• Mon 25 Sep, 2017
  • 07:19 BST
  • 03:19 EST (BST-4)
  • 09:19 CEST (BST+2)

Five to follow on Saturday

Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Ascot and Haydock Park on Saturday. View selections below.

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THE Shergar Cup and all its attendant international hoopla isn’t for every punter but NIBLAWI (2.15) should give backers a good spin in the Shergar Cup Challenge.

Canadian Emma Jayne Wilson has created a big impression on her regular forays across the Atlantic for this meeting and Niblawi will surely enjoy a better trip than on his last visit to Ascot when trapped very wide (stall 15) for most of that 1m 4f handicap.

Neil Mulholland’s gelding still had enough in reserve to give Godolphin hot-pot Royal Associate a scare and although the draw has again been unkind, I’m hopeful Niblawi can be found a bit of cover by his talented rider.

Gawdawpalin ended a long drought when seeing off Red Galileo and King Bolete here a fortnight ago and Sylvester Kirk’s gelding should go well under Jamie Spencer.

HOLD SWAY (3.25) has the assistance of Hayley Turner in the Shergar Cup Classic, another 1m 4f handicap.

After winning his maiden at Newmarket in May wearing cheek-pieces, Hold Sway ran pretty well behind useful Frontispiece and On To Victory at Sandown the following month. Charlie Appleby’s gelding returned from a 56-day break to finish fifth to Good Omen in another tough handicap at Goodwood, hanging both ways under pressure. Hence the application of blinkers this time.

Earlier in the Shergar Cup Stayers over two miles, GRACELAND (1.30) can build on his 100 per cent record at the track having scored on his only previous visit back in May when comfortably accounting for Oceane and Swashbuckling.

Michael Bell has kept him under wraps since finishing second to London Prize in the Northumberland Vase at Newcastle, the consolation race for horses balloted out of the Pitmen’s Derby.

At Haydock, FRANKUUS (2.30) benefited from the application of blinkers when running second to Defoe in the Glasgow Stakes at Hamilton and is trading at tasty each-way odds in the Betfred Rose Of Lancaster Stakes.

Roger Varian’s winner Defoe is being talked up as a serious St Leger contender and Frankuus had William Haggas’s unexposed Call To Mind well held in third. Joe Fanning set a searching gallop on Frankuus and similar forcing tactics can have a few of his rivals in trouble early in the straight.

Spark Plug holds a verdict over Frankuus at Sandown in July but that came on very quick ground. Frankel’s son may edge it this time.

Laraaib is unbeaten in three starts for Owen Burrows and his defeat of Atty Perse over course and distance on his second appearance puts him in with a big shout.

Larchmont Lad’s fourth to Beat The Bank is another piece of solid form and the three-year-old brigade could well dominate over well fancied Autocratic. Sir Michael Stoute’s colt hasn’t been seen since landing the Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown in May.

ZUBAYR (1.55) has made a seamless switch to the flat from hurdling and can continue the good work for Paul and Megan Nicholls.

Pipped by Chesterfield in the Scottish Champion Hurdle in April, Zubayr went on to land a 1m 4f handicap at Kempton before running into Ebor Handicap fancy Gibbs Hill on a return trip to the same track.

Tapis Libre should go well for Joanna Mason having edged out Whinging Willie in the Ladies’ Derby at Epsom and landing the Queen Mother’s Cup at York. Third horse Azari is entitled to finish a bit closer on 3lb better terms.

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