Televised racing from the length and breadth of the country today, with action from Newmarket, York and Chepstow for our entertainment.
We start at HQ, where the first race is the Group 3 Cornwallis Stakes at 1.50, perhaps not the most prestigious race on the card but the best one for a headline.
Our selection is Prince Of Pillo, trained by Keith Dalgleish.
Last time out, POP ran away with a Listed race at Ayr, thrashing a horse which won a Conditions event next time out. Technically has ground to make up on Crispy Cat from the Flying Childers at Doncaster two runs ago but was nearly knocked over early on in that race and still managed to finish fourth. At 13-8 we won’t get rich but a win bet will (hopefully) get us off to a good start.
The Oh So Sharp Stakes at 2.25 is replete with potentially big improvers and we think the biggest one might just be Lose Yourself from the yard of Ralph Beckett.
Visually very impressive on a winning racecourse debut over the July course at the end of August, this daughter of Lope De Vega is highly regarded by connections and could show a clean pair of hooves to this field.
A win bet at 9-2 is recommended.
The Group 2 Challenge Stakes at 3.00 gives us an opportunity to continue our love affair with Sacred who finally showed her true colours last time out when pouching a Listed contest at Newbury by over six lengths.
Having already won a Group 2 and a Group 3 last season and twice a course winner as well, Sacred is nap material and we suggest a decent bet at 11-8.
Supposed highlight of the card is the Group 1 Fillies’ Mile at 3.35, but with Commissioningtrading at 4-7, we’ll just watch this one.
The ultra-competitive Old Rowley Cup Handicap at 4.10 completes the Newmarket coverage with La Yakel installed as 5-2 favourite to continue William Haggas‘ stellar season.
Certainly there was a jolt of improvement when this gelding got up in the last few yards at Ascot 5 weeks ago and, off just 5lbs higher, it’s prudent to begin with a win bet.
Just a length behind La Yakel at Ascot was the Charlie Appleby trained First Ruler, which went for home 2f out and almost nicked it. Ridden with a bit more restraint and with a 9lb pull in the weights, an each way bet is suggested.
We can’t pass up the chance to have a minor each way tickle on Sir Mark‘s Sea King, which was demoted to 4th (from 2nd) in what may turn out to be a hot handicap at Haddock two weeks ago. Off the same mark today, the 11-1 on offer looks attractive.
Oop at York we begin with the 20-runner William Hill Mile Handicap at 2.40 at which we throw a couple of darts in the shape of Bopedro (9-1) and Arthur’s Realm (9-1).
Both should give us a run for the hard-earned and one might win.
The EBF Series Final at 3.15 looks at the mercy of Streets Of Gold, with only Coco Jacklooking capable of bustling up the fav, so we recommend a win bet on the former and an each way ‘steal’ on the later.
The William Hill Handicap at 3.50 has Willie‘s Nathaniel Greene installed as the 7-2 market leader, but we prefer the chances of his other runner Post Impressionist at a more tasty 7-1.
This horse was the chief sufferer in the aforementioned Haydock race in which Sea King was demoted and would probably have finished second rather than 4th. Off just one pound higher, every chance of putting the record straight.
Winner of that race, given the ride of the season by Sean Levy, was our selection Double Cherry, which would have been a comfortable winner without almost being tipped over the rails a furlong out. Can’t desert it off just 2lbs higher and that man Levey on again, so we’ll go in again.
Over at Chepstow, first up is the Veterans’ Handicap Chase at 1.35 and, with bookmakers offering 3 places in this 7-runner affair, we can’t resist an each way bet on The Mighty Don at 5-1.
Best caught fresh, Nick Gifford‘s 10-y-o is well handicapped and has conditions to suit.
The Grade 2 Persian War Novices Hurdle at 2.10 completes the televised action and our selection in this is Presentandcounting.
Donald McCain‘s 8-y-o improved leaps and bounds last year when sent chasing, winning 5 times and achieving a rating of 135.
The decision to exploit it’s Novice status over hurdles this year has paid off in spades with four wins, including last time out’s handicap debut, when the 8-y-o cantered away from its field off mark of 125.
The only one in the field with a recent run, we hope to help Brian Hughes ride his first winner at Chepstow at the fourteenth attempt.
Need a lie down, now.
Prince Of Pillo 1.50 Newmarket 2pts win @ 13-8
Lose Yourself 2.25 Newmarket 2pts win @ 9-2
Sacred 3.00 Newmarket 4pts win @ 11-8
La Yakel 4.10 Newmarket 3pts win @ 5-2
First Ruler 4.10 Newmarket 1.5pts e/w @ 5-1 (5 places)
Sea King 4.10 Newmarket 1pt e/w @ 11-1 (5 places)
Bopedro 2.40 York 1pt e/w @ 9-1 (6 places)
Arthur’s Realm 2.40 York 1pt e/w @ 9-1 (6 places)
Streets Of Gold 3.15 York 4pts win @ 5-4
Coco Jack 3.15 York 1pt e/w @ 5-1 (4 places)
Post Impressionist 3.50 York 1pt e/w @ 7-1 (4 places)
Double Cherry 3.50 York 1.5pts e/w @ 5-1 (4 places)
The Mighty Don 1.35 Chepstow 1pt e/w 5-1 (3 places)
Presentandcounting 2.10 Chepstow 3pts win @ 9-4