There are EIGHT LIVE races on Saturday, Oct 7th, courtesy of the ITV cameras.
Action comes from Ascot, which includes a pair of Group 3 contests; Newmarket, where the highlight is the Group 1 Sun Chariot; and the richly-endowed Two Year Old Trophy, from Redcar.
Here’s exactly what we’ve got to look forward to on a cracking afternoon.
13:50 – Blue Eagle Rous Stakes (Listed) (5f)
14:25 – Jim Barry Cumberland Lodge Stakes (Group 3) (1m4f)
15:00 – John Guest Racing Bengough Stakes (Group 3) (6f)
15:35 – Howden Challenge Cup (Class 2) (7f)
13:30 – British EBF Premier Fillies’ Handicap (Class 2) (1m2f)
14:05 – £150,000 Tattersalls October Auction Stakes (Class 2) (6f)
15:15 – Virgin Bet Sun Chariot Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series) (1m)
14:45- William Hill Two Year Old Trophy (Listed) (6f)
13.30 Newmarket – Totnes @ 7/1
We’re paying four places each-way, so you might want to factor that in here. The selection is a 3-yr-old Kingman filly out of a Halling mare who’s hit a rich vein of consistent form of late. Last time at Newbury was a career-high effort over today’s trip, on heavy ground, finishing well.
This followed a very comfortable win at Chepstow in a valuable Racing League handicap, and she’s seen her mark advance from 71 in April to today’s lofty perch of 91. THAT’S what a progressive filly’s profile looks like!
Remember Halling, incidentally? Went from winning handicaps in the 1990s to pocketing two Juddmontes and two Eclipse Stakes.
Here’s hoping the handicapper hasn’t got hold of Totnes just yet ..
13.50 Ascot – Emaraaty Ana @ 15/8
An admirable 7-yr-old gelding who is well clear on official ratings. Been to some HUGE events – Nunthorpe Stakes, Breeders Cup, Haydock’s Sprint Cup – and contests this Listed affair at Ascot over 5f.
I’m expecting regular pilot Neil Callan to race prominently and hopefully repel all boarders. He gets 6f but was mugged late at the trip last time at York, and this stiff 5f might be perfect.
14.05 Newmarket – Zoulu Chief @ EVS
Another who on official marks really ought to be winning this 6f juvenile stakes race. Lovely prize of around £80k, and the selection is trained by Heather Main.
On a three-timer after impressive wins at Windsor and York in August, showing markedly improved form. 28/1 shock scorer in Berkshire – not so unexpected on the Knavesmire though (15/2). He’s very skinny in the market, but has an awful lot going for him, undoubtedly.
Another who has shot up the handicap after those two nursery wins- rated 83 at the beginning of August, and 97 today.
14.25 Ascot – Al Aasy @ 6/4
Classy 6-yr-old gelded son of the great Sea The Stars. In terrific form over his past three outings, winning Listed and Group 3 contests at Newbury then Haydock, followed by an excellent effort in defeat at Leopardstown last month.
Al Qareem is in great nick and comes fresh from a game win at Chester in testing ground last week. Cracking heat.
14.45 Redcar – Flaccianello @ 9/2
Another big 2-yr-old pot up for grabs. I’m siding with a Richard Fahey-trained Cotai Glory filly who is rapidly improving, after only seeing a racecourse for the first time in June.
Ran well at Donny in a similar contest last month and followed up at Ayr in a Class 2 nursery 15 days ago. She’s up 3lb for that but an improving filly is often best kept on the right side of.
Oisin Orr again rides, and with Dragon Leader likely to be very short, everything else in the race is getting a bit of a price boost in comparison. When I began writing this piece Flaccianello was 6/1, and has already been nibbled in to 9/2. Let’s see what market fluctuations await between now and post time!
15.00 Ascot – Commanche Falls @ 11/4
There’s such a lot to like about Commanche Falls. The 6-yr-old gelding keeps his form superbly well and is very evidently as good as he’s ever been.
He took a Listed race at York over this 6f trip last time despite meeting some interference, and prior to that was a running-on, outpaced 4th in a Curragh Group 3.
He took a race at Newbury at this G3 level in July, and for me can repeat the dose on Saturday. He’s blessed with more than a touch of class and can prove it once again, for trainer Michael Dods and jockey Connor Beasley.
15.15 Newmarket – Inspiral @ 10/11
Group 1 fillies clash – and if Inspiral is in the kind of form she showed when winning August’s Jacques le Marois at Deauville, the rest had better start now.
This daughter of Frankel runs in the Cheveley Park colours and is trained by the Gosdens. Frankie will be on board, and I honestly just can’t see past her. Around a shade of odds-on as I write, there are possibles who oppose on Saturday, but they won’t be carrying any of my hard-earned.
15.35 Ascot – Hickory each-way @ 11/1
Big-ish field, 7f, fiendishly-tricky handicap, and £90k to the winner. Wouldn’t look out of place at the Royal meeting.
My selection is Hickory, a decent each-way price, and we’re paying FIVE places so it would be daft in my book not to take advantage of that. Talented youngster Benoit De La Sayette rides, and James Fanshawe trains.
Hickory has run over course and distance twice here – in July, then September. He pretty much hit the post on both occasions under the brilliant Saffie Osborne, but she’s at Newmarket. Was engaged at Ascot on Friday but is thought far likelier to wait for Saturday’s contest. Cracking e/w shout.