Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, picks out five to follow at Newmarket and Catterick on Saturday afternoon
NICKY HENDERSON loves a tilt at the Cesarewitch and SENTRY DUTY (3.40) looks primed for a big run in the totesport-sponsored handicap at Newmarket on Saturday.
Sentry Duty has always produced his best form when turned out fresh on a sound surface and Henderson has plotted up previous Cesarewitch winners in Landing Light and Caracciola.
The draw has been kind to Sentry Duty and Olivier Peslier is a top booking. Hurdlers have an outstanding record and Kayf Amaris is another who has had this race on his agenda for some time.
He should be backed each-way at 33-1.
French raiders are always to be feared in the Champion Stakes, with Literato and Pride providing back-to-back Gallic victories in recent seasons. They field another strong pair this year and VISION D’ETAT (3.00) is straight out of the top drawer. The 2008 French Derby winner comes here fresh after a light campaign and may have too many guns for compatriot Fuisse, last year’s winner Twice Over and Poet’s Voice.
Frankel has been hailed as the new wonder horse and puts his towering reputation on the line in the Dewhurst Stakes. However, this will be a far more searching examination of Frankel’s credentials, with Dream Ahead and Saamidd serious rivals. The ground may not be soft enough for Dream Ahead to produce his very best and, at the prices, the impressive Champagne Stakes winner SAAMIDD (2.25) appeals as the value bet at around 5-1 for Godolphin.
PATKAI (5.25) has been absent since chasing home Yeats in last season’s Ascot Gold Cup and the market will tell its own story. If the vibes are positive in the betting ring, Sir Michael Stoute’s stayer should outclass his rivals in the Group 3 Jockey Club Cup. Sir Mark Prescott’s improving three-year-old Motrice could be the one to take advantage if Patkai isn’t fully wound up.
Less exalted fare at Catterick, but ODDSMAKER (1.45) drops into a claimer for the first time and will be difficult to peg back. He was ridden with much more restraint than normal at Musselburgh when only fourth behind Chookie Hamilton but Ian Brennan will surely send him to the front in this weaker grade.