There is good racing on offer everywhere you look on Saturday with some decent prize money on offer for connections and plenty of good betting opportunities for punters. All four afternoon meetings in Britain have something to look forward to so I have a selection from all four fixtures. Barney Mcgrew made a place (sp 16-1) in the previous column on Monday.
Beverley 2.25: Kingsgate Native
The admirable 9yo Kingsgate Native has been taking on the best 5f sprinters all season and has been his usual consistent self. However he has failed to win in five attempts so this drop back to listed class and a stiffer track which he seems to like these days can work the oracle.
Twice a group 1 winner in his younger days, he last won at group race level at Haydock on rattling fast ground last May in the Temple Stakes. Therefore the drying ground will be in his favour today. It was fast when he beat all bar Sole Power on his return at Newmarket in May.
Since then he placed third in the Temple Stakes again, on unsuitably soft ground, and was only narrowly beaten over Sandown’s stiff 5f by the recent Group 1 placed Extortionist last month. He lacked the pace over Goodwood’s sharp 5f to get involved last time out, but he gets into this race without a penalty and should be doing good work as the final climb takes its toll late on.
Chester 2.55: Foxtrot Romeo and Apostle
As ever a low draw at Chester has to be an advantage and my two fancies for this valuable handicap have both been blessed with a decent berth.
Foxtrot Romeo has still yet to win since landing a debut win as a 2yo but has run countless good races since and proven to be a consistent handicapper at this level this season. Whilst his second place in the Irish 2000 Guineas in 2012 probably flatters him, a switch to Marco Botti this season has rekindled his enthusiasm. Apart from one run when outpaced over 6f at York, he has been thereabouts ever since and was only narrowly beaten by Accession at Newbury last time having showed his customary high cruising speed early on. I am hopeful that this turning track and inside draw will keep him sufficiently interested to come there in the straight. Hopefully Paul Hanagan will be able to deliver him at the right time.
Apostle represents owner Marwan Koukash and as such is now becoming a regular visitor to Chester. His first two runs here last season were disastrous, but he is clearly getting the hang of the place with form figures of 521 this season. It was probably significant that he was ridden more patiently than usual last time out over this course and distance and he responded with a much stronger finishing effort. At home with cut in the ground he can defy a 5lb higher mark
Newton Abbot 3.20: Dursey Sound
One of two top class handicaps at the Devon track, the chase looks the better race and if his jumping holds out Dursey Sound remains well handicapped on the evidence of his big return to form at Southwell last time.
The 6yo remains unexposed and had shown great potential when winning his first two starts in Britain over hurdles in the autumn of 2012. After a fair second at Ascot upped in class, he was then put away after pulling up behind The New One at Warwick that January. Connections clearly wanted to mind him before sending him over fences and that is where he went last autumn.
Although his jumping was far from foot perfect he made a winning start over the bigger obstacles in a decent field at Bangor once again displaying a preference for good ground. However he failed to progress from that, dislodging his jockey on his next two starts, before looking less than resolute in two defeats at Catterick. Subsequent evidence would suggest however that he simply failed to stay the extended 3m. He struggled in ultra competitive big fields at the Cheltenham Festival and Market Rasen. However given more space in a smaller field at Southwell he cruised through the contest to take command two out. A sloppy jump at the last almost ruined things, but he had plenty in hand at the finish. Provided his jumping holds out today – and the fences here are not the stiffest – he looks the class of the field.
Sandown 3.50: Viewpoint and What About Carlo
The best race of the day at Sandown from a betting perspective is the St James Theatre Handicap and two against the field at double figure odds looks the play here.
Strongest fancy is for Viewpoint a horse who has been generally racing over 12f even though all evidence suggest he barely stays that distance. There are no stamina doubts over 10f and he also seems at his best on turf with just a little cut, exactly as conditions will ride in Esher. He is probably just about best on Polytrack and took advantage of a slow pace to just last home over 12f to win the apprentice race on All Weather finals day at Lingfield off a mark of 92.
That win temporarily left him badly handicapped on turf, hence his lack of competitiveness since. However he ran better than a horse only finishing sixth at Ascot last time where again the stamina gave out over 12f. His one run this season over 10f can be ignored as the saddle slipped. However he had the speed to win a fast run 10f contest at Glorious Goodwood last season off 91 and he has now been dropped to a workable rating of 89 – with top apprentice Cam Hardie able to claim a further 5lbs.
One of the class horses in the field, What About Carlo should not be ignored either. A wide margin winner here in the spring over a mile on soft ground, he showed he had the stamina to last out 10f when winning on Derby day at Epsom. He has struggled in a higher grade since, but is only 6lbs higher than for that decisive Epsom win and on a track he clearly acts well on.
Beverley 2.25: Kingsgate Native – 5/1 general
Chester 2.55: Foxtrot Romeo – 7/1 general
Chester 2.55: Apostle- 15/2 Skybet, BetVictor, William Hill
Newton Abbot 3.20: Dursey Sound – 9/2 Boylesports, BetVictor
Sandown 3.50: What About Carlo (each-way) – 14/1 William Hill
Sandown 3.50: Viewpoint(each-way) – 18/1 BetVictor, Coral
Sky Bet 10 Euro FREE BET: No Deposit Required!