The mid-summer schedule in horse racing sees plenty of courses host their biggest meetings of the year. After Ripon took centre stage last week it’s time for another Yorkshire venue, the picturesque Beverley, to enjoy its moment in the sun with the ITV Racing cameras present to present the best of the racing on Beverley Bullet Day.
Away from Beverley and there is a strong card at Goodwood and the Hopeful Stakes at Newmarket to enjoy in this week’s Saturday racing. As ever, we’ve gone through each of the live ITV races to produce our best bets for the weekend and hopefully find enough winners to make it a successful day.
1:30 Joe Rowntree Memorial Handicap
Class 4, 7½f
The first ITV Racing race of the day is also the first race on the card at Beverley. It’s always worth paying attention to any draw biases early on at a race meeting but it’s usually more straightforward at Beverley than other courses. This is a course that is much more favourable to front runners than those who are held up, something that It Just Takes Time can remind everybody by winning the Joe Rowntree Memorial Handicap at a nice price.
Mark Walford’s four-year-old has taken advantage of the dry weather to win two of his last three races. That run has seen his handicap rating increase but a mark of 71 should still leave wiggle room for this front runner who is well priced at 13/2.
1:50 William Hill Prestige Fillies’ Stakes
Group 3, 7f
At this time of the season we are inundated with high quality races for two-year-olds. The William Hill Prestige Fillies’ Stakes is another one to keep a close eye on having produced some very good winners in years gone by. Fairy Cross is the most likely victor this time around but the value bet for us could be further down the market, with Candle Of Hope appealing for each way support at a nice price of 15/2.
Owned by the Queen, Candle Of Hope had a progressive profile before a weak run in Newbury last time out. Patchy form is nothing too serious for juveniles who are still learning their trade and the weak pace at Newbury was not to her liking. If you’re happy to accept the excuses for that most recent run then Candle Of Hope is worth backing each way. We feel this contest should be run with a truer pace and this should allow her to make good use of her stamina to deliver the goods.
2:05 William Hill Silver Cup Handicap
Class 2, 1m2f
The chances of prominent racers will be a running theme through the Saturday at Beverley and Wait To Excel may have the best chance of all front runners on the card. This James Tate inmate is very aptly named as his trainer has thought for some time that he could be a very good performer but has had to remain patient with him because he’s just such a big horse.
After steadily introducing him to racing, Tate has started increasing both the calibre of races that he’s running in and the distance over which he is competing. At the moment, a competitive handicap over 1m2f should be perfect for Wait To Excel who is the right favourite for the William Hill Silver Cup Handicap at 15/8.
2:25 William Hill Handicap
Class 2, 7f
Orbaan arrived at York last week carrying a double penalty and although he could only finish fourth there was a lot to like about his run. He cannot be blamed for getting into trouble and the market has rushed to support him as he makes a quick return to action in the William Hill Handicap.
Strong as the chances of the favourite are, Oo De Lally is more appealing from a betting perspective at the much larger odds of 13/2. He was some way behind Tacarib Bay (5/1 for this race) when they met at Haydock in July but that run came on soft ground and Oo De Lally is much better on good ground. Andrew Balding will surely be delighted that he’s been able to book William Buick for the run at Goodwood as the leader in the Flat Jockeys Championship can ensure that Oo De Lally is prominent enough even from a wide draw to get the job done.
2:40 William Hill Beverley Bullet Sprint Stakes
This is the big race of the day at Beverley over the minimum distance. The William Hill Beverley Bullet is a highly regarded sprint which always attracts a big crowd but it’s probably fair to say that it hasn’t attracted a particularly strong field for this year’s edition.
Among the field are horses who have struggled at a higher level than this and are being reintroduced to calmer waters, and also those who are attempting to step up to the Listed level. Tis Marvellous belongs to the former group having most recently run in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot. The eight-year-old is no longer running at the level required to win a race of that calibre but he does have the ability to put a field of this sort to the sword and can win the Beverley Bullet for the second year in a row at 7/2.
3:00 William Hill March Stakes
Group 3, 1m6f
The William Hill March Stakes is another example of a disappointingly small field for a high-class Saturday race unfortunately. The presence of just three rivals really makes this a penalty kick for Hoo Ya Mal who is making his penultimate appearance in British racing. At these short odds some may refer to simply skip the race altogether as far as betting is concerned, though he could be a nice little addition to a Saturday acca.
It’s the St Leger next for the George Boughey-trained Hoo Ya Mal before he disappears over the horizon for a career in Australia. Good as Perfect Alibi and Animato are, they are not of the calibre of Hoo Ya Mal, who should have no problem getting the job done, albeit at a prohibitive price of just 1/4.
3:15 Jenningsbet Hopeful Stakes
Racehorse training is a tough old job so it can really hurt when luck goes against you. Ed Walker knows all about bad luck as he has done an excellent job with Great Ambassador only to see things go against his five-year-old recently at Newbury and Goodwood.
Great Ambassador caught the eye when on the wrong end of the draw at the Stewards’ Cup in late July. The fact that Walker and connections have decided to keep him off the track since then and freshen him up suggests that they have had a step up to Listed class in the Jenningsbet Hopeful Stakes in mind. There is nothing better for a trainer than when a plan comes together, especially when fortune has been hiding so Walker and jockey Saffie Osbourne will be the happiest people in Newmarket should things fall into place for Great Ambassador at Newmarket. As will we at nice odds of 7/2.
3:35 William Hill Celebration Mile Stakes
Group 2, 1m
Saturday ends with another Group level race at Goodwood which will be contested by just a small field. This time though it could be worth taking on the firm favourite. On first viewing, this looks a great chance for Mutasaabeq to get a first Group win but he’ll have to run very well given how good his four opponents are.
The experienced Escobar will doubtless push the eventual winner hard, Finest Sound is a reliable sort and Jadoomi’s front-running style might see him dictate affairs. It’s the latter who has the best chance of getting this favourite overturned in our opinion. Jadoomi has recovered from some niggling injury problems that have cost him this season and can build on his second place finish at York last week to win a very interesting renewal of the William Hill Celebration Mile at 10/3.