HORSE RACING: Leading pundit Charlie McCann gives his latest weekend racing preview. This week the former Talksport tipster picks out potential winners at Newbury and Stratford.
A sub-standard renewal of the Lockinge Stakes is the weekend racing highlight with eight to post for the Newbury’s sole Group 1 race of the flat season. Last year’s beaten favourite Paco Boy is likely to be a shade of odds on following his fluent win at Sandown Park last time and is a worthy market leader, but Sir Michael Stoute has saddled the winner three times in the last nine years and the lightly-raced Zacinto (3/1 with StanJames.com) makes more appeal.
A winner on his seasonal debut as a two and three-year-old Zacinto (3.05) put up a personal best when behind Rip van Winkle in the QEII at Ascot back in September and, on a line through the winner, a repetition of that effort gives him every chance of turning over the favourite.
For Paco Boy supporters we are offering a special bet:
Paco Boy to win this afternoon’s Lockinge by 2 lengths or more: 5/2 or
Paco Boy to win today’s Lockinge by under 2 lengths 5/2
Verdant has been raised 9lbs for his recent Sandown victory but could easily be still ahead of the handicapper and he is taken to land the London Gold Cup (2.30) and give the Stoute-Ryan Moore combination another big winner. The son of Singspiel holds an entry at Royal Ascot next month and he must run well today if he is to take up that engagement. Monterosso has won his last three starts for Mark Johnston and Frankie Dettori takes over stepping up in trip this afternoon. He will have his supporters but Verdant is given the nod.
Plume (4.15) was backed as if defeat was out of the question at Haydock back in September and she still holds a Group 1 engagement at Royal Ascot. She could be a class above today’s rivals and the Hannon yard remain in cracking form. Sard is another who could have got into the fillies’ handicap off a favourable weight but she may have to give best in what looks a most informative contest.
Rocket Man was, arguably an unlucky loser on Dubai World Cup night in Meydan back in March and has since sluiced up at Kranji the venue for Sunday’s Krisflyer International Sprint. If he is to make his mark in the Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot next month (currently 10/1 with Stan James) he should win Sunday’s Group 1 which is being televised on ATR.
Prince De Marais (4.50 Sunday) travelled like the best horse in the race for much of last weekends race at Worcester over 2m 4f and he will appreciate the step back in trip at Stratford tomorrow although this is another very competitive event with Miss Sarenne the obvious danger.
For all your sporting odds this weekend check out Stanjames.com or ring 0800211222