For many racing fans the start of September signifies the start of the jumps season. Exciting as the return of the biggest names in British and Irish National Hunt racing is, there remains plenty to get excited about on the Flat including the meetings at Haydock, Kempton and Ascot this Saturday.
As the ITV Racing cameras continue to broadcast the pick of the Flat action, so we continue to pick out the best bets on the Flat. Below we go through all nine of Saturday’s live ITV races in this week’s Saturday Racing Tips.
1:15 Betfair Daily Tips on Betting.Betfair Ascendant Stakes
The opening race of the day should be a fairly straightforward one for punters. Good as Seeking Gold and Lion Of War may turn out to be, this Listed race for juveniles is almost certain to go the way of Naval Power.
Charlie Appleby and William Buick will be hoping – maybe even expecting – to have bigger days than this with Naval Power when he turns three. Naval Crown has taken a well-trodden route for some of his most promising horses with Naval Power of which the Betfair Daily Tips on Betting.Betfair Ascendant Stakes is the logical next step. His likelihood of winning is reflected by the best odds of 2/5 but backing him could very well prove a move you won’t regret.
1:45 Best Odds On The Betfair Exchange Superior Mile Stakes
Group 3, 1m
Is this the weekend that Reach For The Moon finally turns things around? The Queen’s horse has been a beaten favourite in each of his last three starts, including at Royal Ascot where he had been given a huge billing only to let punters and the large watching public down.
The step up in trip to 1m2f was perhaps the biggest issue for Reach For The Moon at the royal meeting. Connections are hopeful that the return to a mile could be just what he needs to get back to winning ways. That Hampton Court Stakes defeat has put a cap on connections’ hopes for him but this is a very good opportunity for Reach For The Moon to return to winning ways and his price is tempting enough at 13/8.
2:05 Unibet September Stakes
Group 3, 1m4f
You might think that Kempton’s all-weather card wouldn’t stand up to the turf action from Haydock and Ascot on Saturday but have a look at the field for the Unibet September Stakes and you’ll see that’s not a fair reflection at all. The Group 3 Unibet September Stakes has a particularly strong entrant in the shape of Dubai Honour who should get the job done for William Haggas and Tom Marquand.
That Marquand is in attendance tells you a lot about how much the Haggas team think of Dubai Honour who was last seen in the Juddmonte International where he finished 9 lengths behind Baaeed. This is a drop-down in class from that incredibly high level but Dubai Honour will still need something approaching his best if he is to win at odds of 11/8.
2:20 Get Daily Rewards With Betfair Handicap
Class 2, 1m6f
As you would expect for a handicap for three year olds at this stage of the season, the Get Daily Rewards With Betfair Handicap tends to go the way of a horse who arrives on a nice upward curve. That is a description you could fairly apply to Tamilla and Adjuvant who fill the first two places in the betting. However, could it be worth siding with a horse who has already proven himself to be tough as old boots despite his relative youth?
Pons Aelius has already raced 10 times in 2022. The rise in his rating from 69 to 81 suggests only a relatively modest improvement over that time but he’s finished worse than second only twice. This is a step up in class but it’s also a step down in trip. A battle for the line in a competitive handicap should be right up Pons Aelius’s alley so make sure to back him each way at a nice price of 18/1.
2:40 Unibet London Mile Series Final Handicap
Class 2, 1m
You would hope that the final of a long-running series of handicaps would be a very competitive affair and it’s good news on that front with the Unibet London Mile Series Final Handicap. This really is wide open so it’s going to take a fair amount of luck for any punter to call it correctly. That said, the chances of Baldomero appear slightly better than his odds of 16/1 suggested.
In terms of draw and run style, the race looks well set up for Baldomero. He will be able to track the expected early strong pace and then his draw in stall three should have him well placed to come on strongly late on. There’s less to like about his recent form but the four year old looks fairly treated at the weights and a mark of 88 gives him wiggle room.
2:55 Betfair Exchange Old Borough Cup Handicap
Class 2, 1m6f
The Betfair Exchange Old Borough Cup is always a real test of stamina but it’s shaping to be even tougher than usual this year. The presence of several horses who like to set strong early fractions should ensure that this is a real challenge and that only those with the biggest engines have a genuine chance. Likewise, horses who travel towards the back of the pack and can pick up competitors on the way home should be favoured so it’s no surprise that Euchen Glen is prominent in the betting.
Jim Goldie’s nine year old was much better than the bare result suggested. He got into trouble not of his own making in running and was not the recipient of a favourable draw. This time around he’s nicely drawn in stall 11 and providing he gets a relatively smooth passage, Euchen Glen can work his way through the pack to score at odds of 7/1.
3:10 National Racehorse Week Handicap
Class 2, 7f
Ascot is one of Britain’s premier racecourses but it is by no means to the liking of every horse. Previous course form at the Berkshire venue tends to translate well to future results which makes the presence of recent course and distance winner, Fresh, at the top of the betting market no surprise.
James Fanshawe is rightly proud of his five year old and thinks there is still room to improve off of his mark of 102. Such is the quality of this seven-furlong race though that 102 does not make him the highest-rated horse. That is Accidental Agent who is also a previous winner over seven furlongs at Ascot and who is more appealing at the odds even if he’s more of an each way bet than a win one at 20/1.
3:30 Betfair Sprint Cup Stakes
Group 1, 6f
With all due respect paid to the other races on the card, this is the reason that the ITV Racing cameras are at Haydock on Saturday. A very welcome full field of 17 will contest this valuable Group 1 and Owen Burrows is full of hope that Minzaal can finish in front of them all to finally win at the top level.
Burrows has been delighted by Minzaal’s work at home but it’s all about how well he can transfer that to the course up against this standard of opponent. It could well be more heartbreak for the Burrows team with Naval Crown ready to win a second Group 1 of the season at 5/1. Disappointing over six and a half furlongs on good to soft ground at Deauville last time out, Naval Crown should be much better back at six furlongs and on the sort of good to firm ground that he loves.
3:45 Lavazza Stakes
Class 2, 1m4f
Another bumper day of racing comes to a close with a £100,000 handicap. That sort of prize money should attract decent fields and the 11 three year olds in the running should produce an engrossing contest. A progressive horse who should be able to climb the official rankings is exactly what punters are looking for and Al Nafir fits the bill despite his results failing to improve of late.
The Charlie Appleby team wasn’t overly concerned that Al Nafir finished fifth in a 1m6f contest last time out. That run was his handicap debut and, in hindsight, taking that step up in trip was a bit too much to ask as he tasted this level of competition for the first time. The drop back to 1m4 looks a wise move so don’t be surprised if Al Nafir takes a big step forwards to win at odds of 8/1.