Updated: Aug 8, 2020
Saturday Betting Tips: Ascot, Newmarket, Haydock & Kilbeggan
I hope you all enjoyed last weekend’s exploits which resulted with some nice winners and profit across the board. If you follow me throughout the week, it has also been pretty decent for us with some good winners and further profit to boost the bank. I am back for this weekend’s action for the HRR team and here are my best bets for tomorrow’s action. Best of luck.
GRACEFUL MAGIC (13.50 Ascot, 0.5pt each-way @25/1)
WOVEN (13.50 Ascot, 0.5pt each-way @14/1)
I am very satisfied to see Eve Johnson Houghton drop GRACEFUL MAGIC back in trip having failed to see out one-mile and seven-furlongs on her last three starts. Although she has gone close to winning a Group-three race when beaten half-a-length at Ayr by the 103 rated Rose Of Kildare, her form figures below that level over six-furlongs on the turf reads an impressive 1, 2 and 1. This filly needs fast ground, and she will get that this weekend. For sure, she will appreciate the drop down in class which can only enhance her chances, therefore, at 20/1 generally, she looks a standout each-way proposition. There will be no excuses for her today in these calmer waters.
The other one I want on side is David Simcock’s WOVEN who has demonstrated a good level of form on a consistent basis at a similar-level. He reached the frame four times in 2019, including when third over C&D in the Shergar Sprint Cup Handicap off just 1lb lower. Interestingly, connections persevered with him on the AW and afterwards and he began 2020 with two excellent performances over in Meydan, for which he tasted success. He then went onto finish a creditable sixth of 24 in the Wokingham Handicap at Royal Ascot off a mark of 95 from a poor draw before keeping on nicely to finish fourth at Newmarket when last seen. I am quite chuffed to see the handicapper drop him 1lb for that run defeat considering he finished his race off with plenty more to offer. To add further taste, Irish Dennis Hogan has his only ride on the card taking off an additional 5lb, which clearly states that connections are expecting a big run from this four-year-old.
SHELIR (14.25 Ascot, 1pt win @10/3)
KASBAAN (14.25 Ascot, 0.5pt each-way @13/2)
I seemingly tip SHELIR more often than not, but I’m adamant he will land one of these big-handicaps while on an attractive mark. He’s shown plenty of ability and promise in all four races since joining David O’Meara with his best-effort coming at Royal Ascot when fifth in the Buckingham Palace off a mark of 97 from a poor draw to nearest the finish. He then returned to the scene of that performance back over C&D last time out in another big-field handicap, where again, he was handed another poor draw but ran well enough to gain eighth place of the 19 runners. The handicapper has dropped him 1lb as a result and the step up to one-mile looks exactly what is required based on the way he’s hit the line strongly over shorter. This small-compact field of just 11 runners should also suit him better from stall 7, so it would be somewhat of a surprise if he can’t make a bigger impact this afternoon for his in-form handler David O’Meara, and of course, in-form rider Danny Tudhope. Granted a clear passage with his mark slightly declining, he’s a solid contender.
I quite like Mick Appleby’s KASBAAN who has outperformed his huge odds on the last few occasions, including when third at Newmarket off a 1lb higher mark. He was ninth in the Bunbury Cup off the same mark before finishing a creditable sixth behind Blue Mist last time out when allowed to be sent off 80/1. In fact, he finished in front of Shelir that day albeit that one didn’t get the smoothest of passages. He’s been left alone on the same mark of 95 and for me, is the only real danger to David O’Meara’s runner in the race, therefore, he’s worth an each-way interest.
DUBAI FOUNTAIN (15.20 Newmarket, 1pt each-way @9/2)
You can obviously see the case for the favourite Miss Fly Heaven who was impressive on debut for Richard Hannon, but even so, she represents no value at the prices.
With that being said, I think she will have her work cut out to get the better of the Mark Johnston-trained DUBAI FOUNTAIN, who in theory, should be the favourite for this Group-three based on collateral form. She won her first couple of races from the front impressively before only finding Fev Rover too strong at the finish at Sandown in a Listed event. I think that performance was worth a good deal of praise considering she seemed to be travelling best of all on the front end and was evidently idling when left alone for so long up the home-straight.
She didn’t seem to handle the track from my point of view, looking difficult to keep straight but once the eventual winner went past her, she rallied again and was pulling away from the third horse Setarhe at the finish. I think the step up to a mile here looks the right point of call back on a more even gallop track which should play to her strengths and the figures she’s achieved to date does suggest that she might be the best filly in the race. Silvestre De Sousa is well-known for judging a ride to perfection on front-runner racehorses and I strongly suspect that this promising, improving two-year-old will be hard to pass over this more suitable distance.
I think at 9/2 each-way, she’s the best bet on the card.
CARADOC (15.35 Ascot, 1pt win @7/2)
There are dangers everywhere you turn in this highly-competitive handicap and you can’t rule any out but CARADOC looks a reasonable bet who hasn’t gone unnoticed in the market for this race this week (8/1 just yesterday, and now as short as 7/2). A lot of these have to prove they can defy higher marks whereas Ed Walker’s five-year-old has been there and done it off just 4lb lower at this level. He hasn’t threatened to win on his last couple of starts off a mark of 100, but on one of those occasions he was given too much to do at Epsom. Meanwhile, the other race which was the John Smith’s Cup, hasn’t always been plain sailing for market leaders over the years so you can put a line through that run. The handicapper has been reluctant to drop his mark initially, but he has been given a little respite by the handicapper who drops him 1lb, as he now runs in here off a mark 99 which gives him excellent claims for top honours.
WAR GLORY (15.50 Haydock, 0.5pt each-way @13/2)
ARBALET (15.50 Haydock, 0.5pt each-way @7/1)
This is a really tough contest with the majority of the field leaning on good-looking handicap marks at present. Having said that, I’m going to give one final chance to ARBALET in hope that he can capitalise off his much reduced mark compared to his peak efforts. He’s been running really well in big-field handicaps since joining David O’Meara and he was only beaten five-lengths at Ascot when last seen considering he endured a luckless passage on two separate occasions in the race. Indeed, this race is easier and he certainly makes plenty of appeal with Ben Curtis booked to ride.
Richard Hannon has often kept WAR GLORY busy throughout each season, and although he rarely wins on the turf, he’s hinted of late that his turn might just be around the corner. His last three victories have been off marks above 95 including twice last year off 100+ albeit on the artificial surface. He ran with credit to finish eighth of 23 in the Buckingham Palace at Royal Ascot on his return to action and can now be recognised as a full 10lb lower in the handicap for this easier contest. His fourth at Ascot last time out was another fair effort so providing the drop back to six-furlongs is no hardship, there is a strong chance this consistent seven-year-old will resume winning ways under Dane O’Neill who operates at a high strike-rate on Haydock’s track.
ROYAL MARINE (16.00 Newmarket, 0.5pt each-way @13/2)
This is very competitive but preference is for the Godolphin team-member ROYAL MARINE who has seemingly been dismissed by the bookmakers. I suppose the likes of Al Rufaa and Bear Force One are expected to be near favouritism having both won impressively when last seen. However, I don’t think there is much to split between Fox Champion and ROYAL MARINE with preference for the latter today. This son of Raven’s Pass has been highly tried in his race career thus far, and let’s not forget that he was sent off favourite for last year’s Craven Stakes when finishing fourth behind Momkin and Skardu.
In fact, his last two performances in the UK including one in France have ALL been at Group-one level in comparison to today’s class 2 contest. He was sent over to Meydan earlier this year, finishing respectable midfield positions both times. I like the angle connections have approached with him here, being very patient with him and bringing him back to the UK for his handicap debut. A opening handicap mark of 102 clearly underestimates this horse and his attached quoted odds of around 6/1 makes him a strong each-way proposition.
EVENING SUN (16.35 Newmarket, 2pt win @5/4)
It was perhaps a tentative ride by Ryan Moore that got EVENING SUN (NAP) beaten at Ascot when last seen having been given plenty to do from the back of the field to nearest the finish in third place. Away from that performance, his earlier form has stacked up well with plenty of horses who he’s been competing against have gone on to better things subsequently. I’m more than satisfied to see William Buick deployed in the saddle for today’s race and with the handicapper leaving him alone on the same mark of 88, I’m inclined to believe he will make a mockery of this handicap mark before stepping up in grade in due course.
ORNUA (17.15 Kilbeggan, 1pt win @9/2)
I’ve only the one fancy over the jumps for Saturday’s racing, and I think he represents cracking value in a very winnable race. Grade-one winning chaser ORNUA is evidently a better horse over the larger obstacles but he does have winning form over hurdles and has often been very highly tried ever since winning that grade-one event at Aintree. The Henry De Bromhead-trained nine-year-old comes out best at these weights and will realistically find this race easier then his latest assignment. If allowed a soft lead, his class could prove decisive.