Jack Milner of BetVictor.com with Saturday’s best bets
Ayr’s Gold Cup day has been abandoned due to a waterlogged course and means the track has lost all three days of their premier meeting. That abandonment means attentions turn instead to both Newmarket and Newbury, with group racing at the latter and the Mill Reef Stakes this afternoon’s feature contest.
Invincible Army had the pair of Staxton, Nebo in behind when second in the Gimcrack Stakes at York however, I’m not convinced that’s the strongest juvenile form on offer and much prefer the chances of James Garfield (2.50) dropping down in trip under Frankie Dettori. The selection was caught late in the Accomb Stakes over 7f at last month’s Ebor Meeting and prior to that had finished fourth behind Guineas favourite Expert Eye at Glorious Goodwood. The drop back in trip shouldn’t inconvenience him and he can give trainer George Scott a first success at Gp 2 level.
Mill Reef Stakes prices from BetVictor
Invincible Army 5/2
James Garfield 4/1
Frankie partners Weekender in the competitive mile and a half handicap and is a warm favourite to follow-up his recent Newmarket success. The well-bred son of Frankel is 3/1 with BetVictor to defy a 5lb rise at the weights however, despite disappointing last time out I’m willing to give Marcus Tregoning’s Seafarer (4.35) another chance at a double figure price. The selection disappointed last time out at Ascot on ground softer than ideal but prior to that had been impressive over today’s distance at Chepstow and is chanced to bounce back under the excellent Pad Dobbs.
Few ride Newbury better than Jamie Spencer who can deliver Second Step (2.15) to land the Gp 3 Legacy Cup for in-form yard of trainer Roger Charlton. The selection has been a revelation since joining from former handler Luca Cumani, winning listed races at Goodwood and Windsor, and has made the frame in all five starts since moving yards in the spring. The form of his second over course and distance in May’s Gp 3 John Porter Stakes has worked out extremely well and he is a confident selection to reward each-way support.
The Cesarewitch Trial is the feature on a bumper eight-race card at Newmarket where Hawkerland (3.10) is another Marcus Tregoning trained animal bidding to bounce back after disappointing last time out. The selection was backed into favourite for the Goodwood Handicap at last month’s Glorious Meeting when failing to stay two and a half miles on very soft ground. He will be suited by the return to a sounder surface and can reward each-way support under apprentice pilot George Wood – who remains good value for his 3lb claim.
The classic generation receive 7lb from their elders in the Fillies’ Handicap over a mile and a half where I expect Hughie Morrison’s Star Rock (2.35) to defy an opening mark of 80 on her handicap debut under Josephine Gordon. The selection progressed on all four career starts and looked a promising filly when landing a C&D maiden back here in May. The form of that race has worked out extremely well, the runner-up winning at listed and Gp 3 level subsequently, and she looks well-treated returning from a short break.
I’m very keen on the chances of Noble Behest (8.10) this evening at Wolverhampton, bidding to follow-up recent successes at Chelmsford and Thirsk. I’m a big fan of 3yos running against their elders at this time of year and think the 12lb weight-for-age allowance is a very favourable one. The selection has been a revelation since stepping up in trip and, after winning twice over two miles, is a confident selection to complete the hat-trick.
Kind Act (7.40) bumped into subsequent listed winner Chilean last time out at Chelmsford and looks well-placed by trainer Charlie Appleby to go one better under James Doyle. The son of Distorted Humour improved for last month’s debut at Newmarket and with further improvement likely can shed the maiden tag at the third time of asking.
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