AFTER some winners last weekend, Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) is back with more horses to follow on Saturday.
13:45 Newbury | Channel 4
The Dubai Duty Free Arc Trial doesn’t produce many Arc candidates but it does produce some classy winners. Though only six runners have turned up here it’s a good looking race and there are some genuine Group 1 horses lining up here.
The obvious starting point here is Eagle Top. Second in the King George behind Postponed he is still a lightly raced colt who has serious claims to be one of the top middle distance horses around.
He’s only had seven career starts and is still unexposed, however he only has two wins to his name, and away from Ascot his form isn’t great. Granted he won a maiden here, but I’m not convinced he is thrown in as the betting would suggest. He seems genuine and straightforward but he doesn’t run to a consistent mark and he will be treating this as a prep race for later targets.
His main rival here looks to be The Corsican. Another lightly raced colt, he has improved significantly this season and showed himself as a genuine Group 1 horse at Royal Ascot when going close in the Prince Of Wales Stakes.
He then went to Goodwood when he was an unlucky loser, visually at least behind Dubday, and comes here with a progressive profile. That day Jim Crowley took a lot of abuse for his ride on The Corsican amd Jamie Spencer takes over here. I see this as a positive replacement as Jamie Spencer is an expert on hold up horses and could be the key to unlocking The Corsicans full potential.
Though his form is still slightly below that of Eagle Top, he is more likely to be fully wound up for this race. Still without a Group win to his name this would be a real feather in his cap and I’m prepared to back him each way in this as I can’t envisage him being out of the places.
15:45 Ayr | Channel 4
The Ayr Gold Cup is one of the biggest sprint handicaps of the season and one of the toughest races to find the winner of anywhere in the year. 25 runners and 8/1 the field indicates we will have value whatever we fancy and there is one I love the look of in this.
Don’t Touch is the favourite here from the Richard Fahey yard and he brings an unbeaten record into the race. Though he wasn’t overly impressive last time out at Ripon he won none the less and showed a willing attitude. He doesn’t look like a natural sprinter, and though the stiffer track and softer ground will help him this is another step up in grade and I think this will be the end of his winning sequence.
There are numerous dangers in the field, Toofi and Golden Steps are two I like at decent prices, but my selection here is a veteran of the Ayr Gold Cup Jack Dexter. He has run in two previous renewals of this race and has a third place to his name from two years ago. There hasn’t been a Scottish trained winner of the race for 40 years but there is hope that the hoodoo can end here.
Jack Dexter is a Group race sprinter and has spent his season mainly competing at the top level. He ran in the Stewards Cup last time out being beaten under four lengths running on close home. I’m convinced Ayr suits him far more than Goodwood and I expect him to improve here. He has been well backed through the week but he still represents massive each way value. Available at 14/1, some bookmakers are offering six places here and I think that’s the bet for me. He looks primed to run a huge race and I expect him to be involved in the finish.
13:45 Newbury – The Corsican each way (4/1 Betway)
15:45 Newbury – Jack Dexter each way (14/1 Coral)
Saturday is a massive day for horse racing with the Ayr Gold Cup taking place.
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