Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips to consider at the Newmarket, Haydock and Chester on Saturday. View selections below.
THE Betfred Cambridgeshire is one big handicap that has so far eluded William Haggas, but the Newmarket handler can set the record straight through ante-post favourite MUKHADRAM (3.40).
The three-year-old has been kept under wraps since chasing home warm favourite Sovereign Debt in a Conditions event over a mile at Newmarket in early July. Mukhadram also finished fourth behind Energizer in a Group 3 over 1m 2f at Royal Ascot and it is surely significant that his first run in a handicap comes in such a valuable event as the Cambridgeshire.
Paul Hanagan sports the Hamdam Al Maktoum colours carried successfully by Tazeez (John Gosden/Richard Hills) in 2008 and Haggas has kept Fury in the race as top weight, ensuring Mukhadram has a nice racing weight here. Of course, Fury, the mount of Johnny Murtagh, has solid claims himself (especially wearing a hood for the first time) but will do well to concede 10lb to his unexposed stablemate in the first leg of the traditional autumn double.
On a tremendous card at HQ, STEELER (1.55) will relish the mile trip in the Royal Lodge Stakes. Mark Johnston’s colt showed a tremendous attitude at Goodwood, reeling in subsequent winner Tamayuz Star with a telling turn of foot in the final furlong.
Steeler can grind it out up the hill and should prove just too strong for Fantastic Moon.
Johnston’s middle-distance three-year-olds are remarkably durable and ENERY (5.25) is on a quick, late-season four-timer. The son of Teofilo is up 6lb for his latest win at Folkestone and could well take this rise in class in his stride.
The Middleham maestro despatches PRUSSIAN (4.40) to Chester on the back of an emphatic Haydock success. She has risen 7lb in the ratings but is a filly on a roll, having failed by only a head to catch Sir Michael Stoute’s rejuvenated Labarinto at Sandown on her previous outing. Stablemate Universal, chasing a hat-trick after wins at Epsom and Beverley, is a threat.
At Haydock, course winner SCRAPPER SMITH (4.25) steps up to 1m 6f after an unlucky run in third behind Tominator at Chester when hampered at a vital stage in the straight. Alistair Whillans’ tough six-year-old was earlier touched off on the nod on soft ground in a valuable handicap at Hamilton.
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