• Fri 9 Dec, 2016
  • 23:18 GMT
  • 19:18 ET (GMT-4)
  • 01:18 CET (GMT+2)

Charlie’s Weekend Whispers

Former Talksport man Charlie McCann marks your card with eight to follow on Saturday at Haydock, Ascot and Kempton. View selections below

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The Group One Betfred Sprint Cup from Haydock Park is today’s highlight with the race largely revolving around whether Sole Power (3.50) the best five-furlong sprinter in Europe can get today’s extra furlong with the drying ground a major plus.

The selection has never won beyond the minimum trip and was beaten five lengths when last tried over six but such has been his dominance at five furlongs and his style of running that he is worth another chance back up to six and at 3/1 with BetVictor he looks a fair price. He will always need luck in running given he needs to be held up to the last minute but Richard Hughes has forged a terrific partnership with the horse who looks better than ever at seven.

There are not many front-runners in the race with only Astaire and to a lesser extent Hot Streak likely to want to press on from the front and a high number could well be an advantage. The selection is drawn in stall nine and would probably want the horses to come straight down the middle of the course, but Richard Hughes has been banging in the winners of late and it is Sole Power for me.

Captain Cat was given far too much to do at Goodwood last time and is sure to be a warm order for the Group 3 Mile but Hugo Palmer has his string in rude health at present and Short Squeeze (2.40) is taken to make the transition from handicapper to Group performer in his stride. The selection is 7/2 with BetVictor and that looks a fair price with Pat Smullen, who was in the saddle at York last time, keeping the mount.

In the Old Borough Cup Havana Cooler has been well supported in recent days but his draw in stall 16 is a worry and preference is for Novirak (3.15) who can reward each way support at 16/1. The selection returned from a 400-day absence at Newbury last month and travelled as well as anything before the lack of a recent run took its toll. The drying ground is a plus and if Graham Gibbons can get him settled he should get home over a trip that should suit.

At Ascot Safety Check (1.55) is 15/2 at BetVictor and can land the opener for Godolphin with Cam Hardie taking off a valuable 5lbs. The progressive lightly-raced Cornrow is the obvious favourite for John Gosden but he is 7lb higher than when scoring at Haydock last month and looks too short at 7/2. The selection ran a cracker at Goodwood last time when not having the best of the draw and a truly run straight 7f should see him in a better light.

Let’s hope it’s a good day for the Boys In Blue as Ryan Moore takes the ride on Good Place (3.00) and she is taken to confirm the promise she showed at Lingfield when breaking her maiden at the second time of asking last month. She holds an entry in the Fillies’ Mile and this looks the perfect stepping stone although all five of today’s runners won last time out.

At Kempton no surprise to see Power Game (1.45) up in trip having ran a cracker on debut when runner up over 6f here last month. He holds an entry in next year’s Derby although there are mixed messages from his pedigree and this 7f trip should be ideal for now.

Secret Number (2.20) has an excellent record fresh and can land the Gp 3 September Stakes returning from a 336-day absence. The selection carries the second cap of Godolphin but goes well for Silvestre De Souza and must run well although his draw in stall seven is less than ideal.

Si Senor (2.55) never came off the bridle last time and is taken to maintain his improvement in the London Mile Final for Ed Vaughan. The classic generation have never won this valuable handicap but the selection sneaks into the race off a low weight, is well drawn and clearly loves the surface.

For all your racing odds this weekend check out BetVictor.com – new customers can claim £50 in free bets

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Charlie

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