We have another cracking afternoon of racing entertainment to look forward to this coming Saturday, as the ITV cameras head to two huge tracks in the shape of Newmarket and Goodwood. The action at the Sussex course takes centre stage, with the four-race TV offering including the Group 2 Lillie Langtry Stakes for the stayers, and the huge betting heat of the Stewards Cup. Newmarket also chips in with a quality handicap for the juveniles, and the Listed class Chalice Stakes.
All in all, an excellent afternoon to settle down in front of the TV – especially with the glorious August weather we’re (not) enjoying! So, stay dry and get your bets on as we attempt to liven up proceedings with a winner or two in this week’s Saturday Racing Tips.
1:50 Coral Stewards’ Sprint Handicap
Class 2, 6f
The action commences with a consolation event for those runners who missed the cut for the Stewards Cup later on the card. The lightly raced Zaman Jemil from the yard of Harry & Roger Charlton is the clear favourite here at around the 3/1 mark. Impressive when winning last time out at Thirsk, he makes obvious appeal under a 6lb penalty, but that success came on good to firm, and he will be facing vastly different conditions here. Overall, he’s a little short for our liking, and we prefer an each-way punt in the opener on one who won’t mind the rain.
Our two for the shortlist are Cooperation (14/1) from the Mike Murphy and Michael Keady yard and Tim Easterby’s Music Society (14/1). Cooperation should have no trouble with the conditions, but we just prefer the claims of Music Society, who boasts career form figures of 2421 over this trip on soft ground and has previously run well here. Whilst only fairly handicapped off a mark of 83, the fact that he is guaranteed to go on the ground is worth a pound or two, and he looks a solid bet to at least hit the frame at a decent price.
2:05 British EBF Fillies’ Nursery Handicap
Class 2, 6f
The youngsters take to the track in the first event from Newmarket, with last time out winners Say Hello (9/2), Snafiya (11/2), and Tierney (13/2) occupying the first three positions in the market. Snafiya makes the most appeal from that trio, having already won twice on soft ground, whilst Archie Watson’s Defying Orders (17/2) is another for the shortlist, having improved markedly for the step up to this trip last time out.
However, with five of the past 10 winners returning an SP of 12/1 or bigger, this often goes to a runner taking a big step forward on their previous efforts. The one who may be most likely to do just that this year is the George Margarson filly, Jumeirah Breeze (14/1). Margarson rarely has his juveniles fully tuned up for their maiden outings, and as such, we were encouraged by the manner in which this one hit the line in sixth last time out in a Class 2 event over this track and trip. A half-sister to three 100+ rated sprinters, an opening mark of 74 would appear to give her sound claims of rewarding each way support.
2:25 Coral Summer Handicap
Class 2, 1m6f
We have a rather competitive handicap for the stayers up next, with the likely ground conditions set to bring stamina firmly into play. The improving Sweet William heads into the race seeking a hattrick and tops the market at 11/4, but is unraced on soft ground and, being by Sea The Stars, wouldn’t be sure to handle it. He’s A Latchico (8/1) is another arriving in form, but much like the jolly, he has questions to answer regarding the going.
HMS President (8/1), Adjuvant (7/1) and Torcello (33/1) finished in a heap in a similar event at Newmarket in May, suggesting that there may be a touch of each way value in the last-named runner, but overall, we prefer to side with another runner from the Tim Easterby yard, Mr Curiosity (16/1).
This son of Frankel clearly hasn’t been the easiest to train, making the switch to the Easterby yard having gone off the boil for Charlie Fellowes, but he is a talented stayer on his day. Slowly coming to hand for Easterby, he took a big step forward to get up close home in a 1m4f soft ground event at Ripon last time out. Only 3lb higher here, and a previous winner at this trip, he looks worth backing to outrun those double-figure odds.
2:40 British EBF 40th Anniversary Chalice Stakes
Irish raider Amusement (13/8) heads the betting in this classy event for the fillies and mares and brings solid form to the table, having finished third in a 1m6f Group 2 event on her most recent start. However, her form in Listed Class events over this trip reads 444, and she’s not for us at the prices.
Going for a yard which has won this three times in the past eight years, the John and Thady Gosden-trained, Sweet Memories (6/1) is an interesting contender. However, she takes a big step up from novice company on just her third career start, and may be disadvantaged should the ground turn any worse than good to soft.
With the outsiders looking to have too much to find on the form book, the best value option is the Charlie Appleby-trained Sunset Point. Progressing nicely in four starts this term, she landed a decent Ascot handicap with something to spare last time out and looks worth another crack in a Listed class event. Significantly, her only previous outing on soft ground saw her win a 1m2f event at Windsor in effortless fashion, suggesting she may be the one most suited by conditions on the day.
3:00 Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes
Group 2, 1m6f
The only Group class event of the day serves as the penultimate contest from Goodwood, as a talented field of fillies tackle the 1m6f trip. River Of Stars (4/1) is a consistent sort with a win over the distance to her name. However, there is at least a suspicion she may prefer a quicker surface, whilst the talented but frustrating Time Lock (11/2) will be tackling this trip for the first time, and hasn’t looked to be crying out for a step up in distance in her recent outings.
Of the outsiders, Ghara (25/1) retains untapped potential, and Luisa Casati (10/1) is much better than she showed last time at Haydock, but overall, this looks all about the favourite. Many were disappointed by Free Wind’s fifth-placed effort in the Hardwicke Stakes, but that 3l defeat still reads very well in the context of this event. 9lbs clear of the field on official ratings, she’s a winner on soft ground and over this trip, and looks the one they all have to beat under Frankie Dettori.
3:35 Coral Stewards’ Cup
Class 2, 6f
Just the 28 go to post in the finale, with this historic handicap affair attracting a maximum field once again. A decent case can be made for a whole host of these, including current favourite Orazio, who goes for a trainer in Charles Hills who has won this twice in the past eight years. Fully effective on soft ground, consistent, and possibly still improving, the only thing we don’t like about him is that skinny price in a race where luck in running can prove such a key factor.
Former Group class performer Tactical is interesting off a mark of 99 but will need to step up on what he has been showing of late, on what will be his first start since a wind op. Bottom weight Came From The Dark is hit-and-miss but an eye-catching entry nonetheless, with Ed Walker opting to step him up to 6f for the first time since 2020 for a shot at this valuable race.
However, we are hoping that class will come to the fore this year, and for us, the classiest performer in the race may be the Jonathan Portman-trained, Rumstar. It was only two starts ago that this one was going down by under 3l to the brilliant Shaquille in the Commonwealth Cup, and he showed a liking for this course and distance when hacking up at this meeting last season. Still only three years of age, there may well be more to come, and he looks a very, very big price to hit the frame.