Horse racing fans have a combination of Flat and National Hunt racing to enjoy on Saturday, with action from three tracks and two countries. The bulk of the racing on the level will come from Newbury which holds its Super Sprint Stakes day, while there is a short but high quality trip over to the Curragh at the end of the day for the Irish Oaks. A good day’s summer jumps racing from Market Rasen intersperses the Flat action where the big race is the Summer Plate Chase.
This variety of racing provides punters with a challenge but it’s the same for the bookies. There are some very tempting prices around, the best of which we’ve picked out in this week’s Saturday Racing Tips. Eight races, can we find eight winners?
1:50 bet365 Stakes (Registered At The Steventon Stakes)
There’s a very good renewal of the Steventon Stakes to kick off Saturday’s racing at Newbury. The betting is topped by Cadillac at 13/8 who ran well enough in winning Listed Glencairn Stakes at Leopardstown that he was bought for a rather tidy £500,000. New connections had high hopes ahead of the Wolferton Stakes at Royal Ascot but Cadillac was a fairly distant second to Dubai Future that day.
While new trainer Kevin Philippart De Foy is still learning about Cadillac, he seems to have picked the right race. The son of Lope De Vega will enjoy the good ground, he goes well after a short break and he should have the beating of this field. The odds of 13/8 seem a fair enough price so it’s the jolly in the opener for us.
2:06 Unibet Horserace Betting Operator Of The Year Handicap Hurdle
Class 2, 2m7f
The most important question for the Unibet Horserace Betting Operator Of The Year Handicap Hurdle is whether a handicap mark of 134 will be enough to stop Ask Paddington’s run of form. Given that he was down at 113 in May, his rise up the weights does suggest that it is a big ask for him to win a fourth race in a row at 4/1 but he is clearly in the form of his life.
Ask Paddington absolutely loves running in the summer months at Market Rasen. Many wondered whether he had been collared by the handicapper when he turned up at this venue two weeks ago but he made light work of a mark of 130. In that context, he only needs to find 4lb of improvement and that’s within his capabilities. 4/1 is a price worth risking that there is even more to come from this one.
2:21 Highclere Castle Gin Cup Stakes
Class 2, 2m½f
It is always great when racing fans get the chance to support the same horse year on year and Withhold has won an awful lot of fans over the course of his career. At the age of nine, Harry and Roger Charlton understand that they need to carefully manage Withhold and they seem to have picked a good race for him in the Highclere Castle Gin Cup Stakes.
An outing last month at Chester was designed to blow the cobwebs away and in that regard it was mission accomplished. There was even a sign of some sparkle remaining in Withhold. Whether he’ll be as good as he was when winning this race in 2019 remains to be seen but there is no reason he cannot replicate the form of his third place here last year so Withhold looks a nice each way option at 13/2.
2:41 Unibet 15 To Go Summer Handicap Hurdle
Class 2, 2m½f
A good field of 11 is set to contest the Unibet 15 To Go Summer Handicap Hurdle, a race which has thrown up several surprise winners of late. Stonific won at the massive price of 40/1 last year, Grapevine at 25/1 two years before and only two favourites have been successful so we’re very much looking for a horse who can challenge at a price.
That horse could be 10/1 shot Hurricane Ali, our each way pick for this one. The John Mackie-trained six-year-old reached a career high rating when winning at Aintree in June and on first viewing his mark of 123 was too much for him to challenge at Cartmel last time. However, rain got into the ground that day and Hurricane Ali much prefers the genuinely good ground he’ll get at Market Rasen so he is worth chancing again from the same rating.
2:56 bet365 Hackwood Stakes
Group 3, 6f
There is a great variety to the racing at Newbury on Saturday with the 6f Hackwood Stakes following on from the marathon race before. Horses from the top of the market have had the best of it in recent renewals of this Group 3 and there is every chance that the race will go the way of either Happy Romance (4/1), Minzaal (9/2) or Rohaan (11/2).
There is an each way angle to this race though, with Go Bears Go a tempting 14/1 to bounce back from a disappointing Royal Ascot. David Loughnane had high hopes for the three-year-old who led his challenge at the royal meeting and although it didn’t work out for him, Go Bears Go is capable of winning at this level. He’s never been concerned racing in big fields and he has some pace around him to work with out in a high draw, so has every chance of getting his career back on track and running into a place.
3:14 Unibet Summer Plate Handicap Chase
Grade 3, 2m5½f
The Unibet Summer Plate is the big race of the summer jumps campaign at Market Rasen. You have to say that this isn’t the strongest renewal of this Grade 3 contest but the top half of the market does at least look competitive and we feel we have found a bit of value too.
That competition and value stretches to Mahler’s Promise who is a generous looking 9/1 in places. Michael Nolan’s seven-year-old heads into the race on the back of a course and distance success on good ground just last month. The handicapper has raised him 5lb for that effort but Mahler’s Promise can take another step forward and give each way backers a good run for their money.
3:30 Weatherbys Super Sprint Stakes
Class 2, 5f
The Weatherbys Super Sprint Stakes is the feature race of the day at Newbury over the minimum distance. A field of 21 will tackle this valuable sales race in which the weight a horse has to carry is determined by their sales price. That leaves some two-year-olds with a lot of potential well treated, such as Maria Branwell carrying just 8st 11lb. The market has not missed the David O’Meara-trained filly but she is very much the most likely winner to our eyes and at 9/4 looks like decent value still.
The one concern for the favourite is that she is drawn right in the middle of the pack and so could quite easily get into trouble. It could, therefore be worth having a saver on Not For Profit at the truly massive price of 25/1. He got off the mark last time out having run better than the result suggested on debut and he should get a clear enough run drawn just two over from the rail.
3:45 Juddmonte Irish Oaks
Group 1, 1m4f
The parting of the ways between Frankie Dettori and the Gosdens did not last very long. John Gosden announced that he and son Thady were taking a “sabbatical” from their long-standing partnership with Dettori after a disappointing Royal Ascot. Gosden Snr was reportedly impressed with the way that Dettori handled that disappointing news though and after inviting him to partner Emily Upjohn in a gallop, Gosden has booked Dettori to ride the 4/9 favourite for the Juddmonte Irish Oaks.
It would take an awful ride from Dettori not to get the job done and land yet another Classic here on Emily Upjohn. Her task at the Curragh became an awful lot easier when Tuesday, the horse who beat her by a short head in the Oaks at Epsom, was withdrawn from the race. There is quality in the remainder of the field with Toy getting plenty of support at 20/1 for the booking of Ryan Moore, but this is Emily Upjohn and Dettori’s to lose and we don’t think the Italian will disappoint his trainer again.