• Tue 26 Sep, 2017
  • 22:49 BST
  • 18:49 EST (BST-4)
  • 00:49 CEST (BST+2)

Five to follow on Saturday

Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Newbury, Ripon and Newmarket on Saturday. View selections below.


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LIBRISA BREEZE (3.35) ran into all sorts of trouble at Glorious Goodwood following a luckless run at Royal Ascot, so he certainly owes his loyal backers a return on their cash at Newbury this afternoon.

Robert Winston had a nightmare trip in the Lennox Stakes, whereas winner Breton Rock enjoyed a clear run down the outside. Winston eventually gave up the ghost and dropped his hands close home, allowing his mount to saunter home in ninth place. Librisa Breeze also had a bumpy passage at Ascot when a running on fourth to The Tin Man in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes and deserves a change of fortune.

Today’s Betfred Hungerford Stakes, a Group 2 contest over seven furlongs, doesn’t appear quite so competitive.

DEFOE (2.25) can extend his winning sequence to four in the Betfred Geoffrey Freer Stakes, a Group 3 over 1m 5f.

Roger Varian promptly announced the St Leger as Defoe’s big target after his charge had readily swatted away Frankuus in the Glasgow Stakes at Hamilton and this should tell us more about his Classic aspirations next month.

He will need to bring his ‘A’ game to the races as Frontiersman looks sure to mount a stern challenge. The Godolphin four-year-old is very talented but has his kinks.

Frontiersman threw away a winning chance at Newmarket last time when ducking left under pressure behind Hawkbill and he also hung down the Epsom camber like a broken supermarket trolley when chasing home Highland Reel in the Coronation Cup.

At bigger odds, WEFAIT (5.15) should go well for Joanna Mason in the 1m 4f Betfred Ladies Derby Handicap.

Richard Hannon’s three-year-old got bogged down in the mud when third to Intellect over course and distance in July. Wefait won his maiden on quick ground at Windsor in June and should go close as long as heavy rain stays away.

The big race at Ripon is the annual 20-runner cavalry charge known as the Great St Wildrid Handicap over six furlongs.

Course form is often invaluable over this undulating Yorkshire track and PIPERS NOTE (3.15) has found his way into the Ripon winner’s enclosure six times.

Ruth Carr’s gelding finished fourth in the race last year and fifth to Out Do back in 2014 (5lb better in here), and has posted excellent placed efforts recently behind Stake Acclaim and Danzeno at Ascot, and Magic Memory at Haydock. With many firms offering five places, he should be backed each-way.

Having backed Growl (fourth) in the Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood on unsuitable soft ground, I’ll be having a saver on Richard Fahey’s top weight.

The field will inevitably split into two groups. Pipers Note is drawn on the far side in stall three, while Growl is boxed in stall 18, which gives us a horse racing on either side of the track.

At Newmarket, STONE THE CROWS (5.05) is equipped with first-time cheek-pieces after three solid efforts this season.

Roger Charlton’s gelding won a Salisbury maiden on firm ground in April and ran a close second to useful Sofia’s Rock at Haydock the following month. Stone The Crows found the soft ground against him when chasing home easy winner On To Victory back at Salisbury at the end of June and arrives here a fresh horse. With warm weather forecast, the track should be riding quite slick.
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