• Mon 5 Dec, 2016
  • 12:54 GMT
  • 08:54 ET (GMT-4)
  • 14:54 CET (GMT+2)

Charlie’s Weekend Whispers

Former Talksport man Charlie McCann casts a detailed eye over Saturday’s cards at Newbury, Newmarket and Uttoxeter.

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The Gp 1 Lockinge Stakes is the weekend racing highlight from Newbury with trainer Richard Hannon pitting his stable stars Canford Cliffs and Dick Turpin against each other.

Canford Cliffs (3.45) finished third in last year’s 2000 Guineas and progressed with each run rounding off with victory in the Sussex Stakes his third successive Gp 1 win at Goodwood at the end of July. That said the stablemates have met three times previously and the score is currently 2-1 to Dick Turpin. The latter has already shown his well-being this term when running out an impressive winner of a Sandown Group 2 last month. Richard Hughes had the choice of mounts and it would appear we both think Canford Cliffs will level matters on Saturday.

Lockinge Stakes: prices from
Canford Cliffs 8/11
Dick Turpin 7/2
Twice Over 7/1
Cityscape 12/1
20s bar

After a quiet start John Dunlop has his string in good form and Akmal (2.00) lost little in defeat behind Askar Tau (runs York Friday) last time over 2m and shouldn’t be too inconvenienced by dropping down over a quarter of a mile. Richard Hills is an excellent jockey from the front and the long Newbury straight should suit. If there was significant rain the mare Polly’s Mark must enter calculations especially as she made such a pleasing comeback on ground quicker than ideal at Goodwood two weeks ago.

Dominant was desperately unlucky at Sandown last time but it didn’t escape the handicapper who has raised him 6lbs for finishing second! The name Roger Varian may be new to many readers but it won’t be for long. Varian has taken over the Newmarket stable of Michael Jarvis and had a very good winner at York earlier in the week. The said it has also been a good few days for Her Majesty The Queen whose Carlton House is the new 7/4 favourite for the Derby with victorchandler.com after his fluent success in the Dante Stakes at York earlier in the week.

Her Majesty was at Newbury when General Synod (3.10) who runs in her colours failed to justify market support in a hot maiden on his reappearance. That form has already received a boost with the success of the third horse home (4th Quadrant runs 4.55) and the selection could have run in a division of the maiden which book-end today’s card. Connections must think that General Synod’s mark of 83 is workable and the booking of Jamie Spencer looks significant.

The nap of the weekend is the filly Hawaafez (3.25) stepped up to the Oaks distance of a mile-and-a half for the first time at Newmarket. She has been a beaten favourite on both starts this season and she was “expected” on both occasions. She still holds an entry in the Oaks at Epsom next month and whilst that is likely to be tilting at windmills she can go one better than at Pontefract last time when she didn’t do anything in a hurry and gave every indication 12f would see her in a better light.

Tactician (2.50) (another owned by Her Majesty the Queen) was progressing nicely towards the end of last season and has always looked the type who could make up into a decent staying handicapper as a 4-y-o. His fitness must be taken on trust but he is one to keep on the right side of this term.

Over jumps Dante’s Storm was very well backed for the Foxhunters’ at the Cheltenham Festival but his jumping didn’t hold up and he was well held in fifth. As long as the ground doesn’t deteriorate too much (heavy showers forecast) Eleazar (5.45 Uttoxeter) can upset the odds on the likely favourite as he created a very favourable impression at Fakenham returning from a 12-month absence last month. There is no question that the recommendation is more ground dependent than Dante’s Storm but as long as the ground is no worse than good Eleazar can prevail. Do note that the horse is also declared for the 4.30 at Market Rasen on Sunday.

On Sunday Supreme Keano (3.30 Market Rasen) has never fulfilled early promise but he looks extremely well handicapped on his best form and if there was market support for the horse I suggest we take the hint.

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Charlie

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