Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Newmarket and York on Saturday. View selections below.
LOW KEY (3.50) can hit the right note for David Pipe in the Betfred Cesarewitch Handicap at Newmarket. Hurdlers have a strong record in this 2m 2f stamina test and Low Key is a dual scorer at Fontwell and Stratford this summer. Low Key translated his National Hunt form to the Flat when romping home in the Cesarewitch trial at HQ (which threw up last year’s Ces winner Big Easy), kicking clear from the furlong pole. Very useful 3lb claimer Tom Marquand again takes the mount and Low Key is due to go up 6lb in future races. Stall 20 isn’t the ideal draw but Low Key is so well handicapped he is a must for the shortlist. Quick Jack, third last year, is poorly drawn and has risen in the ratings. William Of Orange and Grumeti are of more interest. The former was given an awful lot to do when second at York, with Grumeti given a quiet ride back in sixth. Alan King has his team in good nick and Grumeti is 7lb better in with Sir Mark Prescott’s progressive stayer.
CLEAR CUT (2.35) wouldn’t be most punters’ first port of call in the Vision Autumn Stakes but the Irish raider is the dark horse of the race. Jim Bolger didn’t unveil his colt until 11 days ago, with Clear Cut just beaten on the nod over six furlongs at Fairyhouse. This mile should suit and he can step up considerably with that experience under his belt. Gifted Master blazed a trail over seven furlongs at HQ last Saturday and was never in danger of being reeled in. Ibn Malik was no match for Emotionless in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster but the front two pulled well clear of the rest.
BALTY BOYS (5.35) should be in the thick of the action in the Group 3 Darley Stakes. Brian Ellison’s gelding holds Sovereign Debt on their recent Haydock shootout and Balty Boys can be forgiven a rare weak effort at Chelmsford behind Tryster as he never seemed happy on the slick artificial surface. Mutakayyef has become the bookies’ friend after racking up a string of second prizes and William Haggas has reached for first-time blinkers. In fairness, Mutakayyef has found only the smart Scottish (at Ayr) and Mondialiste (York) too strong on his last two starts and he is definitely the one to beat if the blinds have the desired effect. It’s still a big ‘if’ for those punters nursing burnt fingers.
The Coral Sprint Trophy at York provides Richard Fahey with the opportunity to bag another big Saturday handicap and GEORGE BOWEN (3.25) fits the bill as a progressive three-year-old. He was just denied by stablemate Tatislu in the Ayr Silver Cup and that was a huge effort considering he had beaten 21 rivals at the Curragh only six days earlier. George Bowen is bred to appreciate this softer surface and stall 12 is a lovely pitch.
Earlier on the card, ARTHENUS (1.45) can complete a hat-trick for in-form James Fanshawe in the Titanbet.co.uk Stakes. All six career starts to date have come over a mile but Arthenus should stay this slightly extended trip from a 4lb higher perch than when collaring Robert The Painter at Ascot. Arthenus appeared to enjoy some cut (as his breeding would suggest) when scoring previously at Nottingham and is still on the upgrade.
Compare horse racing odds and bet at the best prices