• Wed 26 Jul, 2017
  • 23:49 BST
  • 19:49 EST (BST-4)
  • 01:49 CEST (BST+2)

Charlie’s Weekend Whispers

Former Talksport man Charlie McCann marks your card with eight to follow on Saturday at Newmarket, York, Ascot and Chester. View selections below:

A real Super Saturday of flat turf racing and we begin our preview at Newmarket where the Gp1 July Cup is the feature event. The classic generation have only won the corresponding race three times in the last decade (11 of the last 30 renewals) but I hope to see Harry Angel (6/1 at BetVictor) reverse Commonwealth Cup form with the unbeaten Caravaggio (11/10) in what promises to be one of the races of the season.

The selection has three-quarters-of-a-length to find with the favourite but the hope is that Adam Kirby can hold on to his front-runner for longer and fend off the likely last furlong charge of the Irish raider. At 6/1, I would be very disappointed if the Clive Cox-trained runner was out of the first three in what looks a vintage renewal with Limato, The Tin Man and Tasleet also genuine group one sprinters.

The Bunbury Cup is the big betting race of the day at HQ and Mutawathea (3.25) and Steady Pace are my two against the field with marginal preference for the former who finished third in the corresponding race 12 months ago from a 1lbs higher mark. Indeed, if you take leading apprentice Lewis Edmunds’ 5lbs claim into the mix the selection – who is 12/1 with BetVictor- is 6lbs lower than last season.

Ballydoyle’s maiden winner Gustav Klimit (4.00) is 13/8 at BetVictor for the 7f Gp 2 Superlative Stakes for two-year-olds and was most impressive at the Curragh having shaped with promise on his racecourse debut. You have to go back to Horatio Nelson back in 2005 for the last time Aidan O’Brien saddled the winner of this particular contest and this prize was immediately nominated as the target after his success in Ireland.

Weekend Offender (1.55) has a very modest draw to overcome in stall 14 of 16 in the opener at York and he is reluctantly overlooked (7/1 at BetVictor) for Kevin Ryan. Of the market leaders I just favour Firnas who I think will appreciate dropping back to a mile in his first-time cheek pieces for the inform Charlie Appleby.

I am going to take a chance, however, on Arcanada (1.55) who gets the each way vote coming out of stall two for Tom Dascombe and talented 5lbs apprentice Paddy Piley. The selection won over C&D back in August and has been given a break since running well in defeat at Meydan back in February. It is possible that this is just a sighter for a repeat bid at the Ebor meeting but this is a good prize in itself and at 16/1 with BetVictor he might be worth an each way investment.

I hope it is a good day for young apprentices as I hope Big Country (3.05) hasn’t left his race at Haydock having looked as though he would appreciate a drop back in trip when finishing in mid-division in the Old Newton Cup last weekend. Raymond Dawson is not a jockey I am too familiar with but the selection has a good draw in stall four and this morning’s forecast rain would be a big plus.

At Ascot I’m looking forward to seeing Yalta (2.10) drop back to the minimum trip for Mark Johnston in the valuable 5f handicap. Many would suggest it is hard for three-year-old sprinters against their elders at this time of the year, but the hope is that the drop to five furlongs might be the key. At 16/1 with BetVictor, he gets the each way vote.

Laraaib (2.40) is unbeaten in two starts for Owen Burrows and can land his hat-trick in the 10f handicap. The colt has not run since winning at Haydock seven weeks ago, but I feel he could still be ahead of the handicapper despite a 12lbs rise.

There is rain forecast at Chester and Jungle Cat (3.00) can land their feature the listed City Plate under Franny Norton. The first time blinkers are a slight concern but a draw in stall five is a positive and connections look to have found an excellent opportunity.

We are going to hear a great deal of trainer Olly Murphy in the years to come as befits someone who was an integral cog in the wheel that is Irish trainer Gordon Elliot. Murphy saddles Sky Of Stars (5.30) in the last at Stratford and this four-year-old caught a tartar at Uttoxeter earlier in the week.

It is perhaps significant that the selection will escape a penalty for winning this conditional jockey’s event and has entries at both Worcester (Tuesday) and Uttoxeter (Wednesday). He represents the nap of the weekend.

For all your racing odds this weekend check out BetVictor.com – new customers can claim Bet £10 Get £30 free

Be lucky

Charlie

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