Saturday Racing Preview
With the jumps season in both England and Ireland coming to an end, the Saturday previews will be prominently flat based over the coming months. I will look at the summer jumps action, but top-class flat racing will be the priority. Classic clues are on offer this weekend at Lingfield where we have both an Oaks and Derby trial, alongside the Grade 3 Novibet Chartwell Fillies’ Stakes. There is also a good looking mixed codes card from Haydock where we have some intriguing clashes and the Victoria Cup from Ascot.
Dettori and the Gosdens can ignite Oaks dream
The first Classic trial on the card is the Novibet Oaks Fillies’ Stakes over one mile, three and a half furlongs. Technique looks a worthy favourite for Levey and Meade having ran a hugely encouraging race against geldings last time out at Epsom. She finished ahead of the highly touted Uncle Bryn and just in behind Wirko. At this stage of the season, the form is hard to assess, but I wouldn’t be surprised if by the end of the season, it represents a strong form line. Nash Nasha has decent claims on the back of a good reappearance win conceding weight all round, but I’ve decided to side with Loving Dream 9/2 for Dettori and the Gosdens. On Official Ratings she has just 3lbs to find with the favourite, Technique, and she visually looks as though she will improve plenty for this step up in trip. With plenty of stamina in her pedigree, she ticks plenty of boxes on paper and it has been interesting to see some nibbles for her in the midweek betting. Dettori and the Gosdens were the connections of Uncle Bryn so they should have a nice idea of what is required to beat Technique. As a result, confidence in the market would be a big plus!
Derby trial can go to one of the outsiders
The colts get a chance to prove themselves next on the card in the Novibet Derby Trial Stakes over one mile, three and a half furlongs. Aiden O’Brien’s High Definition was all the rage for this race in the early parts of the week, but he wasn’t declared due to unsatisfactory blood tests. The Ballydoyle maestro is now represented by Kyprios, who is the choice of Ryan Moore, and Carlisle Bay who will be ridden by Frankie Dettori. Heralding from such a powerful yard, the pair warrant plenty of respect, I just wouldn’t be a massive fan of what they’ve achieved to date. There could be plenty of improvement to come but neither have the usual profile of a real top class Ballydoyle colt. Adayar currently heads the betting for Godolphin, and he looks sure to relish this step up in trip after a very promising reappearance effort. Yibir was third that day and has subsequently come out and placed fifth in a similar contest, so I would be concerned about the strength of that form. At 5/4 I think he is worth taking on. Third Realm 12/1 caught my eye when winning a Maiden Stakes at Nottingham in cosy fashion. He travelled powerfully through the contest and had to be shaken up approaching the business end of the race. He didn’t appear to pick up immediately and only started to hit top gear in the final furlong. He hit the line hard, and David Egan couldn’t pull him up after. I think he had plenty of running left in him and this step up in trip can bring about plenty of improvement. By Sea The Stars, he’s a well-bred colt and the form of his seasonal reappearance win has been nicely franked since with both the third and fourth running very good races in defeat since. This represents a big step up in class but at the odds I think he is worth chancing.
Double Or Bubble can win this with the minimum of trouble
The Group three Novibet Chartwell Fillies’ Stakes over 7 furlongs is next up on the Lingfield card where an interesting field of 8 go to post. Isabella Giles has attracted support over the last 24 hours after a comeback run behind Alcohol Free in the Dubai Duty Free Stakes. If she’s improved for that outing she certainly enters calculations. I like the chances of current favourite Double Or Bubble 10/3 who looks a really progressive filly. Lifetime form figures of 2111 highlight both her lightly raced and progressive profile but the way in she won her seasonal reappearance at Newmarket was extremely pleasing. Double Or Bubble broke well and had the perfect position throughout the race sitting just off the leader. Coming down into the dip she quickened away under hands and heels and put the race to bed in a matter of strides. She had some very useful individuals in behind her that day and I believe she can take this step up to Group company in her stride and notch up another win.
Hatrick seeking Jersey Wonder can land the Haydock opener
A very interesting mixed card from Haydock kicks off with a Petemps Network Long Distance Handicap Hurdle over an extended 3 miles. Top weight Vision Des Flos is clearly a talented sort and could be dangerous off a tumbling handicap mark. Proschema is bound to be a popular pick after bolting up at Cheltenham in April but he does have an 11lb rise to contend with. Jarveys Plate has some very good form in the book and has started to look his old self in recent times. I quite like the chances of a horse who beat him last time out though. Jersey Wonder 6/1 is now 2/2 in handicap company and comfortably dealt with Jarveys Plate last time out. Jarveys Plate only receives a 1lb swing at the weights and Jersey Wonder appears to be in seriously good form. He will like the quicker conditions underfoot and can take an 8lb rise in the weights in his stride. He remains seriously unexposed at the trip and if conditions remain on the quicker side, I think he is a very big player.
Brando can land a tenth career success in tricky little contest
The six-furlong Pertemps Network Conditions Stakes race is the first flat race I will look at from Haydock and just the four runners go to post. Khaadem currently heads the betting at around the 11/8 mark but with the flat course officially described as Soft he may be worth taking on. Cape Byron has solid claims on the pick of his form but has had in problems in recent times and could be one to improve for the run. Exalted Angel has plenty to find on Official Ratings and may be seen to best affect on the All Weather. That leaves us with Brando 2/1 who has been one hell of a horse for connections over the years. Now a nine-year-old, he appears to retain plenty of his old ability and ran a good race when third in a listed contested at Doncaster. He is entitled to come on for that run and comes out on top at the weights, considering Official Ratings. He is my pick in a trappy little contest.
Henderson can land Grade 3 honours with an overpriced runner
Copperless currently heads the betting for the Grade 3 Pertemps Network Swinton Handicap Hurdle over the minimum trip. He heads the betting at around 10/3 after taking a tumble at Aintree when going extremely well. He has some form closely tied in with Hooper 11/1 who is currently a far bigger price. The pair met off level weights back in October with Copperless coming out on top by only a neck. Both Copperless and Hooper have had progressive seasons since with Hooper arguably the more exposed of the pair having run a few more times. He strikes me as a horse who is learning all the time though and with each run he has looked better and better. He comes into this on the back of three wins and his last triumph at Cheltenham has been well franked since. Nordic Combined was over three lengths back in second and has come out and won by eight lengths, whilst Eltham Valley was third to Cooper and has come and run a very good race on the flat, finishing a close fifth. Considering Ben Ffrench Davis extremely useful 7lb claim, Hooper will receive 4lbs from Copperless. Subsequently I find it hard to see why their prices are so far apart in the market. Hooper has taken an early drift which is slightly worrying, but at 11/1 I’m happy to take a chance on him.
Take a chance on Deyrann De Carjac
The penultimate race on the Haydock card is the Pertemps Network Intermediate Handicap Chase over two and a half miles. Senior Citizen rightfully heads the betting after some very respectable efforts at Newbury and Aintree on his last two starts. He drops into calmer waters here and could be hard to beat. I am going to take him on with Alan King’s Deyrann De Carjac 9/2. He is a horse I have always thought possesses plenty of ability and has some eye-catching form to his name. Victories over the likes of Pym, giving him 5lbs, and placed efforts in behind Champ read extremely well in this company. He has to shoulder top weight here, but I think he’s on a nice mark of 142 having previously been rated 148. He should like conditions underfoot and has gone well fresh before. Fingers crossed he can bounce back from a disappointing effort on his sole start last season.
Escobar and Symbolize can go well in ultra-competitive Victoria Cup
The feature race of the day at Ascot is the tote+ Victoria Cup over 7 furlongs. This year’s renewal looks unbelievable competitive and subsequently a case can be made for plenty of these. I have landed on two horses and the first is Escobar 16/1 for trainer David O’Meara. Escobar ran in some extremely hot contests last season and as a result his form wouldn’t make for great reading. He still managed some extremely high-class efforts against the likes of Space Blues, Duke Of Hazzard, Safe Voyage, Happy Power and D’bai. These efforts are enough to suggest to me the engine is still fully intact, and it could be connections have had this race in mind for a while. A poor spell in Meydan duly prompted is mark to start falling and he is now down to 103 which we know he is capable of winning off. His most recent run behind Finest Sound was an encouraging one and I think he may have primed for this. With quality course form to his name on ground with cut in it, he looks a dangerous player at 16/1.
The second horse who caught my eye was Symbolize 14/1 for Andrew Balding. He may not be the best handicapped horse in the race but I’m hoping his form will receive a considerable boost when Double Or Bubble hopefully lands a good prize at Lingfield. Symbolize is also entitled to improve for that first run of the season and has some decent form at Ascot with soft in the description. I’d be very hopeful he can run a nice race and outrun his current odds of 12/1.
By Sam Rideout
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