Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, picks six to follow on Saturday at Newbury, Newmarket and Thirsk. Selections
UTLEY (2.15) looks the best bet on a tricky Newmarket card on Saturday. This wouldn’t be the strongest Listed event ever held at HQ and John Gosden’s colt need only a repeat of his third place behind Pausonias at the Craven meeting to figure here.
If fast ground is still the order of the day at Newbury, AKMAL (2.00) could be hard to peg back in the JLT Aston Stakes. This confirmed front-runner couldn’t hold ooff Askar Tau over a longer trip last time but 1m 5f is tailor-made for this relentless galloper.
Elsewhere on a star-studded card, Sir Michael Stoute appears to be shrugging off his early-season cobwebs and LABARINTO (3.10) was an eye-catching fourth behind Art History at HQ last month and could well be up to Royal Ascot standard.
There is some rain forecast for Thirsk and that should bring Jim Goldie’s NORTHERN FLING (1.35) into the equation at a nice price. He should be spot-on after two runs, the latest coming here when noted staying on steadily from the rear over a furlong shorter trip. The Goldie/Gary Bartley combination teamed up to good effect last saturday with Hawkeyethenoo and Northern Fling is back down to his last winning mark of 82. Goldie has a couple of other horses on the card, Daring Dream and River Falcon, which should also be on the premises at each-way odds.
ACADEMY BLUES (3.15) was in rampant form this time last season, scoring at Doncaster before being touched off in a competitive handicap at Chester’s May fixture. Dandy Nicholls drops him in grade after flying a bit too high at Ascot last month.
At Doncaster, TENHOO (6.00) goes well for apprentice Nathan Alison and Eric Alston’s improving handicapper can add to a quite emphatic success at Newcastle when hold-up tactics were employed.