Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Newbury, Newmarket and Thirsk on Saturday. View selections below.
BATTALION (2.05) swerved his Yorkshire Cup engagement in favour of a tilt at the 1m 5f Listed event at Newbury on Saturday. William Haggas is among the most astute trainers who have mastered the art of placing horses to best advantage and Battalion has mopped up three of his last four races. The four-year-old looked ready for this elevation in class after trouncing useful handicapper Chancery and subsequent Chester Cup winner Suegioo on his Ripon comeback. Battalion is pitched in against classy sorts Mount Athos, Sky Hunter and Forgotten Voice but his star is certainly in the ascendency.
Ripon has been a happy hunting ground for Haggas and he despatched stablemate SATELLITE (3.15) to the Yorkshire track for his racecourse debut last month. Satellite duly routed his rivals and now takes on some serious handicappers in the Betfred London Gold Cup at Newbury. Sir Michael Stoute’s Cannock Chase was very impressive at Windsor, while Richard Hannon saddles Sandown scorer Windshear, but Satellite may well be on a different planet.
Haggas is firing a few bullets up and down the country and MOUNT SHAMSAN (5.45) heads north to Thirsk for a 1m 4f maiden. A late developer, four-year-old Mount Shamsan disappointed on his sole career start, managing only fifth in a one-mile all-weather maiden at Lingfield. He was sent off a well-backed 3-1 shot that day, so better things were clearly expected.
Closer to home at Newmarket, Haggas should have a short-priced winner courtesy of YUFTEN (4.40) in the mile maiden. The merit of his second to Barley Mow on his Newbury debut last season has been well advertised and there was nothing wrong with his third-placed effort in a Newmarket maiden last September.
Also at HQ, Andrew Balding’s VAN PERCY (2.20) must go close in the 1m 6f handicap, having bypassed an opening at York on Friday. He was spotted running on stoutly into fifth spot behind Mighty Yar here over 12 furlongs, having been held up too far out of his ground in quite a steadily run event.
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