A massive weekend of horse racing coming up. Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) gets us underway with a look at Saturday’s races.
14:15 Newmarket | Channel 4
Some big money on offer this Saturday at Newmarket and as you get in sales races there is a real gulf in class between a lot of the runners. One Group 1 filly has turned up here and it looks like she has the race at her mercy.
Alice Springs has ran in two Group 1 races in the past 20 days and she has run with real distinction on both occasions. She has stepped up on all previous form and in this race looks a cut above her rivals.
Of her rivals Clear Skies is well bred (half sister to a Derby winner) but her form thus far is miles behind the favourite and she is readily opposed.
The Sir Michael Stoute trained Engage won on her debut by the narrowest of margins and looks sure to improve for that. However she is stepping back in trip and that’s not sure to suit, and she has plenty to find with the market leader here.
Though you have to take on trust that the favourite is still at her peak after two quick races I’m confident she will have the class to win here.
14:50 Newmarket | Channel 4
Another sales race this time a lot more competitive but still gives us a relatively hot favourite. Waterloo Bridge will have a harder race than his stablemate 30 minutes earlier, but he looks primed to win another big pot for Ballydoyle.
Zhui Feng is a well bred colt and won a good prize last time in another sales race at the course. This represents a step up in trip and effectively a step up in grade, but he is open to improvement and should go close here. I expect him to run a good race but I’m not convinced he has the class to win this.
Gifted Master is another progressive colt here and looks like our selections main rival here. He’s going the right way and I think the step up in trip and the big field here will see him improve further. However the favourite in here will be hard to beat and I’m backing him.
Waterloo Bridge was a surprise winner at Royal Ascot but he won well and in the style of a horse who was very much on the upgrade and would appreciate extra distance. He’s not been seen since, but had been relatively busy before then so I see this as a positive.
Though we are taking his stamina on trust he is bred to appreciate this extra distance and his form is far superior to his rivals. I’m confident that he will complete a quick double for connections.
15:30 Newmarket | Channel 4
The Sun Chariot is one of the main fillies race of the season and it looks a good renewal. We have last year’s winner in Integral and a filly on the rise in Esoterique as well as other good runners and this is real Group 1.
Integral won this race last season and was one of the top fillies around 12 months ago. This year her form has been nothing short of appalling and she is on a massive recovery mission here. Her stable has had a very quiet year and there are still no signs that they are coming in to top form. Though she is a classy filly on her day I can’t see her coming back to her best here and I’m happy to take her on.
Though all of the field have claims of some sort here, this race looks at the mercy of Esoterique. She has improved significantly this season after chasing home two of the top horses in training in Solow and Muhaarar and she won a big race herself when powering home in the Jacques Le Marois beating Territories in good style. This level of form is light years ahead of what her rivals have achieved and I’m very confident that she will win this.
14:15 Newmarket – Alice Springs to win (4/7 Bet365)
14:50 Newmarket – Waterloo Bridge to win (9/4 Coral)
15:30 Newmarket – Esoterique to win (6/4 William Hill)
It’s a huge weekend of racing with the Arc taking centre stage on Sunday.
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