Saturday Horse Racing Preview & Tips –3rd July– Seymour Biz

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Two fine meetings to look forward to this week with some exciting racing on offer from Haydock Park and Sandown Park. There are three races being televised from the Merseyside course, including the Lancashire Oaks and the old Newton Cup while from the Esher track they are showing four races, including the Coral-Eclipse.

Although there are only four runners declared for this prestigious Group 1, it looks to be an exciting contest as this year’s crop of three-year-olds meets the older horses for the first time over a middle distance. St Mark’s Basilica has won over £1m already this season racing in France, Addeybb has career earnings of almost £3.5m, but these pale into insignificance when compared with the enormous riches won by Mishriff with £9.5m won in two races in the Middle East this year alone.

So I look forward to seeing how John Gosden’s charge gets on here but I can’t help thinking that Addeybb may have the beating of them all. Meanwhile, here are my thoughts on the best value for this week’s Lucky Fifteen.

Saturday Lucky Fifteen
1.50 Sandown. Lazuli
2.25 Sandown. Marie’s Diamond
2.05 Haydock. Kondo Isami
3.15 Haydock. Longsider
Bet this lucky 15 now on Bet365

Beginning at Sandown with the 1.50, the Coral Charge, which is a Group 3 race over 5 furlongs, Robert Cowell’s Arecibo looks the bookie’s choice and is likely to go off favourite. He has been a revelation since joining his new yard at the beginning of this season with two wins at Newmarket but I’m not sure he will be suited by the Esher track.

Ed Walker is uncertain about Came From The Dark’s chances after he was drawn wide. He is a notorious slow starter and he may struggle to be up with the pacesetters.

Keep Busy from John Quinn’s yard has his supporters but he never got going at Royal Ascot. However, he came out a week later and won at Ayr in Listed company, this is a step up.

Atalis Bay for Marco Botticelli beat very little last time here at Sandown but may well be placed at a decent price. For me, the one to beat is Charlie Appleby’s Lazuli who returned from the Middle East to win at Newmarket in May. He is proven in this class and also was a course and distance winner last year, he has the credentials to take this.

At 2.25, we have the Coral Challenge, a handicap run over a mile. This is a very competitive contest and the current favourite and top weight is William Haggas’s Montatham who was a course and distance winner last July. He has a fine season last year but has been lightly raced this time around and has not been seen since running third at Doncaster last March. I think he is best watched. He did have Trais Fleurs and Beat Le Bon behind him that day and he should confirm those placings.

The Gosden’s Magical Morning could manage only eighth in the Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot where he found himself outpaced.

Hugo Palmer’s Acquitted has been a disappointment since his two-year-old days and could only manage second on the all-weather at Chelmsford a fortnight ago in what was a poor contest.

A Listed race winner from last year is Mark Johnson’s Marie’s Diamond and although he hasn’t won since then, he has been running in some highly rated company in Group races. He drops into handicaps and seems leniently treated here.

Moving north to Haydock and at 2.05 we have the bet365 Handicap for the 3-year-olds run over 1m 6f. William Haggas has the favourite here with Dhushan who has shown excellent form this year, including a win here at Haydock in April. Since then the grey has won at Musselburgh but he has risen in the weights by 7lbs.

Sir Mark Prescott loves to win here at Haydock and he runs bottom-weight Summer’s Knight who has won his last two. However, they were only Class 5 contests and he would have to show substantial improvement to feature here.

David Barron’s Contact steps up to this distance after winning easily at Pontefract over 1m 4f earlier this month. I think he is good enough to figure in the finish and he should be placed if reproducing that form.

Mark Johnston has a really strong hand here with Harlem Soul and Kondo Isami. The former was a winner at Ripon earlier this month but it’s Kondo Isami that interests me most. He ran no sort of race at Royal Ascot recently and was given an easy time when beaten. He won at York in May then was an unlucky second at Doncaster at the beginning of June so I’m willing to overlook the Ascot run and tip him to give Johnson his third win in the last four runs of this contest.

One of the highlights of the Haydock season is the bet365 Old Newton Cup Handicap and this year is no exception. There is a full complement of 17 runners along with two reserves for this one and a half mile handicap and William Haggas’s Pablo Escobarr heads the weights owing to his fine runs in Group and Listed races. He last won at Goodwood last July and this looks to be a stepping stone on his way there again but he is having to give lumps of weight to these experienced handicappers.

Alan King’s Scarlet Dragon has not won since last year’s Royal Ascot and has only shown glimpses of that form since. He needs to drop down the handicap.

My Frankel represents Sir Michael Stoute and after winning on the A/W at Kempton in April he went to York and ran poorly the following month.

The Gosden’s run Grand Bazaar who looks more of a Newmarket specialist and he ran a good third there in early May. The winner of that race was Mark Johnston’s Zabeel Champion who was not disgraced when finishing third at Royal Ascot when bidding for a four-timer.

I am looking further down the handicap to Sir Mark Prescott’s Longsider. He was due to run in the Northumberland Plate last week but was withdrawn due to a setback, that connections consider he is over that is good news. The drop back in distance is a concern but he won on the A/W at Lingfield over this distance so he should be fine and I don’t consider the surface to be a problem for this lightly raced gelding

Saturday Lucky Fifteen
1.50 Sandown. Lazuli
2.25 Sandown. Marie’s Diamond
2.05 Haydock. Kondo Isami
3.15 Haydock. Longsider
Bet this lucky 15 now on Bet365

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