A bumper day’s racing with quality races coming at us from ITV across three meetings on Saturday. We have four from day three of the Newmarket July meeting including the Bet365 Bunbury Cup at 16:00 and the Pertemps Network July Cup at 16:35. York gives us another four including the John Smith’s Cup at 15:10 whilst Ascot gets in on the action with a brace coming from there.
There are showers forecast at all three meetings so it would be no surprise were the ground to ease at any of the meetings. Here are my thoughts and expert horse racing tips for the day’s action.
We start the days terrestrial action with a 19 runner sprint handicap over 5f for three year olds and upwards. The only three year old in the race is David Simcock’s Harry Brown who is not without a chance although is 4lb wrong at the weights here today.
Top weight Rohaan is a real Ascot specialist having won 4 of his 7 starts here although I’m not sure dropping back to the minimum trip will suit this habitual slow starter trained by David Evans. Charlie Hills’ Equilateral is an interesting runner who was last seen when 5th in the Group 1 Kings Stand Stakes at the Royal meeting and this represents a significant drop in class.
Last year’s 1-2-3 are all back for another go with Mountain Peak, who made all to strike, 8lb lower now but is woefully out of form having only beaten two horses in his three races this season. Runner up last year was the Bryan Smart-trained Bond Chairman who went down by just a neck and although he is 11lb worse off with Mountain Peak comes here having won at Doncaster a month ago and with just a 3lb rise for that win and a decent draw in stall 19, so he can come over and bag the normally favoured near side rail, looks sure to run well again.
Back in third last year was the David and Nicola Barron-trained Zarzyni who is on a very nice mark now some 13lb better off for 1 1/2L with Bond Chairman and looks close to a winning run having finished 4th of 20 in the Epsom Dash last time out. I’ll split my bets between him and Bond Chairman each way with additional places.
BOND CHAIRMAN 1 point e/w @ 10/1 with Bet365 bonus code (Paying top 5 places at 1/5 odds)
ZARZYNI 1 point e/w @ 12/1 with BetVictor promo code (Paying top 5 places at 1/5 odds)
A dozen milers line up for this 1M class 2 0-105 handicap. The race looks wide open with many holding similar chances.
Last year’s one-two Eileen Dubh, trained by Karl Burke and David O’Meara’s Blue For You renew rivalry on the same terms and both hold decent clams whilst William Haggas’s Aramaic, who ran well last weekend over 10F steps back in trip which may not suit.
La Trinidad won this race two years ago and bounced back to winning form at Doncaster last time out, winning by 4 3/4L, a race for which the handicapper has clobbered him with a 9lb rise in the weights.
The most interesting runner is the Saeed Bin Suroor trained Wild Lion who kept on well to win a 7F handicap here in first time cheek pieces last month. He’s been put up 4lb for that win when ridden by Kieran O’Neill but is ridden today by Bin Suroor’s assistant’s son Christian Howarth who is good value for his 5lb and thus will be racing off the one pound less mark than when winning last time. He’s the pick in a tricky-looking handicap.
WILD LION 1 point e/w @ 5/1 with Bet365 (Paying top 4 places at 1/5 odds)
Just the nine here for the Group 2 Summer Mile for four year olds and upwards. The ground is very important here with both William Haggas’s Aldaary and Ralph Beckett’s Angel Bleu better on softer conditions. If the ground doesn’t ease from the current good to firm then we could easily see one or both missing the contest.
John & Thady Gosden’s Mighty Ulysses has obviously had training problems as we haven’t seen him for 329 days and can be overlooked here whilst Ralph Beckett’s Jimi Hendrix must be a player having won the Royal Hunt Cup over the straight mile here at the Royal meeting in great style.
Charlie Appleby has his string in fine form and despite a 3lb penalty for a Group 2 victory in Dubai at the beginning of the year his Master Of The Sea, who has by all accounts been burning up the gallops at Moulton Paddocks recently, can take this mile contest. A classy performer who was runner up in the 2001 2000 Guineas hasnt been seen for 112 days and with William Buick needed at Newmarket its James Doyle who comes in for the ride. He looks like the pick here.
MASTER OF THE SEAS 1 point win @ 7/2 with William Hill promo code
Next up is the listed 5F John Smith’s City Walls Stakes for three year olds and upwards. Edward Bethel is having a fine season and is currently running at a 42% win ratio. He saddles his five year old Regional here who is ridden by Callum Rodriguez. He’s chasing a hat trick of victories having won a handicap over course and distance and a listed contest at Haydock and although he has to shoulder a 3lb penalty for that latest listed victory can go close.
Karl Burke’s Silky Wilkie went down in a blanket finish in the 5F Epsom Dash last time and is the highest rated off the eleven runner field and has obvious claims along with one of the four three year olds here, Queen Me. She looks the most interesting in the field dropping to the minimum trip for the first time having failed to stay a mile on her re-appearance in the 1000 Guineas and then a credible 6th of 13 (beaten 3L) in the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot. With Andrea Atzeni in the saddle for the first time she looks the each way value here.
QUEEN ME 1 point e/w @ 6/1 with Bet365 (Paying top 4 places at 1/5 odds)
Twelve go to post for this class 2 bet365 Mile Handicap which,like all of today’s handicaps, has an open look about it.
Clive Cox’s Havana Blue is chasing a hat trick following victories at the two Newmarket courses with his recent victory coming a fortnight ago over 7F. The grey steps up to a mile here and that may bring about further improvement especially with Ryan Moore taking over from John Fahy. William Haggas’s Tafreej won a four-runner Yarmouth 1M handicap a fortnight ago and despite a 6lb rise in the weights can also be competitive whilst the Marco Botti runner Royal Dubai, who ran well in defeat at Chester last month will appreciate stepping up in trip.
Quantum Impact is another with claims having excuses for his disappointing run at Royal Ascot in the Britannia Handicap and is yet another with a chance.
An open enough handicap where stakes should be kept small but I’ll chance the Ryan Moore ridden Havana Blue each way.
HAVANA BLUE 1 point e/w @ 9/2 with Bet365 (Paying top 4 places at 1/5 odds)
The John Smith’s Cup is a valuable 1M 2F 56 yards Heritage Handicap with a decent history and has attracted a maximum field of 22. I’ve taken a closer horse-by-horse look at the race so head on over and read my John Smith’s Cup Handicap Stakes tips now.
Just the ten go to post for this Group 2 Bet365 Superlative Stakes for two-year-olds at Newmarket racecourse. We have the 5th (Haatem) and 8th (Spanish Phoenix) from the Coventry Stakes at the Royal meeting but it will be a major surprise if one of the front two doesn’t take this.
Charlie Appleby has a great record in this winning four of the last six renewals and was also runner up in this last year. He obviously saddles one of his better juveniles in this contest and this year it’s Great Truth, a well-related son of Dubawi who bolted up on his racecourse debut at Leicester over 7F having been well-supported into 8/11. He came home 5 1/2L to the good that day and will surely run a big race here.
The big danger has to be the Aidan O’Brien-trained City Of Troy, a son of Justify who like his main danger Great Truth made a scintillating winning debut when spread-eagling his field in a 7F maiden at The Curragh a fortnight ago coming home 2 1/2L to the good. He was never stronger than at the finish and Ryan Moore apparently took an age to pull him up.
It’s a hard one to call but at the current prices and with Appleby having such a good record in the race its Great Truth for me in a race where we could be seeing the best two year old seen out so far.
GREAT TRUTH 1 point win @ 10/3 with BetVictor
Just the six runners for the 1M 6F John Smith’s Silver Cup, a Group 3 event for four year olds and upwards. The warm favourite is the William Haggas trained Hamish who is 6lb better and upwards of this field even with a 3lb penalty for winning the Group 3 Ormonde Stakes at Chester back in May. He does like to get his toe in and will be very hard to beat especially if the rain turns the ground on the easy side. Tom Marquand is here to ride which is obviously a bonus and although too skinny to back it will be a surprise if he doesn’t outclass these.
Next best in the race is the Brian Ellison trained stayer Tashkan who was pulled out of both the Yorkshire Cup and Ascot Gold Cup due to the fast ground and is another who needs the ground on the soft side to be seen to his best. This looks all about Hamish and he’s a confident selection.
A maximum bumper field of 20 have declared for the 7F Bet365 Bunbury Cup for three year olds and upwards. My Punters Lounge horse racing expert colleague Karl Hedley has given his Bet365 Bunbury Cup tips ahead of the big race.
As always theres a very open look about this valuable handicap. Awaal has been placed in the Lincoln and the Royal Hunt Cup this season over a mile although I’m not sure dropping to 7F will be in his favour. Last year’s winner Bless Him and runner up Ropey Guest renew rivalry having swopped stalls positions this time around (what were the chances of that?). Bless Him is a proud better off for 1 1/4L and has claims here again. Back in fourth last year was the William Haggas-trained Montassib and although he’s worse off with the pair that finished ahead of that day has the assistance of William Buick and can’t be ruled out.
The only three year old in the race is Eve Johnson Houghton’s Streets Of Gold who was last seen when running third in the jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot, goes on any ground and drawn in the middle can go any way jockey Charlie Bishop wants. He’s got future group entries at both Goodwood and York and should run well.
I’ll take him each way with additional places alongside Ralph Beckett’s Biggles who’s drawn in stall 18 and has the assistance of the world’s best jockey Ryan Moore. Moore was on board when winning his side in the Buckingham Palace Handicap at Royal Ascot last time and with Beckett among the winners recently can run a big race.
There are others with good chances but I’ll dutch Streets Of Gold and Biggles.
STREETS OF GOLD 1 point e/w @ 17/2 with William Hill (Paying top 5 places at 1/5 odds)
BIGGLES 1 point e/w @ 8/1 with Bet365 (Paying top 5 places at 1/5 odds)
The Group 1 6F Pertemps Network July Cup Stakes is the feature race of the three day meeting and although only 9 have declared its a real cracker. I’ve looked at these in a horse by horse preview with a strong tip. Check out my Pertemps Network July Cup Stakes tips to find out more.
All prices are available at the time of writing.