Here are my thoughts for the best value on the day.
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The first televised race is at Newcastle, the Betfair Backs Racing Welfare Chipchase Stakes at 1.50. This 6 furlong encounter has attracted some top class sprinters onto the all-weather at Gosforth Park and likely favourite is Kevin Ryan’s Brando, but he ran disappointingly first time out at Newmarket earlier in the month. Ryan’s comment on him is that he’s trying him on the all-weather and wants to get another run into him says it all for me. The same trainer also has Major Jumbo in the lineup and he has more of a chance after running third at Newmarket on his first outing of the season two weeks ago. Ryan said the ground was too quick for him that day, I am not sure he will handle the surface here. A place in front of him that day was Julie Camacho’s Judicial, a horse who has been steadily moving up the rankings. He was a winner on the a/w at Lingfield last November in a Listed race and his run in the Palace House was an excellent seasonal debut. High in the betting is Mubakker from Sir Michael Stoute’s yard who won easily here at the start of the month, but this step up in class may find him out against top class opposition.
At 2.25 we have the Betfair Free Bet Streak Gosforth Park Cup. The clue here is in the title, blink and you’ll miss it, this 5 furlong dash will be over in seconds. Once again Kevin Ryan has the favourite here with Magical Spirit who impressed with his first run of the season when winning at Beverley last week. He is a course winner over 6f but his rise in the weights after the Beverley win may anchor him. Phillip Makin sends out Lahore, his Doncaster winner from last week for a quick double and although his all-weather form is poor I feel this type of surface may suit him. In sixth place behind Lahore at Doncaster was Caspian Prince and although Michael Appleby’s sprinter is getting a bit long in the tooth he still has a lot to offer. As a front runner the others have to pass him and he has won here over this distance but that was two years ago and the best he can hope for is a place. Copper Knight has top weight and he is a course and distance winner but the weight is a worry for Tim Easterby’s five furlong specialist and I feel he may need to drop down the handicap a little before he gets his head in front again. I will side with Lahore to win again and Caspian Prince to be placed at a nice price.
The big race of the day is at 3.35, the Betfair Northumberland Plate Handicap. Top weight is the 2018 Chester Cup winner, Magic Circle, he has been highly tried since but has not been out for a year and is best watched here. Moving to the bottom of the handicap we have Australis trained by Roger Varian, he won at Wolverhampton just over two weeks ago but that was a low grade handicap and the best he can hope for is a place. Carnwennan is fancied on the back of his two seconds already this season for trainer Charlie Fellowes , he also won the consolation race for this contest last year but has just been unable to get his head in front since. Alan King has Rainbow Dreamer in the lineup and he ran up a quick treble earlier in the year before the virus struck and his return to action here in the Sagaro Stakes three weeks ago when he ran fourth must have pleased his trainer. Just a neck behind him that day was Kings Advice and he represents much better value. Mark Johnson’s charge ran second last week at Doncaster and has shown sufficient improvement to take this hot handicap at a nice price. Looking for a lively outsider I like Hugo Palmer’s Collide who ran seventh behind Fujairah Prince at Royal Ascot, he can improve on that to take a place here at good odds.
Moving south to Newmarket and we have a really hot Group race over 7f at 2.40. The Betway Criterion Stakes is a really competitive Group 3 with several of these returning from racing in the Middle East. One of which is Sir Dancealot who did not accredit himself very well for trainer David Elsworth while out there, finishing 11th of 14. Charlie Appleby’s Mubtasim was second in that race and won here at Newmarket last April but this is a major step up in class on that contest. His stablemate On The Warpath also wintered out there and ran fourth at Meydan in February, his first run since winning here at Newmarket since the previous May. Vale Of Kent ran fourth in the Hunt Cup last week for trainer Mark Johnston but this trip may be a little on the sharp side for him now. Instead I look to a dual Group 1 winner amongst the runners and that is Henry Candy’s top class 6 and 7 furlong specialist Limato. Although now an 8-year-old he can prove too good for the opposition here and with four of his last five victories coming at Newmarket he can take this with his first run of the season.
Saturday Lucky Fifteen
- 1.50 Newcastle. Judicial
- 2.25 Newcastle. Lahore
- 3.35 Newcastle. King’s Advice
- 2.40 Newmarket. Limato