Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Newmarket, Chester and Ripon on Saturday. View selections below.
NEWMARKET trainer William Haggas has set punters a real head-scratcher by saddling no less than six runners in the Betfred Cambridgeshire at HQ and GRAPHIC (3.50) could well prove the pick of his sextet.
Frankie Dettori has been rostered to take the mount on the hat-trick seeking gelding who, unlike some of his more fancied rivals, will be at home on the forecast fast surface. Soft ground would have enhanced the prospects of Ascription, so impressive at Doncaster last time for Hugo Palmer, but he has a bit to find with Graphic on their running at Haydock.
Graphic ran out an emphatic two-length winner over Ascription and a 4lb pull in the weights might not be enough to see the placings reversed. Top Notch Tonto looked a Group horse in the making when routing a decent field at Haydock, but trainer Brian Ellison insists the ante-post favourite is better on an easier surface. Johnny Murtagh, a ‘Super Saturday’ jockey in recent weeks, has a live chance on Educate, unlucky when clipping heels at Haydock. Godolphin’s blue silks have been making regular trips to the winner’s circle and Tha’ir could well outrun his 33-1 odds on his favoured slick surface.
GOLD HUNTER (5.00) can keep the Godolphin bandwagon rolling along in the seven-furlong handicap. The three-year-old has been beaten in three handicaps since hacking up by six lengths in a Doncaster maiden in early July but hasn’t been beaten far by some useful sorts. Fast ground is ideal.
At Chester, ZAIN EAGLE (3.05) can rattle off a quick hat-trick after wide-margin victories at Ripon and Doncaster. Although up 10lb, trainer Gerard Butler believes Zain Eagle is Group class and the top weight can lower the colours of Roger Varian’s Kempton scorer Tajheez.
Course winners at the Roodee are always worth a second glance and OCEAN TEMPEST (4.50) can supplement a recent victory here over a mile. The gelding has since pipped well-backed northern raider Shesastar at Yarmouth over this seven-furlong trip and has a lovely berth near the rail. Ocean Tempest hasn’t finished out of the first three in his last seven starts and Brett Doyle gets a great tune out of the grey.
My one bet at Ripon is Mark Johnston’s DISCAY (4.20) in the 1m 4f handicap. The four-year-old has been a model of consistency this summer (313132) and was the only horse to give trailblazer King Of Paradise a race at Hamilton last Sunday.
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