The weekend approaches and Seymour Biz is rubbing his hands at Saturday’s cards, with plenty for punters to get their teeth stuck into. The Achilles Stakes should turn out to be one of the day’s most absorbing contests and one of Paul Midgley’s charges is picked to take this Listed dash. Here are your Lucky 15 picks. Find all of his UK racing previews in his weekly column: Saturday Horse Racing Tips.
We have three fine meetings to look forward to this Saturday with Beverly, Haydock and Newmarket on ITV. There are nine races on the box with the John Of Gaunt meeting at Haydock being the highlight of the day. The afternoon will be really full of racing with the cameras flitting from one part of the country to another, slightly different from last week where the racing seemed to get lost amongst fashion, celebrities and other bits of dross. Beverly starts the afternoon racing with the first race of the day being shown from there, a very competitive handicap, the first of five handicaps being shown during the afternoon. Haydock has a top class card with a Listed race and a couple of Group races to look forward to. Finally there are two really tricky handicaps at Newmarket to try and solve. So, with all this great racing on offer I have run the rule over the entrants to try and find the best value of the day. Here are my thoughts for this week’s Lucky 15.
Starting at Newmarket with the 2.10, the Bentley Cambridge Handicap, a 7 furlongs race for 3-year-olds. Top weight here is trained by Mark Johnson Blown By Wind, a triple winner as a 2-year-old he has only had one run at three. He was only beaten a head that day last month and can defy top weight here. Flashcard is one I was disappointed with last time out when Andrew Balding’s gelding could finish only sixth at Goodwood behind both Jacks Point and Mr Diamond who reoppose here. He was unable to quicken and weakened in the final furlong and drastic improvement would be needed. Another disappointment was Awe who was eighth at Haydock last time when favourite. He never got going that day and was beaten well before the finish. After John from Mick Channon’s yard won at Pontefract last time but is stepping up in class here. Another stepping up is The Queen’s horse trained by Michael Bell, Regular. This gelding looks very interesting having only been out of the frame once in his six starts, a winner last time at Leicester he can be thereabouts off bottom weight.
The Bernard Sunley Memorial Handicap is at 2.45. This 1m6f Handicap has attracted some classy long distance performers including Saeed Bin Suroor’s Red Galileo who is at the top of the handicap. This 8-year-old has spent a lot of his career in Dubai running in Group races, he won over there two years ago. His latest run was at York finishing seventh, four and a half lengths behind the winner First Eleven. What A Welcome is fancied after his fine run behind King’s Advice at Goodwood last time where he was just touched off by a nose, but he is quite high in the weights. An interesting runner at the bottom of the weights is Lissitzky from Andrew Balding’s yard. A winner on the Rowley course here at Newmarket last time, he is moving up in class but may well run into a place. But my fancy here is Amanda Perrett’s Spirit Ridge who had really good form as a 3-year-old winning two from four. He has had one outing this year running fifth to the smart Baghdad, he looks like he is crying out to step up in trip and looks well suited for this contest.
The Listed race at Haydock is at 3.00, the Betway Achilles Stakes and has as one of the favourites Stake Acclaim. This is a horse that did not run in 2018 but trainer Dean Ivory brought him back with a bang at Newbury in April. He made all that day and romped home by almost three lengths, however he has only ever won in handicap company and given the time he was off the course I am wary of him. Intense Romance has won in Listed company and rattled up a fine treble at the end of last season but all those wins were on soft or heavy going and she won’t find that here. Michael Appleby sends out Danzeno who, after a poor season last year, came out this year and won first time out last week at Nottingham thrashing the opposition by six lengths in a poor contest, this race is a different matter. I side with Paul Midgley’s Tarboosh, a real 5f specialist, who has had a couple of runs already this season. The latest was at Newmarket at the beginning of May in a Group race where he was hampered a furlong out and eased down when his chance was gone. He can build on last season’s victories.
The Betway John Of Gaunt Stakes is at 3.35 and has Sir Dancealot at the head of the betting. He was a winner of the Lennox and Hungerford Stakes last year but the Lockinge at Newbury was too far for him last time. He drops back to 7 furlongs but has some tough challengers. One of which is William Haggas’s Mankib who won three times last season. He has had a prep run here at Haydock going down to Safe Voyage in mid-May when giving the winner 3lbs, they will be on level terms today. However Safe Voyage is a Haydock specialist having won here three times including twice this year when besides Mankib he also had Suedois and Larchmont Lad behind him. Roger Teal sends out Tip Two Win for his first run after wintering in Doha where he won last year, he has won over 7f in Listed company and could well run into a place at a nice price. But I will side with course specialist Safe Voyage to see off Sir Dancealot.
Saturday Lucky 15
2.10 Newmarket. Blown By Wind
2.45 Newmarket. Spirit Ridge
3.00 Haydock. Tarboosh
3.35 Haydock. Safe Voyage