Jack Milner of BetVictor.com is looking to get the week off to a good start
Saturday offered plenty of classic clues with Newbury winners Emaraaty and James Garfield both given quotes of 33/1 with BetVictor for next year’s 2000 Guineas at Newmarket. The former cost connections 2.6million guineas at the sales and is bred to be pretty useful; by Dubawi and out of the Gp 1 winning filly Zee Zee Top. John Gosden’s colt cis entered in both the Dewhurst and the Racing Post Trophy whilst Mill Reef winner James Garfield looks set to stay over 6f.
The colt gave trainer George Scott the biggest winner of his career thus far and landed the Gp 2 contest in the silks of his new father-in-law Bill Gredley. The colt will be aimed at the Breeders’ Cup but long-term is another with Guineas aspirations and looks a fair price at 33s for the first classic of the 2018 flat season.
Ayr’s Western Meeting succumbed to the elements last week, losing all three days to the weather, and Hamilton must pass a 7.30am inspection with the ground currently soft to heavy in places and further rain forecast. Don’t Touch (3.15) landed an almighty gamble for the Richard Fahey yard when successful in the Ayr Gold Cup two years ago and can claim his first win subsequently under regular partner Tony Hamilton in the £25,000 feature. The selection hasn’t won a race in over 15 months but has plied his trade in some of the most competitive sprints and can gain a nice confidence-booster dropping down in grade.
Soft ground horses will also be popular at Leicester and, after shedding the maiden tag in testing conditions here earlier in the season, I expect Charlie Hills’ filly Queen of Kalahari (2.00) to go close again under PJ McDonald. The selection won a 5f Maiden at the track back in May and defied a penalty to win over today’s 6f trip at Brighton in June. She must defy a 3lb rise for finishing second in a competitive nursery just 18 days ago but remains well-handicapped to claim a third career success.
The pair can complete a quick-fire double with Porth Swtan (3.05) in the 7f Maiden. The son of Invincible Spirit is bred to handle soft ground and has placed on his both starts with cut in the ground at Doncaster and Chester. He disappointed in the Convivial last month at York’s Ebor meeting but based remains open to further improvement and can reward each-way support in a wide-open race.
A field of 9 sprinters go to post for the feature 5f Handicap and Venturous (3.40) looks well-treated for in-form trainer David Barron. He was slowly away when well-backed for a competitive handicap last time out at Doncaster, finishing sixth of 15 under Silvestre de Sousa, but left with the impression that there was better yet to come. The yard have enjoyed 4 winners from their last 7 runners and from an unrevised mark I expect this gelding to reward each-way support under the excellent Ben Curtis.
Those needing a sounder surface will be in action at Kempton for an eight-race card on the all-weather. There was a lot to like about Teppal’s winning debut last month at Lingfield and she is respected under a penalty however, Shurooq (3.30) is bred to be pretty smart and gets the nod to make a winning debut under Jim Crowley. The selection is out of the brilliant Guineas winner Natagora and by Darley super-sire Dubawi and must go close on his racecourse debut.
Crowley’s chance of landing the feature has been hampered by Lightning Charlie being drawn 11 of 12 for the 6f Handicap and preference lies instead with Naadirr (4.35) taking advantage of a tumbling mark under Jamie Spencer. The selection has disappointed in three starts since joining Kevin Ryan from former handler Marco Botti but has fallen to a career-low mark and must go close if retaining any of his former ability.
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