Televised action from three different tracks today and we head to Haydock first of all, where the main event is the Group 1 Betfair Sprint Cup Stakes at 3.30.
When Starman won the July Cup at Newmarket in July, Ed Walker‘s 4-y-o had no less than 8 of today’s 10 opponents trailing in his wake and, although only third at Deauville next time (soft ground), there is no reason to suppose the result this afternoon will be any different. Unsurprisingly, Starman is a shade of odds on with all bookmakers and will probably win, but at the price, we can only watch and enjoy.
Haddock action starts with the Group 3 Betfair Superior Mile Stakes at 1.45, which has a field of just five.
The market has dear old Lord Glitters installed as the 15-8 favourite and the calendar has been kind to the old boy. When finishing second to Real World at York two weeks ago, LG was saddled with a 7lb penalty for winning a Group 1 at Meydan in March, but, under the race conditions, does not have to carry that impost today. We think David O’Meara‘s charge still has the pzazz to win this and recommend a bet at the quoted price.
The Betfair Handicap at 2.20 is down to just six runners after two ‘going’ withdrawals and the Melrose winner (and Preview selection) Valley Forge is a very short 5-4 to go in again. We are not sure this is a value price, given the 7lbs hike dished out by the handicapper and, instead, suggest a bet on the second favourite Praiano at 7-2.
Roger Varian‘s Dubawi colt was very unlucky at Sandown last time out, his first try at today’s trip, finishing strongly with plenty left after a troubled passage and we hope he will prevail.
At 2.55 we get the Old Borough Cup Handicap, also over 1m 6f and we think Ian Williams is going to be the winning trainer.
Both his runners, Autumn War and Indianapolis have what look to be great chances on the book and we suggest each way bets on both of them at 13-2 and 9-1 respectively.
Over to Ascot now for two races, starting with the Lavazza Stakes Handicap at 3.10 which has a field of ten and we look no further than the favourite in this.
Sir Michael‘s Wahraan was a big ‘eye-catcher’ on its latest run when staying on into fifth at York and, with the step up to 12 furlongs almost bound to suit, we recommend a win bet at 5-2.
The Lighthouse Club Handicap at 3.45 looks a far more open affair and, at the odds, we think an each way bet on Silver Samurai may pay dividends.
Marco Botti‘s 4-y-o was an excellent third behind the rapidly improving Aratus last time out at Newbury and competes off the same mark today. At 11-1, we should get a run for the moolah.
The other two races on telly are from Kempton and whilst Hukum should take care of business at 8-13 in the 2.40 we recommend a modest punt in the Sirenia Stakes at 2.05 on Scot’s Grace at 3-1.
Kevin De Foy‘s filly firmly comes into the ‘could be anything’ category after winning her CD debut by an eased down 4+ lengths and while we don’t yet know what she beat, it’s worth a couple of points to find out.
Lord Glitters 1.45 Haydock 4pts win @ 15-8
Praiano 2.20 Haydock 2pts win @ 7-2
Autumn War 2.55 Haydock 1pt e/w @ 13-2 (5 places Betfair/Skybet)
Indianapolis 2.55 Haydock 1pt e/w @ 9-1 (5 places Betfair/Skybet)
Wahraan 3.10 Ascot 4pts win @ 9-4
Silver Samurai 3.45 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 11-1 (4 places)
Scot’s Grace 2.05 Kempton 2pts win @ 3-1