Goodwood and Beverley provide the bulk of this week’s ITV Racing. The former provides three Group level races, each of which contain some very good horses, while the latter has a pair of interesting contests to really make punters work for their money. Good news though, as we have done that hard work for you by going through the form and picking out our best bets from Goodwood, Beverley and the Hopeful Stakes at Newmarket in this week’s Saturday Racing Tips.
1:50 tote Prestige Stakes
Group 3, 7f
This week’s ITV Racing begins with a Group 3 contest for two-year-old filles. The Prestige Stakes has thrown up some very good horses over the years, including subsequent 1,000 Guineas winner Billesdon Brook, who won this in 2018. It remains to be seen just how good those in the field assembled for this year’s renewal are but we do look to have a competitive race ahead.
The market is headed by a couple of very promising types in Daneh and Hello You. Both have run at this level before but neither got the job done in their Group 3 efforts and at the prices may be a little bit unreliable. A better play could be an each way bet on Tinderbox for John and Thady Gosden. After a promising second on debut, she looked like a horse for whom the penny had dropped next time out on the all-weather at Kempton where she controlled the race to win. She is ready for this step up in class and should be right in the thick of the action come the closing stages.
2:05 William Hill Silver Cup Handicap
Class 2, 1m2f
We go from two-year-olds to three-year-olds next with the Silver Cup Handicap providing the first televised action from the picturesque course at Beverley. Few of the seven horses confirmed for the run in this 1m2f race have reliable incoming form, making this a tricky one for punters. All have shown flashes of class but only bookies’ favourite Barn Owl has raced with any sort of consistency this season.
After losing his maiden tag at Ripon, Barn Owl has finished second in handicap company twice. The first time he ran into the very progressive Just Fine while the second run came on ground that was just too soft for his liking. Dropping back down to 1m2f and with good ground to run on, Barn Owl will be able to use his impressive kick for home to good effect and can secure his first handicap win off a fair mark of 84 at equally fair odds of 5/2.
2:25 tote Quadpot Starts Here Handicap
Class 2, 7f
Aratus makes just his second start in a handicap in the tote Quadpot Starts Here Handicap on Saturday but it may be his last for a while. Clive Cox’s three-year-old won a novice under a penalty first up this season and then made light work of his opening mark of 94 at Newbury last time out. The quality he showed in that win suggested that he might be seen in Listed company next time out but connections have instead opted to try and win the decent prize on offer here at Goodwood.
A rise of just 4lb is unlikely to be enough to bring the rest of the field into things in this 7f race. Certainly the bookies fancy Aratus to win for the fourth time in a row and his position at the head of the market may get even stronger than the 3/1 currently available come the off. Get on board now and grab that price whilst it lasts.
2:45 Close Brothers Hopeful Stakes
Squeezed in between the racing from Ripon and Goodwood is a solitary trip to Newmarket for the Hopeful Stakes. It’s a good Listed sprint that takes place over 6f and a very competitive field of 10 has been assembled for this year’s running.
This could quite conceivably go to a number of these but the pick of the lot in terms of value is Khaadem at a general price of 5/1. Connections have found it quite hard to place the winner of the 2019 Stewards’ Cup and have tried him on the all-weather and over 7f in his last two starts. This is a simpler piece of placing, giving him a crack in a Listed race over the trip that best suits. Khaadem goes well on good ground and should get the strong pace that he wants so 5/1 is a good price indeed.
3:00 tote March Stakes
Group 3, 1m6f
The March Stakes is a Group 3 for three-year-olds which has been used as a stepping stone to greater success by some very nice young stayers. Of the bunch heading to post at Goodwood on Saturday it may well be Mandoob that proves to be the best in time. His owners, Shadwell Estate, believe that he could be a top class stayer but are suggesting that a bit of patience may be required. He’s some way from his top level just at the moment which could leave him vulnerable to the bookies’ favourite, Nagano.
Nagano is making the step up out of handicap company for the first time so will need things to pan out well for him if he is to win. The fact that Mandoob and Dancing King both like to race prominently should ensure that they do. A change to more patient, hold-up tactics secured a very nice win last time out and the same approach can see Nagano go in again at 7/4.
3:15 William Hill Beverley Bullet Sprint Stakes
The two last winners of the Beverley Bullet fill the top two places in the betting for this year’s renewal. The trouble for last year’s winner Dakota Gold is that conditions will be very different this time around. The very likeable seven-year-old won’t get the soft ground he craves so will find it very difficult to defend on ground that will continue to dry right up to race day.
Judicial is another very likeable horse and the nine-year-old looks to have rediscovered his best form at the perfect time. Julie Camacho has reported that he is working well at home and he got back to winning ways at Chester last time out. He’ll need to improve from that run to kick on and win the Beverley Bullet though and could be vulnerable to 11/2 shot Hurricane Ivor. A return to 5½f on good ground last time out at York saw him put some sub-par runs behind him and similar conditions over the minimum trip should be perfect for this improving three-year-old.
3:35 tote Celebration Mile
Group 2, 1m
Speaking only a week ago, Saeed bin Suroor suggested that Benbatl’s much anticipated return would come at Windsor rather than Goodwood. Something has made connections change their mind which is good news for racing fans as it make this Group 2 an even more appealing contest and adds a real touch of class.
Running well enough to win a race of this calibre is not an easy ask for a seven-year-old who hasn’t run since September of last year. Benbatl has a good record when fresh though and despite his belated start to the season there could be a lot still to come from him. Chindit, Mutasaabeq and Perotto are all impressive three-year-olds who will make Benbatl work for the win but it’s the experienced campaigner at the top of the betting who is taken to get the job done at the very nice price of 9/4.