Former Talksport man Charlie McCann marks your card and previews the action on Saturday at Newbury. Compare odds.
A terrific weekend of racing and with doubts about the Ayr Gold Cup meeting going ahead (Thursday’s meeting abandoned) it makes sense to concentrate on what looks a cracking card from Newbury on Saturday.
Cameron Highland (2.05) can take the step up to Group company in his stride for Roger Varian who has had a modest season after bursting onto the scene last year; the selection won, despite the ground, at Windsor last time. Arctic Cosmos has been bitterly disappointing so far this season and is easily overlooked although I am expecting a much better run from the filly Coquet who was palpably below her best in the Yorkshire Oaks last time.
Newbury’s big betting race is the Dubai Duty Free Handicap and with Pat Dobbs at Newmarket to ride, amongst others for Richard Hannon, Tamayuz Star in the big Sales race James Doyle takes over on Blue Surf (3.10) for Amanda Perrett and gets the vote. The selection did me a favour at Goodwood on his penultimate start and one can ignore his last run as he met trouble in a messy race and he can confirm the promise he showed at the Sussex track. There is plenty of pace in the race which should suit although the selection is actually carrying 2lbs more than he should given his penalty for that Goodwood race.
In the finale Morning Call broke his maiden tag at the second time of asking at Warwick and the handicapper looks to have given him a reasonable mark of 73 for his handicap debut; that said I think there is more to come from Muarrab (5.30) back on turf and there are bits of form which suggest he remains fairly treated back against his own age group.
As stated previously Tamayus Star (2.45) should take the sales race at Newmarket having run a cracker behind Steeler at Goodwood last time in Listed company; he wouldn’t have to improve again to take this prize and looks the number one contender from the Hannon stable who have no fewer than four of the eleven declared runners.
In the Cesarewitch Trial French Hollow (3.55) is beginning to look well-handicapped for Tim Fitzgerald and gets the nod having plugged on over 2m at York last time. New Youmzain is less than half the age of the selection but is unexposed and promises to be suited by the step up in trip.
We at BetVictor are betting ¼ odds first five in the Ayr Gold Cup, Silver Cup and Bronze Cup on Saturday and the Ayr executive are confident the meeting will go ahead at the weekend; with the ground likely to be bottomless the draw is likely to have a significant bearing on the outcome.
I always liked low numbers on soft ground at Ayr but the Bronze Cup should give us clues as to where you want to be in the Gold Cup. My tentative selections would be Borderlescott and Our Jonathan in the Big One (3.30) and Fast Shot and Capone (2.20) in the Silver Cup.
Ektihaam (4.40) is surprisingly blinkered for the first time in the Doonside Cup and has not been seen out since having a poor run the French Derby; a winner on soft ground earlier in the season he really ought to be in a different class to the opposition with Opera Gal likely to give him a good tow into the race. Let’s hope it’s a good Saturday for the Roger Varian stable.