It’s Shergar Cup Day at Ascot on Saturday. This team format is not every racing fan’s cup of tea but other innovations in racing and other sports have helped boost interest and there will be a good turnout at Ascot for what looks like a competitive card. The ITV Racing team will be based at Ascot but also have some good races at Haydock and Newmarket to broadcast. We’ve gone through all of the live races for this week’s Saturday Racing Tips.
12:50 Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Dash
Class 2, 5f
The Shergar Cup begins with the dash. Run over a distance of five furlongs, it takes a run of some quality to be able to win this and for a certain amount of luck in running with a field of 10 sprinting to the line. Tis Marvellous has proven form in the race having won it three years ago and he tops the betting this time around. The seven year old has the class but not the recent form to suggest that he can outrun a mark of 102.
That should open the door for the second favourite Tone The Barone. The five year old is one of the stars of the Stuart Williams stable and loves running at Ascot. Things didn’t pan out when he was supposed to run at Ascot last month but connections look to have found a good race for him here. A run of similar quality to his most recent performance in April, where the run was better than the bare result, should be enough for Tone The Barone to win at odds of 8/1.
1:25 Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Stayers
Class 2, 2m
Ian Williams has improved several horses having taken them on from other yards and he is hopeful of doing just that with Indianapolis. The former Ballydoyle inmate did some good work for James Given before his form tailed off and he was sent to Williams’ yard.
Indianapolis has yet to win since moving to the West Midlands but in dropping down the ratings he has started to get some support in the betting. That support may be evident on Saturday afternoon so taking advantage of the 6/1 currently available looks a smart move. He ran his best race of the season when tackling 1m6f at Ascot last month before another run where he outran his mark at Newbury a week last over 2m½f. He’s actually been dropped another pound after that run as he finished fifth and can take advantage of a mark that looks increasingly generous.
2:00 Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Challenge
Class 3, 1m4f
The expectation at the start of the season was that C’Est No Mour would be seen in some decent staying handicaps. The seven year old has shown plenty of stamina in his career so far but it wasn’t clear that he would have the pace even for the middle distances. Connections, however, took a different route and have entered him in two races over 1m4f so far in 2021.
The first of those runs brought about a win as C’Est No Mour showed how good he is going fresh. He couldn’t follow up next time out but that run was in a very competitive race off a career-high mark of 92. He’ll have to carry the same weight at Ascot but doesn’t face quite the same level of opponent. C’Est No Mour is the beneficiary of a good draw and will have some pace to target so is a good each way option at odds of 14/1.
2:25 MansionBet Bet £10 Get £20 Handicap
Class 3, 1m
Fantastic Fox is a horse about whom King Power Racing think highly. He has proven to be a bit of a pickle after winning at Hamilton in May though and it’s tough to rely on him at Haydock. The bookies’ favourite also wants a strong pace to aim at and may not get it in this six runner handicap.
In a race that has every chance of being a bit muddling it could pay to take a chance on Royal Mews as he makes his handicap debut. There wasn’t much to like about his seasonal reappearance on the all-weather at Lingfield and he is clearly a difficult character to train. If anybody can coax the best out of him it’s the father/son duo of John and Thady Gosden though. Going by his pedigree, Royal Mews has the potential to be running at a higher level than this and his opening mark of 91 may be an underestimation of him even at this early stage so 10/3 is a tempting price.
2:35 Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Mile
Class 2, 1m
The big question ahead of the Shergar Cup Mile is how well Dance Fever will be able to handle a new career-high mark of 100. That is four pounds higher than he carried at Ascot last time out for a third-place finish. The handicapper clearly noted that Dance Fever was the best runner on the near side rail with the first two benefitting from the better ground on the far side.
Clive Cox is seeking to deal with Dance Fever’s higher mark by taking him up in trip. The four year old has run well over a mile before and will have no problem digging deep into his stamina reserves to finish strongly. As with every race on Shergar Cup day, there are several dangers in the field with Dashing Roger and Raising Sand perhaps the most dangerous. Dance Fever is the right favourite though and he can justify his support at 10/3.
2:50 100% Racingtv Profits Back To Racing Sweet Solera Stakes
Group 3, 7f
Almost the minute after Value Theory won her novice at Newmarket three weeks ago attentions of all connected to her were turned to the Sweet Solera Stakes. Making all to win over course and distance was the perfect preparation for this Gleneagles filly who will go up in trip very soon and could be a strong middle-distance performer next season.
In the short term, the job is to get the better of the two horses above her in the betting – Wild Beauty and Sunstrike. Value Theory looks as though she has more room for improvement than those two and potentially than the entire form. She took a nice step forward from her first start to her second and if she does likewise on Saturday she can win again at a generous looking price of 4/1.
3:10 Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Classic
Class 3, 1m4f
French imports to Britain often find that it takes some time to get used to the different tempo of racing. Expectations about Skycutter’s early time with the Philip Kirby yard were tempered therefore but after a couple of decent efforts, now is the time for this previously impressive juvenile to start winning.
There was nothing particularly wrong about the performances of Skycutter at Ripon or Newbury. He finished second on both occasion and should have converted a strong position into a win last time out in a Class 3 handicap. He remains in the same level of company at Ascot on Saturday and has just three pounds extra to carry for his efforts. Skycutter is a horse who should be running in higher company than this pretty soon and can carry top-weight to win the Shergar Cup Classic at odds of 7/1.
3:45 Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Sprint
Class 2, 6f
Clive Cox has nurtured the careers of some fabulous sprinters. It was, therefore, a little surprising to see just how long he and connections of Royal Scimitar persevered with longer trips for Royal Scimitar. After looking like he needed the run over seven furlongs in his first start of the season, the three year old twice disappointed in competitive races over a mile. Only when dropped back to six furlongs did he start to look like the horse who showed a lot of promise as a juvenile.
Royal Scimitar’s run at Newmarket last time was very impressive. He was the best runner on his side of the track by some distance, so much so that the handicapper gave him a two pound rise in the ratings for finishing fourth. With the benefit of a better draw this time around, Royal Scimitar can prove to be ahead of his mark of 97 with a win that will be very warmly welcome by his trainer and anybody who backs him at odds of 5/2.
4:10 MansionBet Rose Of Lancaster Stakes
Group 3, 1m2½f
Euchen Glen has become a real favourite of racing fans for his performances this season. The eight-year-old is a real battler who almost always gives his running and will be difficult to shake off once again in the Group 3 Rose of Lancaster Stakes. The market does expect Real World to do enough to see off Euchen Glen and the favourite appeals to complete a hat-trick at a price of 5/4.
Real World had the look of an improving horse when running well enough in Meydan but it was only when he was switched to the turf that he really started to shine. An incredibly impressive win in the Royal Hunt Cup at Ascot meant he had to step out of handicap company and he did that very well with a win in a strong Listed race at Newbury last time. This is another step up in Grade but Real World can take it in his stride.