British racing fans have a mixture of summer racing to enjoy on Saturday. Newbury hosts an exciting day of Flat racing including big races such as the Hackwood Stakes and Super Sprint Stakes. Meanwhile, Market Rasen has a very good card of summer jumps racing headlined by the Summer Plate.
The day’s racing on ITV is given an extra touch of class by the Irish Oaks at the Curragh where Snowfall should confirm herself the most exciting three year old filly around. The mixture of racing adds a level of intrigue and some difficulty for punters but we have done the hard work by going through the cards to pick out the best betting tips from each race below.
1:50 bet365 Stakes (Registered as the Steventon Stakes)
The Listed bet365 Stakes at Newbury kicks us off with this week’s ITV Racing. It could be a very good idea to tune in early as we might just have a star on our hands at the top of the betting. Derab isn’t going to reach the heights of his half-sister Enable but he has shown signs in his three year old campaign that he will make a lot of headlines over the course of his career.
Derab predictably found the Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club too hot for him last time out. However, the fact that he was entered for that contest on the back of winning a novice shows that connections think a lot of him. Moreover, he was far from disgraced and ran better than his ninth-place finish suggests.
The favourite must get the better of some high-quality rivals with more experience than him to win. Real World (9/2) won the Royal Hunt Cup on his first start on turf, Solid Stone (5/1) is a reliable type who has already won at this level and Felix (9/1) is very good on his day. Derab should prove to be the best of these though and gets a healthy weight allowance so is taken to get the job done at odds of 9/2.
2:05 Betway Summer Handicap Hurdle
Class 2, 2m½f
Could we see a horse complete a six-timer in the first race from Market Rasen on Saturday? That’s the opportunity for Hooper ahead of the Summer Handicap Hurdle. There is no doubt that this is the toughest task that the Nicky Henderson-trained five year old has faced so far and his winning streak has taken him from 121 to 139 in the ratings. He’s still being backed as though there is something more to find though as Hooper is the joint-favourite along with Camprond, at the time of writing, at a price of 5/1.
The odds might suggest that those two will fight this out between them but there are a number of these 15 runners capable of getting into the mix. Valentino Dancer is one such horse and he looks tempting at odds of 9/1. Cheekpieces and a sound surface did the trick of Fergal O’Brien’s six year old last time out and it could be the same story at Market Rasen.
2:25 Bahrain Turf Series Handicap
Class 2, 2m½f
The previous three editions of the Bahrain Turf Series Handicap have all been strong and this year’s renewal of this valuable handicap is no different. As usual, key performers from the Northumberland Plate and Vase at Newcastle are making the trip to Newbury. Indeed it’s the Vase winner, Zeeband who tops the betting at 5/2. The quality of that win suggests he will be returning to Newcastle next year for a crack at the Plate and the market is right that he holds every chance.
It is the horse who finished as the runner-up to Zeeband that day who makes more appeal at the odds though. Margaret Dumont kicked off her season in underwhelming fashion but she bounced back with a second-place finish on the all-weather track at Wolverhampton before going close again. It’s clear that she ran into a very good horse on both occasions but she is now seven pounds better off than Zeeband and may be able to take advantage by turning two runners-up finishes into a win.
2:40 Betway Summer Plate Handicap Chase
Grade 3, 2m5½f
As a steeplechase, this is a very different type of race to the one that precedes it but there are a number of similarities. For one, there is a well-backed favourite who heads into the race on the back of some strong form. Captain Tom Cat continued his excellent form since switching to fences last time out to cap a third win on the bounce and he continues to be backed right at the top of the market at 9/2. The plan after that win last month was always to head to the Summer Plate before taking a break until the autumn and he has every chance of going into that break on the back of yet another win.
The other main similarity between this race and the one 15 minutes earlier is that there is a tempting option with which to take the favourite on. Lord Bryan is that horse having made a very nice return to action after over six months out with a win over course and distance. He has gone up for that win but is taking a step up in class here and so gets in right at the bottom of the weights. His recent win was probably a career-best performance and if he runs that well again a place is well within Lord Bryan’s grasp at odds of 12/1.
3:00 bet365 Hackwood Stakes
Group 3, 6f
Last year’s winner of the Hackwood Stakes, Tabdeed, is back to defend his title. It comes as little surprise that the Jim Crowley-trained six year old tops the betting with the general consensus being that he will progress from his run in the Chipchase Stakes. Tabdeed will face a fairly stiff challenge but so do the punters as it is not immediately clear which of the contenders will provide the sternest test.
King’s Lynn is second in the betting. The Queen’s horse is still improving but he has it all to prove here. Happy Romance comes into the race on the back of her best run of the season but that came over five furlongs and going back up to six furlongs may not be ideal. Right at the bottom of the betting, Method could grab a place at 12/1 back on the site of his best run but preference for the win bet goes to Diligent Harry. He took his form to a new level in the Chipchase and there is a feeling that his preference to run at the front could suit Clive Cox’s three year old on his turf debut.
3:10 Heed Your Hunch At Betway Handicap Hurdle
Class 2, 2m7f
It’s been a case of making up for lost time for Taste The Fear. After making the switch to the Dr Richard Newland yard he made just one appearance before missing the whole of 2020. It took just 19 days of 2021 for the six year old to run for the first time and he has since been seen on seven more occasions. Those eight runs have produced just one real disappointment when he fell at Sedgefield but it’s largely been a very productive time for Taste The Fear with two wins and two runners-up finishes.
The most recent of those runs was Taste The Fear’s handicap debut. He’d long been thought of as one who should have some success in this company and he nearly went all the way with a win first time out but was beaten by less than a length. The handicapper has been fairly lenient with just three pounds extra added to Taste The Fear and that could prove to be too little to stop him from winning this handicap hurdle at odds of 4/1.
3:25 Juddmonte Irish Oaks
Group 1, 1m4f
The Irish Oaks is the highest calibre race of the day but the odds suggest that it is not going to be much of a contest. Snowfall, the impressive winner of the Epsom Oaks, is as short as 1/4 to win this before returning to British shores to take on some even bigger contests over the remainder of the season.
It would take something highly unexpected for Snowfall to fail to live up to her billing as the strongest of strong favourites. There is no value in backing her though. Fortunately, the bookies are paying out three places and an each way bet on Willow could produce a nice profit at a chunky price of 11/1. The Ballydoyle filly was actually dead last in the Epsom Oaks but bounced back from that with a Listed win at Naas which showed that she does have plenty of ability. As much as this is a big step up back in grade, she could have the improvement required to earn a place.
3:40 Weatherbys Super Sprint Stakes
Class 2, 5f
22 runners are set to contest the Super Sprint Stakes. As it’s a handicap you would expect that large field and a winner’s prize of nearly £100,000 to ensure that this will be a very competitive race. That is true in as much as there are good horses throughout the field but such is the quality of the pair at the top of the betting – Chipotle and Vintage Clarets – that it could be something of a shootout between the two.
The chances of the top two dominating this five-furlong contest are greater for the fact that they have been drawn just one stall apart. Jockeys David Probert and Paul Hanagan will be able to keep a close eye on one another to ensure that neither gets too far away. The market is finding it difficult to separate the two but preference just about goes to Vintage Clarets at 9/4. The Richard Fahey stable have an excellent recent record in this race and the quality of his run into second place in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot suggests Vintage Clarets can improve on it.