Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Chester, Sandown and Beverley on Saturday. View selections below.
B FIFTY TWO (2.20) and HEAVY METAL (2.55) team up with Chester specialist Franny Norton and their aggressive style of running will be well suited to the unique demands of the Roodee. B Fifty Two routed his field by three lengths on his only previous trip to Chester at the end of June. The ground was good to soft that day and similar underfoot conditions are likely to prevail. Factor in a plum draw in stall two and this blinkered trailblazer should take some catching in the Sportingbet Handicap over the minimum trip. Furthermore, he underlined his wellbeing when finishing a close third to Blaine at York last week and Charlie Hills will be disappointed if B Fifty Two is not in the thick of the action.
Norton and Mark Johnston are a formidable combination and Heavy Metal should give backers a good run for their money in the Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer Handicap over an extended seven furlongs. After bagging the mightily competitive Longines International at Ascot, Heavy Metal almost backed up in the Betfred Mile at Glorious Goodwood, losing out on the nod to Red Avenger. Heavy Metal was the victim of some serious scrimmaging on a return visit to Goodwood last Saturday, when stablemate Almargo ran away with the 32Red Handicap, and that run is best ignored. The signs are that Heavy Metal remains in good form, despite a busy spell, and Johnston is a master trainer at keeping his horses on a roll once they have found the winner’s circle. Stall 10 is a nuisance but Norton has the knack of getting the job done around these tight turns.
At Sandown, AKTABANTAY (2.40) looks the answer to the Group 3 Solario Stakes. Hugo Palmer is starting to make a name for himself and Ryan Moore teams up with his Newcastle scorer. The colt was no match for Richard Hannon’s speedy Estidhkaar in the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket in July but finished nicely clear of the remainder.
With the Esher track forecasting good to soft ground, CLON BRULEE (3.50) is taken to build on his recent emphatic Newmarket success under testing conditions. Mikey Ennis takes off a useful 7lb and the Godolphin horse should relish the punishing uphill run to the line.
The C4 cameras are also taking in the Betfred Beverley Bullet Sprint and MECCA’S ANGEL (2.25) has plenty of early dash. Michael Dods’ filly hasn’t been since running fifth to Rangali at Maisons-Laffitte in May but a reproduction of her eight-length destruction of Eccleston in a Conditions event at Hamilton earlier that month would make her hard to beat. Mecca’s Angel had earlier waltzed home by more than four lengths at Thirsk and, with both victories coming on softish ground, conditions should be perfect.
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