• Sun 22 May, 2022
  • 00:56 BST
  • 20:56 EST (BST-4)
  • 02:56 CEST (BST+2)

Charlie’s Weekend Whispers

Former Talksport man Charlie McCann marks your card with five to follow on Saturday at Newmarket and Chester. View selections below

A fantastic card at Newmarket to look forward to on ground that was described as good on Friday with little rain forecast in the build up to the meeting.

In the opening Royal Lodge Stakes Andrew Balding’s Kameko only went down by a nose at Sandown in the Gp 3 Solario Stakes over 7f last time giving every indication he would improve again for the step up to a mile. Balding won the corresponding race with Elm Park back in 2014 and he went on to win what was the Gp 1 Racing Post Trophy. It is only the price – 6/4 at BetVictor – which puts me off.

Aidan O’Brien has saddled the winner of this juvenile contest three times in the last decade and he is triple-handed this afternoon. Stable jockey Ryan Moore rides Year Of The Tiger (1.50) who has been off the track since finishing down the field in the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket back in July. His subsequent 11-week absence suggests something was amiss with the colt after a busy period of four runs in just over a month and his previous facile Maiden success at Naas on his penultimate start suggested he was well above average. At 7/1 with BetVictor the Ballydoyle colt is the each way recommendation.

The first Group 1 contest of the day is the Cheveley Park Stakes for two-year-old fillies over six furlongs. Raffle Prize ran a cracking race when runner up to the colt Earthlight – runs in the Middle Park later in the card – in the Prix Morny last time when she had the Richmond Stakes winner Golden Horde over 2l back in third. She is a worthy market leader, but she had a hard race last time on ground that was just on the soft side of good and not heavy which was the ludicrous official description.

Andre Fabre has never saddled the winner of this Group 1 contest, but I think his Tropbeau (2.25) will give the short-priced favourite plenty to think about despite dropping back in trip from 7f, the distance of all three of her wins this term. At 9/2 with BetVictor she can reward each way support. Dark Lady – 12/1 with BetVictor – could also be in the mix at a double-figure price.

The colt’s 6f Group 1 the Middle Park Stakes is the best juvenile race of the season to date. When you consider Richard Hannon’s Champagne Stakes winner Threat is 11/1 at BetVictor it shows the quality of opposition. That quality off opposition includes stablemate Mums Tipple who made all to win by 9L at York last time under Ryan Moore. Oisin Murphy takes over this afternoon with Moore claimed to ride Monarch Of Egypt for Ballydoyle.

Earthlight (3.00) is unbeaten in four starts in France and I hope he can give Fabre a third win in the race, but a first since Zieten back in 1992. The selection showed a cracking turn of foot to win the Prix de Cabourg at Deauville in July before getting the better of Raffle Prize in a protracted duel when raised to Group 1 company in the Morny at Deauville last time. The French raider is 7/4 at BetVictor.

The Cambridgeshire is the big betting race of the day and I hope a draw in stall 32 is not an inconvenience for Good Birthday (3.35) although most of the fancied runners are similarly drawn high. The selection was pulled out of a recent race on account of the prevailing fast – good to firm – ground at Doncaster but the hope is that Andrew Balding agrees to let his 3-year-old take his chance. At 6/1 he has been well supported in recent days and is the each way recommendation – 5 places – with BetVictor.

On the other side of the track Dark Vision is worth a second look in his first-time visor for Mark Johnston. He went off far too quickly when behind Good Birthday over 10f last time, but if the headgear makes him more amenable to restraint than in recent starts, he could be well treated for the Middleham handler. William Buick takes over in the saddle and at 25/1 with BetVictor he might be overpriced.

At Chester Fannie By Gaslight (4.30) has the plum draw in stall one and I thought she ran her best race of the season in a decent Ayr handicap off this mark last time. Gerald Mosse takes over in the saddle and I am convinced Mick Channon’s filly is on a winning mark at present.

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Charlie

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