ITV Racing brings racing fans action from three different courses on Saturday. Each of Ascot, Newmarket and Redcar has a standout race on their card which will be given the full analysis by the ITV Racing team but we’ve given punters a head start with our selection of the best bets from each of the eight live races in our Saturday racing tips.
1:40 £150,000 Tattersalls October Auction Stakes
There is no easing into the action this Saturday with a 30-runner Listed sprint for two year olds kicking things off from Newmarket. This is a valuable race for the grade and has therefore attracted some very good juvenile sprinters in the bumper field. It will take a very good performance for any of them to get the better of the 11/8 favourite, Mighty Gurkha, though.
Archie Watson’s colt was a hit with punters right from the off when he won on the all-weather track at Lingfield on his debut. He showed that he can be a bit of a boy that day, unseating Hollie Doyle before the start, but has since matured and become a better horse with almost every race. The one exception came in a Group 3 at Deauville where he dwelt in the stalls and was unable to make up the ground; but he bounced back with a good Group 3 win last time out and very much sets the standards here.
Fairy Dust found her own progressive career halted last time out when the competition in the Group 3 Dick Poole Stakes was too hot for her but a return to five furlongs and soft ground will suit and makes her the main danger to the favourite.
1:55 tote.co.uk Rous Stakes
The field for the Rous Stakes is less than half that of the ITV Racing opener but that does not mean this is an uncompetitive affair by any means. The top of the market for this Listed sprint contains several hardy types who are sure to give their all in what could just be the most thrilling finish of the day.
Three six year olds sit at the top of the betting with Dakota Gold and Tis Marvellous (both 11/2) followed closely by Maid In India (6/1). Of those three, only Tis Marvellous has recently shown the combination of speed and battling ability required to win a race like this. Ascot also tends to bring the best out of him so Tis Marvellous is the pick of the favourites.
The best value in the race, however, is provided by Tarboosh at odds of 9/1. The seven year old remains a high class performer, as evidenced by his eye-catching run from the back of the pack in the City Walls Stakes in July. He has subsequently run very well but it was still a bit of a surprise that he won a good renewal of the Scarbrough Stakes last time out. Tarboosh has every chance of going in again on the soft ground that he loves.
2:10 British EBF Premier Fillies’ Handicap
Class 2, 1m2f
It is time for the first handicap of the day in the shape of the British EBF Premier Fillies’ Handicap. Although this is a genuinely competitive affair, the market reflects a high level of support for both Moll Davis (4/1) and Oti Ma Boati (11/2) and both would be solid choices. Moll Davis likes to come off the pace, working her way through the field but is yet to get the luck in running that her style requires. It is different for Oti Ma Boati who has very much had her own way thus far this season with two wins from two starts, and there should be more to come.
There is another progressive filly in the field who perhaps makes more appeal at the prices. This is a big race for Moonlight In Paris as it is only her second run in a handicap. She missed out on the chance to capitalise on a strong start to life in handicaps when a lack of experience meant she couldn’t burst from cover to challenge the leaders. She should come on considerably for that run, she certainly has the quality, and has run well on soft ground before so Moonlight In Paris is the value option for us at 13/2.
2:30 tote.co.uk Cumberland Lodge Stakes
Group 3, 1m4f
You don’t get many 1/12 shots in British racing but that was the official starting price that Logician went off at last time out at Doncaster. Last year’s St Leger winner faced only one opponent on his belated return to the track having nearly succumbed to peritonitis last winter and although it was nothing more than a procession, it was great to see the John Gosden-trained colt back in action.
Connections have a tough task charting a course back to the top for Logician but they have decided on the Group 3 Cumberland Lodge Stakes for the next stage of his rehabilitation. The bookies make him a 4/7 shot on Saturday and it would be a surprise were he not to win again.
Those looking for an each way option who may even be able to challenge Logician should consider the 40/1 available on Litigator. The three year old arrives in Britain having run some very good races in France and is sure to have success with Roger Varian over the next couple of years. He may be able to secure a surprise on his debut for his new yard.
2:45 Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes
Group 1, 1m
Champers Elysees’ rise from an 86-rated handicapper to a Group 1 winner is one of the stories of the Flat racing season. Anybody who saw her race as a juvenile knew that she had the makings of a good horse for Johnny Murtagh but even her trainer didn’t think she would scale the heights that she’s reached in the last couple of months.
The Matron Stakes was the best case scenario plan for Champers Elysees when she started showing real signs of improvement. Murtagh is now in a bit of a tricky, but very welcome, situation in that he has to work out a new plan for her given her incredible win against a very strong field at Leopardstown. The Sun Chariot Stakes is another great opportunity for Champers Elysees to show that she remains progressive. She relished the step up to a mile last time out and enjoys running on soft ground so is the worthiest of favourites for another Group 1 success at odds of 7/2.
3:05 tote.co.uk Challenge Cup
Class 2, 7f
A maximum field of 18 are set to go to post at Ascot for the Challenge Cup. Amongst those 18 are some three year olds still working their way up the handicap ratings and several more experienced old stayers looking to use all of their nous and fighting spirit to earn some of the £80,000 prize fund.
Last year’s winner and early bookies’ favourite, Kynren, very much sits in the second group. David Barron’s six year old doesn’t have form that immediately jumps out this season but you cannot help but be impressed with his run for fifth place in the Ascot Gold Cup. That run was his first in 94 days and since having wind surgery so he is entitled to improve. If he does he could well in this as the favourite for the second year running even if he is a shade longer than last year at 6/1.
Orbaan (14/1) and Kimifive (16/1) are another couple of experienced sorts who should give their running and are on the radar for an each way shout. It is Shelir who is the most appealing horse with whom to take on the favourite though at 10/1. The four year old has really improved since a change in tactics have seen him ridden more prominently and he could be a real danger off a generous mark.
3:25 William Hill Two Year Old Trophy
There is a fair gap between the top two in the betting for this important juvenile race and the rest of the field. Much of the pre-race attention has been paid to Spright (6/1) who put a poor run on her first attempt over five furlongs at Goodwood firmly behind her with a wins in a decent conditions race and on her first race in handicap company. Both of those wins came over six furlongs and that trip on soft ground should bring the best out of Karl Burke’s filly. However, it is questionable as to whether her best will be good enough to get past Lullaby Moon (11/2) who is primed for a very good autumn.
The more rain at Redcar the better for the favourite who has had a confusing season with a couple of changes in ownership and trainer. Given how strong her start to life at Ralph Beckett’s yard was last time out she should be set for a length stay at Kimpton Down. It could be a profitable stay as well because this well-bred filly has bags of potential; potential she can prove with the biggest win of her career to date on Saturday.
3:40 John Guest Racing Bengough Stakes
Group 3, 6f
The final race of the day looks like another exciting affair with a selection of highly experienced horses contesting the Group 3 Bengough Stakes. Cape Byron tops the betting thanks to his previous strong form in Group company and the fact that he doesn’t mind a bit of cut in the ground. The same is true of The Tin Man though and he has had time to warm to this task over the season whereas the favourite hasn’t been seen since finishing way down the field in last year’s British Champions Sprint Stakes.
The Tin Man may be in the autumn of his career as an eight year old but he remains a real competitor who has what it takes to win at this level. His battling performance in the Betfair Sprint Cup when things did not go his way showed that he will not be easy to shake off and should he get a bit more luck in running at Ascot, he can earn yet another Group level win.