What are the best bets in today's Channel 4-televised races?
It’s a busy Saturday with competitive action wherever you look and it’s the seven races being shown live on Channel 4 that come under scrutiny here.
2.00 Goodwood: 888sport Prestige Stakes (Fillies’ Group 3), 7f
Each of the nine runners brings winning form to the table and the pick on form has to be Mark Johnston’s Fireglow, who chased home the very smart Blue Bayou in the Sweet Solera Stakes at Newmarket last time. However, close up behind that day was Hugo Palmer’s HAWKSMOOR (7/1 bet365), who may have found the fast ground against her, and she could well reverse the form with conditions more to her liking. An impressive scorer on her debut at Kempton in July, she’s evidently well thought of judging by her autumn entries in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes and Fillies’ Mile.
2.20 Beverley: totescoop6 Beverley Bullet Sprint Stakes (Listed), 5f
A high draw is quite often an advantage in big fields over 5f here and that increases confidence in IFFRANESIA (9/1 Sky Bet), who will exit from stall 14 (of 16). Robert Cowell’s mare has failed to add to her reappearance win at Lingfield but she has run well run in defeat on a couple of occasions, including when finishing runner-up in an Irish Listed event last time, and a similar effort here would see her go close. Cowell made her his “trainer’s pick” in a Stable Tour back in June, saying she had the “most potential for improvement” out of all his horses. Ireland’s Maarek has been put in as favourite but he would want the ground softer (currently “good”) and second favourite Line Of Reason carries a penalty.
2.30 Goodwood: 888sport Handicap, 7f
This is ridiculously competitive and CZECH IT OUT is just a tentative pick at bet365’s 12/1. Amanda Perrett’s charge has some good form at the the track, including when winning here in May off an 8lb lower mark. That is mostly taken care of by Kieren Shoemark’s claim and the five-year-old showed he remained in good heart when finishing second at Newbury last time, when he might have won with a clear run. His owner George Materna loves having winners here – he has had more success on the Sussex Downs than at any other track in the last five seasons – and the selection has likely been targeted at this race for a while. There are simply too many dangers to list them all here, so keep stakes small and do go each-way.
2.50 Newmarket: Fly easyJet From London Southend Airport Handicap, 1m5f
FARQUHAR is not the most consistent of horses but he’s run well on both his starts at Newmarket, including when springing a 40/1 surprise in a 1m4f handicap last October. That was on the Rowley Mile but he did finish second on the July Course last time, when looking like he would appreciate today’s slightly longer trip, staying on well to finish a length behind Gold Trail in second. He can run off the same mark here and acts well with cut in the ground, so there’s every reason to think he can go well again and reward backers at 7/1 (Hills).
3.10 Goodwood: 888sport March Stakes (Listed), 1m6f
This looks trappy to say the least with the first five in the betting all closely matched on the ratings – even rank outsider The Twisler cannot be totally discounted in what could be a tactical affair. If you decide to bet on it, the suggestion is the Hughie Morrison-trained FUN MAC, who is the least exposed runner in the field and looked a stayer to keep on the right side of when winning over this trip at Salisbury in May. He’s since beaten all bar Clondaw Warrior in the Ascot Stakes at the royal meeting and his subsequent absence is no real concern as he’s gone well fresh in the past. His nose second in a handicap here last October means he has that all-important course form in the book and he could be the ideal type for the Cesarewitch run at Newmarket later in the season – he’s a 20/1 shot with bet365 for that race and a top-priced 10/3 with Betfred for today’s contest.
3.25 Newmarket: Stobart Club And Shop Hopeful Stakes (Listed), 6f
A few of these have been out of sorts of late and have something to prove but that doesn’t apply to Lucky Kristale, who ran a cracker when just touched off in a Group 3 at York last time. The 2013 Lowther Stakes winner seems sure to be involved but she doesn’t have a great deal in hand on the ratings and 5/2 seems pretty skinny considering she hasn’t won for over two years. WET SAIL is therefore preferred at 13/2 (bet365) with the form of his third to Limato in last season’s Two-Year-Old Trophy bringing him right into the equation. After a below-par effort at Newbury on his comeback, he signalled a return to top form when a closing third in Listed company at Chester last time. His trainer Charlie Fellowes, who writes a weekly column in the RFO, has said he’ll come on again for that run and will be suited by Newmarket’s stiff finish. His entry in the Group 1 Champion Stakes later in the season looks highly speculative, but he’s clearly highly regarded.
3.45 Goodwood: Doom Bar Celebration Mile (Group 2), 1m
The day’s feature race has cut up to just six runners, which is a shame as we’re now being asked to take odds-on (8/11 bet365) on my ante post fancy KODI BEAR – only wish I’d backed him at bigger odds earlier in the week. Last season’s Dewhurst runner-up has improved again this term and could not have been more impressive when winning a Group 3 at Salisbury last time. He acts well on a soft surface and is racing over his ideal trip, so there’s no really no reason to oppose him. Breton Rock could be the one for the forecast but it’s a race I’m happy to watch, with more attractive bets elsewhere.
Back a winner at 4/1 or bigger in any of the above races with bet365 and they will give you a free bet to the same stake (up to £50 per customer per race) on the next race shown live on Channel 4. if that also wins at 4/1 or bigger, get another free bet and so on.