Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Ascot and Haydock on Saturday. View selections below.
The international Shergar Cup fiesta at Ascot is not evey punter’s cup of tea but the gala occasion is now firmly established in the British summer racing calendar. Mark Johnston is a big supporter and the way to go may be a stable Lucky 15 at nice prices.
First up is the hat-tricking seeking BROXBOURNE (1.30) in the Stayers’ event. The filly has shown a potent blend of stamina and speed to win over 2m 5f at Glorious Goodwood and, five days earlier, over two miles at Ascot. She beat Homeric by a wide margin here last month and ace New Zealand jockey Lisa Allpress looks destined for a prominent showing. Sir Mark Prescott has the vastly experience Gerald Mosse aboard his stayer Mutual Regard and they could be the main danger in a typically open contest.
BROUGHTON (2.40) goes in the 1m 4f handicap restricted to three-year-old and he also comes into the race on the back of a thrilling Goodwood success, beating in-form Red Avenger over a shorter trip. Comeback king Gary Stevens, who has enjoyed some memorable rides around here at the royal meeting, is a good man to have on your side. Johnston provides five of the 10 runners, no less, but the Charlie Appleby-trained Chesterfield could lay down the most serious threat.
STAR LAHIB (3.15) is one of ‘only’ three Johnston hopefuls in the all-age 1m 4f handicap and, such is the strength of his middle-distance squad at Middleham, the Scot could well fill a couple of places. This time Ioritz Mendizabal, for many years a top European rider in France, does the steering and Star Lahib will appeciate this return to 12 furlongs having been outpaced when the pace quickened over 10f at York (eighth of 19 behind Danchai). She had scored over a mile-and-a-half at Haydock a week earlier and notched a win over that same distance at Chester in June. Consistent Haylaman, representing David Simcock, should give Cathy Gannon a good spin.
Our other Lucky 15 Johnston pick runs at Haydock and there are very few horses as consistent as SENNOCKIAN STAR (2.20). Since September 2012 his form figures read 14222214121121 and the three-year-old pulled readily clear of Vasily at Ascot last week to underline his wellbeing. Sennockian Star should probably have won previously in a tactical event at Newmarket, getting marooned in the centre of the track as Tha’ir bolted up the stands’ rail. We are on a more familiar footing as regards jockey bookings, with safe-as-houses Joe Fanning in the saddle.
Betfred also sponsor the Group 3 Rose of Lancaster Stakes over 10 furlongs and, resuming the international flavour, Mike de Kock’s DAVID LIVINGSTONE (2.55) can make up for a couple of unlucky ventures lately. He finished ahead of his group when running on into fifth behind Belgian Bill in the Royal Hunt Cup and was stopped in his run at Sandown when fourth to Mandour. Johnny Murtagh replaces Pat Cosgrave on the son of Galileo.
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