The ITV Racing cameras are set to beam Saturday’s racing action from three courses this week with a total of eight races to get stuck into. The bulk of the racing comes from Haydock (four races) and Beverley (three) where the John Of Gaunt Stakes and a couple of two-year-old contests will take most of the attention. We have a host of handicaps including a strong looking race at Chester to enjoy in this week’s Saturday Racing Tips.
1:45 Betway Handicap
Class 3, 6f
We start with a 6f handicap at Haydock. Capote’s Dream certainly has been a dream since he turned up at Tom Ward’s yard in February. Ward saw the potential in this four-year-old to be a good performer over shorter trips than he had previously been campaigned over and three wins from four starts at 6f have justified the faith that he has shown in him and the changes he has made.
Bielsa has a real chance (11/2), as does the tricky Cold Stare, who is a tempting option on the sort of soft ground that he relishes. He is better than his mark of 87 and some may feel that 8/1 offers value. However, for us he is just too inconsistent to fully support, so it’s the favourite who gets the nod at 5/1 as he should also prove to be well treated off a mark of 83.
2:00 Hilary Needler Trophy Fillies’ Conditions Stakes
Class 2, 5f
Kyber Crystal is being well supported by punters and tipsters for this 5f race for two-year-old fillies. There is a suggestion that she ran into a good colt when finishing second on her debut at Doncaster and progression is almost a given as she heads to Beverly. However, the unraced Jilly Cooper could be the one to get the favourite beaten at 9/1. From the Mark Johnston yard, this daughter of Lope De Vega is related to some smart performers over 7f and 1m. That natural stamina could stand her in good stead on the soft ground at Beverley and at the prices she is the one for us.
2:20 Betway Achilles Stakes
Sprinters are capable of being competitive at a very good level long into their careers. That much is made clear by the presence of El Astronaute right at the top of the betting for the Achilles Stakes. The eight-year-old won this race last year and comes into the contest this time around on the back of a win, so is understandably being well supported at around 7/2 for this Listed race.
El Astronaute is not the only eight-year-old in with a real chance of winning this 5f contest though. Indeed, we fancy the talented Tarboosh makes better appeal at 6/1 thanks to the soft conditions that the horses will find at Haydock. Whereas he often finds the going too strong in the early stages, the cut in the ground should allow him a bit more time to grow into the race and get up to his top speed. He is as quick as any of these when he gets going so Tarboosh can take advantage of his conditions at the very nice price of 6/1.
2:40 tote+ Pays You More At tote.co.uk Handicap
Class 2, 7 ½f
Boardman was a fairly warm favourite when last seen at York in May. Tim Easterby’s five-year-old was 4lb well in for that 7f handicap and made light of the competition with a taking performance. The most impressive element of Boardman’s win on the Knavesmire was the way he tanked through the latter stages having been slowly away. He can be a tricky individual at times and is by no means assured of a good start at Chester but the extra half a furlong will only be a positive as it helps him make the most of his stamina and gives him more time to get into things if we see another bad start.
As you would expect when a horse wins a handicap by 3½l, Boardman has to do it again under significantly different terms. A 10lb raise in the weights may not be quite enough to stop him though, even as he makes this step up in class, so Boardman looks the value option at a nice price of 5/1.
2:55 Betway Pinnacle Stakes
Group 3, 1m4f
The Pinnacle Stakes is a chance for older fillies and mares to take centre stage at Haydock on Saturday. This middle distance contest is going to be more of a stamina test than usual with the horses having to get round the 1m4f trip on ground described as soft on the eve of the meeting.
Cabaletta made some waves as a three-year-old and even after her form tailed off towards the end of last season people were suggesting that she could be at her best at four. That may be the case but she didn’t set the world alight on her seasonal debut a fortnight ago and soft ground is less than ideal so avoid the favourite and instead support Oriental Mystique. She is another who should have her best season as a four-year-old and ran well despite clearly not being fully fit last time out, so 5/2 looks a good price about Oriental Mystique’s chances.
3:10 bet365 Continental Two Year Old Trophy Conditions Stakes
Class 2, 5f
When there isn’t a huge amount of form to go on punters have to take every piece of available information to make their decision. Doubtless, the fact that Ryan’s Party was a 200,000 GNS purchase at a breeze-up sale has played a part in his billing as the favourite for the Continental Two Year Old Trophy. He does have one racecourse appearance on which to form an opinion though, a decent run for second place at Hamilton two weeks ago.
Results are expected to improve for Ryan’s Party but it could be that a horse whose results have actually got worse since a debut win roars back to win this 5f contest. The Gatekeeper won on debut and then emerged with real credit when finishing second at Ascot next time out. The soft ground at Newbury put paid to his chances of successfully stepping up to 6f last time out but he may just have the extra quality as well as experience to get back into the winner’s circle at solid enough odds of 5/1 here.
3:30 Betway John Of Gaunt Stakes
Group 3, 7f
The Group 3 John Of Gaunt Stakes is the feature race of the day at Haydock. The fans on Merseyside will be looking forward to this all day and many of them will be on board the 10/3 favourite, Safe Voyage. John Quinn’s gelding had the season of his career at seven and there is no reason to think that he cannot have more success as an eight-year-old. It’s true that he was never in contention in his first run of this season but his entry in the Lockinge Stakes was always viewed as a shot to nothing. This is much more Save Voyage’s level and he can hammer home his class edge over his rivals in Haydock.
With Thanks is the obvious danger. William Haggas’ four-year-old is partnered with Tom Marquand and both trainer and jockey believe there is a fair amount of improvement to come from this lightly raced four-year-old. Soft ground and a fillies’ allowance are in With Thanks’ favour but Safe Voyage should just about prove too good.
3:45 bet365 Handicap
Class 3, 7½f
The final ITV Racing contest of the day comes in the shape of a 7½f, Class 3 handicap at Beverley. 12 of a possible 14 entrants stood their ground at the final declaration stage and while this isn’t the highest calibre action of the day, there are a few horses who arrive with a good chance.
There is a lot to like about the chances of Sibaaq running off a mark of 80. The Mark Johnston-trained three-year-old is giving up experience to all of his rivals but he is unbeaten in two starts over this course and distance and his recent form has been given a boost. The only problem is that the market has not missed Sibaaq who is the bookies’ favourite at 9/4. None the less, he is a horse who could go on to better things and is one of the few in the field with a genuine chance of making big improvements.