Today’s ITV races come from Ascot where the feature race is the Victoria Cup run at 14:40 on soft ground and Lingfield where we have the Derby and Oaks trials which have been switched from the waterlogged turf course to the all-weather track. There’s also the Swinton Handicap Hurdle for the National Hunt fans amongst us at Haydock. Here are my free horse racing tips for the day’s terrestrial action.
The day’s action kicks off with a ten runner 1m 4F class 3 handicap. With the ground riding soft with plenty of rain during the week I’ve only got four definite handlers of the ground so I will concentrate on that quartet.
Top weight Sir Rumi, in the Amo Racing colours for Richard Hannon is up 4lb for winning in the mud at Epsom last time and has obvious claims of following up under Kevin Stott whilst Stuart William’s Rhythmic Intent has fallen to a winning mark and loves to get his toe in. He’s an interesting outsider.
Hughie Morrison’s bottom weight Ravens Ark won’t mind the conditions although we haven’t seen him for 213 days whilst Nathanael Greene represents the William Haggas Newmarket based stable and also has a 189 day absence to overcome. The Haggas team having been in the best of form recently although he’s had a couple of winners this week at Chester including Hamish so it looks like they’re getting there and with 3lb claimer Adam Farragher on board should go well.
He improved for first time cheek pieces when winning on soft ground at Haydock racecourse last July over 14F but maybe surprisingly doesn’t sport the pieces today. That worries me so I’ll play Sir Rumi with the proven fitness and ability to handle soft ground very much in his favour.
SIR RUMI 1 point each way @ 5/1 with BetVictor
A modest class 5 56-75 handicap is surprisingly part of the ITV schedule today but as always there’s a winner to be found. Richard Hughes has booked William Buick for his top weight Winforglory who is only having his seventh career start and went down by only half a length at Chelmsford last time. He should be thereabouts along with the hat trick seeking Gold Medal trained by up and coming Newmarket handler Dylan Cunha, a Group One winning handler in South Africa. His recent win has been franked by the third winning since and a 7lb rise for his two wins may not be enough to stop him winning again under 3lb apprentice Harry Burns.
Ivor Furtado’s Legal Reform is also chasing a hat trick under Richard Kingscote but I’ll play at bigger odds with Roger Teal’s My Mate Ted who’s fallen back down to his last winning mark at Kempton last August. Not disgraced in a much better race than this on his re-appearance in April he’s since run down the field in a turf handicap at Pontefract and may appreciate getting back onto a synthetic surface so can be backed each way with the only worry being Teal’s current form as he hasn’t had a winner for 35 days (26 runs).
MY MATE TED 1/2 point each way @ 16/1 bet365 (5th of the odds for 1234 place)
Another handicap, this one for fillies and mares only and run over the straight mile. Eleven go to post for this class 2 event.
William Haggas saddles his handicap debutant Timeless Melody and she looks a good bet to my eyes. Trained last year by Charlie Appleby she’s now with Haggas and made a winning stable debut at Leicester last month on very soft ground. That form has already been franked by the 13 1/4L third winning a Doncaster maiden and the 14L fourth winning two low grade handicaps. She’s been allotted a mark of 80 and should be competitive today.
This time of the year the three year olds receive a very healthy 13lb age allowance and we have three of them here today. Charlie Appleby’s Mountain Song is sure to be popular having won on her handicap debut at Southwell last month. But the form hasn’t been franked and she’s yet to run on turf let alone on a wet surface so she can be passed on.
Charlie Fellowes three year old handicap debutant Beccara Rose looks interesting off of 81 as she still holds entries in the Derby (but not the Oaks!) and the Irish Oaks. She’s not up to that standard but can still run well despite being 2lb wrong at the weights.
An interesting contest with Timeless Melody the one they all have to beat.
TIMELESS MELODY 2 points win @ 3/1 bet365
The 7F Chartwell Fillies Stakes is a Group 3 race for three year old fillies and mares. Despite being switched on to the all weather due to the waterlogged turf course 8 of the 9 five day entries have held their ground and we have a very informative race in store. William Haggas saddles a brace of smart Filles in Queen Aminatu who’s 5 from 7 on the all weather and probably didn’t enjoy the soft turf conditions over in Ireland recently. He also sends Scared on her first ever start on the all weather and under Ryan Moore today. She’s a smart mare who should take the beating as the highest rated of the eight runners here.
Andrew Balding has been in fine form of late notably when winning the 2000 Guineas with Chaldean and saddles his smart four year old Sandrine who kept the best company last season and under Oisin Murphy looks the danger to Scared here if she handles the synthetic surface for the first time.
Saeed Bin Suroor fresh from winning the fillies classic with Mawj shouldn’t be dismissed here with his filly White Moonlight who is only officially 5lb behind the top rated and has by all accounts been working well with the classic winner.
SACRED 2 points win @ 2/1 bet365
WHITE MOONLIGHT 1/2 point each way @ 8/1 Betfred (5th of the odds for 123 place)
A bumper field of 23 line up for a wide open renewal of the Peroni Nastro Azzurro Victoria Cup run over the straight 7F. We’re looking for a soft ground 7F specialist who is drawn on the near side (high numbers) as 6 of the last 8 winners were drawn 18 or higher with the two exceptions exiting from stalls 10 and 13. Since 2013 only four horses have made the frame from single figure stalls. Which is all a shame as most of the horses I like here are drawn low! Those include 2021 winner River Nymph (stall 9) Lincoln 3rd Baradar (who would have been my number one pick bar the draw in 7) and top weight Spycatcher (stall 6) who looked so good last time and is a real 7F specialist.
I’ll take a chance each way with the additional places on the George Boughey trained Totally Charming who will be coming out of stall 13 and has the assistance of the 3lb claiming super kid Billy Loughnane. A heavy ground winner at Doncaster over 7F last October he wasn’t disgraced when 7th (beaten 2 3/4L) in the Irish Lincoln at The Curragh in March from a bad draw. He ticks a lot of boxes and should run well and give Billy ‘The Kid’ Loughnane his biggest winner to date.
TOTALLY CHARMING 1 point each way @ 7/1 (5th of the odds for 123456 place)
The first of the two classic trials is the Fitzdares Oaks Trial, a listed race run over the Oaks distance of 1M 4F. Only three of the nine hold the Epsom Oaks entry. Aidan O’Briens Be Happy is one of them and has shown enough in her three career starts to be very competitive here although there has to be a question mark over the surface as all of her outings have been on soft ground.
Karl Burke has had a decent spring and sends his Oaks entry Bright Diamond here. The highest rated of the nine (4lb superior to Be Happy) she was an impressive Newmarket maiden winner on her debut last August and has followed that up with two decent efforts in Group company. She looks the one to be with today with Sam James in the saddle. Ed Walker’s Perfect Prophet is the third Epsom Oaks entry and cold run well especially as she’s already won on the all weather last season at Kempton.
Charlie Appleby runs a brace of improving fillies although neither looks anything too special with stable jockey William Buick apparently choosing Eternal Hope the pick.
This may end up being fought out by Be Happy and Bright Diamond with preference for the latter.
BRIGHT DIAMOND 1 point each way @ 5/1 Betfred (5th of the odds for 123 place)
A highly competitive renewal of the Pertemps Network Swinton Handicap Hurdle run over just short of two miles. Harry Derham is having a terrific first season as a fully fledged trainer having spent many years as Paul Nicholls’s assistant and can top the season by winning this valuable prize with his handicap debutant Brentford Hope who’s won two novice hurdles for Derham latterly at Huntingdon when defeating a promising sort of Nicky Hendersons. His initial mark of 123 looks workable in context with his flat mark of 102 under Paul O’Bien who’s been in the saddle for his last two victories.
I fancied Paramount strongly at Aintree when he went off too fast and he’s better than that if his jockey Aidan Coleman, who replaces 7lb conditional Bradley Roberts, gets the fractions right. He has to be part of the staking plan.
There are many others who could be fancied including Charles Byrne’s Byker who was last seen when being edged out in the Boodles Juvenile handicap hurdle at Cheltenham. 4th higher today but he should be thereabouts. Top weight and Betfair Hurdle winner Aucunrisque shouldn’t be dismissed nor Olly Murphy’s Washington.
BRENTFORD HOPE 1 point each way @ 5/1 William Hill (5th of the odds for 12345 place)
PARRAMOUNT 1/2 point each way @ 9/1 bet365 (5th of the odds for 12345 place)
The 1M 4F Fitzdares Lingfield Derby Trial is a listed race that as it says on the tin is a trial for the Epsom Derby in three weeks time. Often a springboard to Derby success the race has attracted eight of which five have the Epsom Derby entry.
The likely favourite and the one they all have to beat is Charlie Appleby’s promising Military Order who is a full brother to the 2021 Derby winner Adayar who was actually 2nd in this race prior to taking the big prize. Military Order made a successful re-appearance when winning at Newbury over 10F and will be hard to beat for the boys in blue under William Buick.
Sir Michael Stoute’s Circle Of Fire split two Appleby runners in listed company at Newmarket on his re-appearance and should also run well although one would think that Military Order is higher in the pecking order at Moultons Paddocks than Castle Way who beat Circle Of Fire last time.
John and Thady Gosden have sent out some smart performers on their debuts at Newcastle and their Inquiring Minds looks above average on his debut at the North Eastern track just 11 days ago coasting home against moderate opposition. He could be anything and was put into the Group 2 King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot last week.
They’ll be some long faces at Appleby’s if they can’t win this en route to a tilt at The Derby and he’s the bet here.
MILITARY ORDER 3 points win @ 5/4 bet365
All odds are accurate at the time of writing.
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