What are the best bets in Saturday's TV races?
There is competitive racing wherever you look this afternoon and it’s the eight races being shown live on Channel 4 that come under scrutiny here.
14:15 Newmarket – British EBF Breeders’ Fillies’ Series Sprint Handicap, 6f
A tricky sprint handicap and plenty of recent winning / placed form on offer, but SWEET DRAGON FLY (8/1 Sky Bet) is less exposed than most after just five starts and has a progressive profile with two wins from her last three starts. Her latest success came on the all-weather but she’s just as effective on quick turf, as she showed when hacking up by four lengths at Bath, and a 4lb rise in the weights is more than taken care of by George Wood’s claim.
14:30 Ascot – Gigaset Cumberland Lodge Stakes (Group 3), 1m4f
Sir Michael Stoute has a strong hand with recent all-weather scorer Arab Spring and the hat-trick seeking Kings Fete representing him. They fill the first two positions in the market but penalties to carry and don’t have anything in hand on the ratings. The top-rated runner is Western Hymn and he will appreciate this drop in class having contested Group 1s on his last three starts. However, he’s never won over this far and preference is for Saeed bin Suroor’s MOVE UP. It wasn’t much of a Group 2 he won in Turkey (1m4f, good) last time but it confirmed the impression he is on the up, and he wouldn’t have to improve by much more to land his fifth victory in just eight starts. Take Paddy Power’s 10/1.
14:50 Newmarket – British Stallions Supporting EBF Breeders’ Fillies’ Series Mile Handicap, 1m
None of the older horses convince so it could pay to concentrate on the less-exposed three-year-olds in the line up. There’s plenty to choose from but it’s hard to get away from William Haggas’ CARENOT, who resides near the bottom of the weights and is on a roll having won both her starts this term. Having overcome traffic problems to win at Beverley on her reappearance, she had to be shaken up to put daylight between herself and three rivals at Sandown last time. But she responded well and won going away at the finish and looks progressive enough to cope with a further 7lb rise. Her stable continues in cracking form so I’m more than happy to take Betfair’s 8/1.
15:05 Ascot – John Guest Bengough Stakes (Group 3), 6f
This sees the return of smart juvenile Shalaa who has been sidelined with injury since winning the Group 1 Middle Park last September. His trainer John Gosden can get one fit after a layoff but is likely using this contest as a pipe-opener for the Champions Sprint back here in October, and the race-fit WINDFAST makes far more appeal at a double-figure price (12/1 Betway) A winner over this trip as a juvenile, he has largely been campaigned over 7f since and has had some stiff tasks in handicaps off big weights. But the drop back to 6f last time in Listed company really suited him as he quickened up well to lead close home and, unexposed as a sprinter, there could be more to come from him now he has found his calling.
15:15 Redcar – totepool Two-Year-Old Trophy Stakes (Listed), 6f
A massive field of 23 will contest this valuable prize for juveniles and plenty can be fancied. Bookmakers have latched on to Hugo Palmer’s Mazyoun as favourite around the 5/1 mark and he already has big-field experience having chased home smart sort in a valuable sales race at the St Leger meeting in first-time cheek-pieces. They are ditched for blinkers here and the impression is he may not be entirely straightforward, so he is passed over in favour of MEDICI BANCHIERE. Karl Burke’s charge has been keeping good company since winning his maiden by ten lengths at Carlisle in May (5 1/2f, good to firm), and was far from disgraced in Group 2s at Newmarket and York. The latter run may have been needed after a near six week break and this may have been his target all along. He stays this trip well and acts on the forecast fast ground, so he makes plenty of appeal at bet365’s 7/1.
15:25 Newmarket – British Stallions EBF Breeders’ Fillies’ Series Middle Distance Handicap, 1m2f
David Simcock’s HIGH HOPES has looked a much stronger filly since her summer break and having enjoyed a confidence-boosting maiden success at Ffos Las, she couldn’t have won more easily when returned to that track last time. A 7lb rise looks fair and with Eddie Greatrex claiming 3lb off her back she is taken to land the hat-trick at Paddy Power’s 6/1. Sharja Queen has paid the price for winning by six lengths at Salisbury and was well beaten off a 14lb higher mark last time, so a bigger threat may come from Lingfield winner Malmoosa.
15:40 Ascot – totescoop6 Challenge Cup Heritage Handicap, 7f
A wide open handicap featuring some familiar names with several boasting winning form over track and trip. Librisa Breeze won the International here in July before being found out in Group 3 company on his next start, and he will appreciate the return to handicap company. However, he’s now 8lb higher and is giving weight away to all bar one of his rivals. Hughie Morrison’s DUTCH LAW is in receipt of a stone, when you take his rider Charlie Bennett’s 5lb claim into account, and the promising apprentice has been getting a fine tune out of the four-year-old. He was on board for a course and distance success last time and there could be more to come from his mount, who is clearly still improving and is a very backable 14/1 this afternoon with bet365.
16:00 Newmarket – Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes (British Champions Series) (Fillies’ Group 1), 1m
Alice Springs looked outstanding when winning the Matron Stakes last time and that was her second Group 1 of this campaign, having landed the Falmouth Stakes at the July meeting here. She’s hard to knock on those efforts but she was disappointing at Deauville in between and odds of 11/8 don’t make much appeal, especially as she’s up against a couple of smart French raiders.
Volta did well to finish third in the French Oaks after being badly hampered and only found the smart Qemah too good in a Group 1 at Deauville last time out. That was back in July but she goes well fresh and she should go close. But narrow preference is for her compatriot ERVEDYA at bet365’s 4/1. A triple Group 1 winner over this trip, she hasn’t been quite at her best this year, but she’s been taking on the colts and wasn’t beaten far into third behind Ribchester at Deauville in August. Now back amongst her own sex and in first-time cheek-pieces, a big run is expected.
16:15 Ascot – Ascot And Camra 10th Anniversary Rous Stakes (Listed), 5f
Priceless bounced back to winning form when dropped back to this trip at Doncaster last and there may well be more to come from her over the minimum. However, I’m prepared to give another chance to Roger Varian’s DOUBLE UP after cracking efforts in defeat the last twice. After finishing down the field in Royal Ascot’s King’s Stand, he wasn’t beaten far off top weight in the Portland Handicap, despite a slow start, and was held up in traffic at Beverley last time before finishing like a train into third. Now returned to the scene of his last success and with the prospect of a fast pace to aim at, he can gain a deserved win to reward backers at Hills’ 4/1.
Fancy some free bets? Back a winner at 4/1 or bigger in any of the above Channel 4-televised races with bet365 and they will give you a free bet to the same stake (up to £50) on the next race shown live on Channel 4.
Newmarket 2.15, Sweet Dragon Fly @ 8/1 Sky Bet
Ascot 2.30, Move Up @ 10/1 Paddy Power
Newmarket 2.50, Carenot @ 8/1 Betfair – NON-RUNNER
Ascot 3.05, Windfast @ 12/1 Betway – NON-RUNNER
Redcar 3.15, Medici Banchiere @ 7/1 bet365
Newmarket 3.25, High Hopes @ 7/1 bet365 – NON-RUNNER
Ascot 3.40, Dutch Law each-way @ 16/1 bet365 (¼ odds, 22.214.171.124)
Newmarket 4.00, Ervedya @ 4/1 Hills
All odds were correct at time of posting.