Saturday Horse Racing Preview & Tips – 8th September – Reverend Jacobs Has More Than A Prayer

Seymour Biz fancies William Haggas’ inmate to bless those that back him at Haydock, on Saturday. He provides 4 great selections, for your weekend Lucky 15 bet.

Three exciting meetings the weekend with some of the best horses in training involved. At Kempton the Arc winner Enable is surely going to show a clean pair of heels to her rivals in the September Stakes, her fillies allowance means Crystal Ocean has to give her 8lbs and as good as he is, he ain’t that good. The only concern is that it’s her first run of the year and how she handles the poly track. Frankie Dettori will be on her for this reappearance and the big question is will he jump on a plane, a mode of transport he hates after his brush with death, to get to Haydock to ride James Garfield in the Sprint Cup. I, personally, don’t think he will, John Gosden has three further runners at Kempton after Enable’s race and he will be claimed for them, so giving the Italian an excuse not to head north. The horse he is due to ride has little chance against Harry Angel anyway. Harry Angel is reportedly over his horrific experience at Ascot, a course where he never runs well and can reprise his win in this race last year. The biggest danger is Sir Dancealot who has been supplemented for this after winning the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury, but Harry Angel thumped him at York in May and he is a better horse over 7 furlongs anyway. The Unibet Mile sees the return to the course of Unforgettable Filly and she can follow up her August victory for Hugo Palmer. But for value this week I have looked at two handicaps at each of Ascot and Haydock, all of which are televised.

I will start with the 2.45 at Ascot, the Cunard Handicap where Gilgamesh is the bookies favourite. George Scott’s charge won back in May but has hardly set the world on fire since, he has been tried on the all-weather and does not look good enough to take this. Cape Byron is another at the top of the betting whose form this season does not justify it, however his run last time was his best performance of the year when second behind Flaming Spear at Goodwood. Breanski has run up a hat-trick of wins however this is a big step up in class for Jedd O’Keeffe’s gelding. Spanish City has been running well all season with wins at Newcastle and Doncaster, his dead-heat for second behind Burnt Sugar on his penultimate start was an excellent performance. But on his latest run he was well beaten into sixth by that same animal, furthermore in front of him that day in third was Ripp Orf and I think he is the answer to this contest. He is a course and distance winner and always seems to go well at Ascot. In his latest run at Newmarket he lost 5 lengths at the start so can be forgiven that run, he ran on well after his bad start getting to within 3 1/2 lengths and David Elsworth’s charge is my choice. Oh This Is Us won at Chester last week but is saddled with top weight here and that may be too much for Richard Hannon’s horse.

The Lavazza Stakes is at 3.55 over a mile and a half, and there are some top class entries for this heritage handicap for 3-year-olds. At the top of the betting is Sir Michael Stoute’s Midi, he is two from two this season in preparation for this big prize. Berkshire Royal has only once been out of the first two in seven starts this year with three wins under his belt, but he has been second in his last two contests and may have to settle for that again. Ghostwatch is near the top of the handicap and Charlie Appleby’s charge had a fine win at York last time out where he kept on gamely. I think perhaps he may be facing some higher rated performers here than he did that day. Appleby also has Winds Of Fire declared here and although he has shown good form, this is a step up in class. Down at the bottom of the handicap Soto Sizzler from William Knight’s stable also had a fine victory last time out. That was at the beginning of August at Goodwood and was the culmination of improvement the gelding has shown throughout the season. Luca Cumani sends Fairlight out to try for a hat-trick of wins, but this is a massive step up in class for the lightly raced colt. John Gosden has First Eleven declared for this, the Frankel colt has been highly tried since winning in May and ran a good third behind Baghdad at Royal Ascot. Robert Havlin is declared to ride the colt so freeing up Dettori to go to Haydock, we shall see. I shall side with the lightly raced Midi as the answer to this tricky contest.

Travelling north to Haydock Park at 1.50 we have the Read Luke Morris Blog At Unibet Handicap. This is another 3-year-old handicap, this time over 1 mile 6 furlongs, and the standout horse is at the top of the handicap, Ben Vrackie. Second last time out at Goodwood to Maid Up in a three runner race over this distance was not a very good run, that followed a victory on the all-weather at Lingfield, it should be noted that Ryan Moore is retained for the ride on this rangy colt. Mark Johnson has a strong hand here with course and distance winner Making Miracles, Elegiac and Sea Youmzain, the latter looks the best of the bunch having won last time out at Catterick. The filly has had a good season to date, improving with each run and may have enough to take this. Charlie Appleby has Ghostwatch and Winds Of Fire declared here also, the former looks the best of the two. Cumani also has Fairlight declared here, he has a liking for Haydock and may well send the colt here to try for his hat-trick. Natural History from Andrew Balding’s yard looks interesting, he was behind Ben Vrackie on the all-weather at Newcastle, but showed some improvement when winning at Chepstow last time. He may go close. Another to keep an eye out of is Mrs John Harrington’s Persian Lion, if he makes the trip across the water from Ireland he has a chance judging by his latest victory at Leopardstown. Weighing everything up, I will just side with Sea Youmzain to continue his winning ways in this very tough handicap.

The 32Red Casino Handicap is at 3.35 and there is a strong turnout for this big prize. Ghostwatch is once again the bookies favourite after his win at York a fortnight ago, however he is declared everywhere and I’m sure he can find other assignments easier than this. Top weight On To Victory is lightly raced this year after a busy 3-year-old season and three victories, he is one to be watched. Ian Williams’s Speedo Boy won a two miler at Ascot and followed up with a fourth place at York over a similar distance, this race may just be on the sharp side for him. All Magellan’s victories have come on the all-weather and at distances shorter than this, so I discount his chances. Mark Johnson’s Austrian School won at Chester in May and has been tried at two miles since, perhaps this drop back in distance is what this colt is crying out for. Sir Mark Prescott has Rude Awakening here, a beaten favourite last time at on the all-weather at Chelmsford, he won well over this distance in June at Doncaster, he must have a chance here at a distance that suits. But my liking here is Reverend Jacobs from William Haggas’s yard, an easy winner at Newmarket in July he was then reported to have “run flat” on his next outing in a race won by Bolder Bob. He can gain his revenge here and take this valuable contest.

Saturday Lucky 15
2.45 Ascot. Ripp Orf
3.55 Ascot. Midi
1.50 Haydock. Sea Youmzain
3.35 Haydock. Reverend Jacobs


Contact Seymour Biz, with your own thoughts, tips and questions, at the following address: