Heydour Looking Hopeful For A Weekend Handicap Win5 min read
There was rain forecast for Newbury on Friday ahead of this afternoon’s card and I feel the opening listed Steventon Stakes can go to the three-year-old Fox Chairman (1.50) representing Andrew Balding.
The selection (5/4) has only had three career starts but finished runner up in the Group 3 Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot last time. That doesn’t tell the whole story, however, as he met trouble in running and would have given the winner – Sangarius – more to think about had the gaps appeared at the right time. The only other 3-y-old in the field Pondus (11/4) failed to get home over a-mile-and-a-half in the King Edward VII Stakes at the Royal meeting and the return to today’s trip should see him in a better light.
The Marsh Cup is a tricky puzzle to solve. My two against the field are The Grand Visir, who won the Ascot Stakes last time, and Coeur De Lion (2.25) who finished third in this race 12 months and has been running consistently well all season. The each way selection is 12/1 with BetVictor and will appreciate any overnight rain that hits the track.
In the Weatherbys Super Sprint, Ventura Rebel (3.40) is one of four runners from the yard of Richard Fahey and is the clear form pick having finished runner up in the Gp 2 Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot last time on soft ground. That followed two fast ground wins and BetVictor’s 11/8 favourite will be a tough nut to crack. The once-raced filly Never In Paris receives 6lbs from the selection and she has been well backed in recent days.
Fox Chairman (1.50)
Coeur De Lion (2.25) Each Way
Ventura Rebel (3.40)
At Newmarket, Kesia is a fascinating contender in the listed Aphrodite Stakes for John Gosden having won her sole start at Ascot on soft ground, although it is not a race that is working out particularly well. The vote goes to her stablemate Sparkle Roll (2.40) who finished third in the Gp 2 Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot last time and the front two hold leading chances in the Irish Oaks at the Curragh later today.
Sparkle Roll (2.40)
Over at Market Rasen, I hope to see Native Fighter (2.45) follow up his recent C&D success from a 3lbs higher mark. Jonjo O’Neill is a positive booking for Jedd O’Keefe’s five-year-old and his recent win was given a boost when the runner up Jimmy Rabbitte was a facile winner at Uttoxeter earlier in the week.
The listed Summer Plate is an absolute cracker and all 15 runners can be given a realistic chance. I do feel there is a big race to be won with Get Out The Gate (3.20) whose saddle slipped at Cartmel last time and that run in best ignored. At 25/1, he is an each way selection, but it really is a hot contest.
Heydour (4.30) is fitted with cheek-pieces for the first time and Mick Channon’s 6-year-old looks well treated in the Novices Handicap Chase, although he would probably prefer to go left-handed. Tidal Watch has done us a couple of favours this summer over hurdles, but he lacks the scope of the selection for the larger obstacles.
Native Fighter (2.45)
Get Out The Gate (3.20) Each Way
Newton Abbot (Sunday)
The weights suggest Al Shahir (2.40) has a bit to find at the weights in the 2m Novices Chase at Newton Abbot, but I just feel that the return to the minimum trip will suit Dan Skelton’s 6-year-old who can cause a bit of a shock.
Al Shahir (2.40)