ITV Racing Tips for Newmarket, Chepstow and York on Friday
This Friday there is action from Newmarket, Chepstow and York and Ant has picked out his selections from each race. See all of them below and a preview of each live race.
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The first selection comes up in the Newmarket Academy Godolphin Beacon Project Cornwallis Stakes which is a Group 3 event run over 5f. The current market leader Method (5/2) is my selection here.
Martyn Meade’s charge is stepping down in class and certainly would have given a better account of himself at the higher level if the saddle hadn’t slipped two furlongs out last time in the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes.
Method will have no problem stepping down in trip to 5f, providing he handles the juice in the ground, we can expect a good run.
The main danger will come in the shape of Acklam Express, who does have form in the book on soft and ground and looks to be a colt that will dig in when the going gets tough.
The Betsafe Double Winnings Handicap is a Class 2 contest over 7f. I am going to side with Ouzo (12/1) E/W who put up a great effort over course and distance in the clipper Clipper Logistics Handicap in August. We can forgive the selection’s poor run last time out as the increase in trip did not appear to suit.
Ouzo has winning form on soft ground over today’s distance so we can hopeful of a bold showing with a two-pound drop in the handicap.
The next selection comes up in the Godolphin Lifetime Care Oh So Sharp Stakes, which is a Group 3 affair over 7f. The filly currently leading the market is the Joseph O’Brien-trained Thinking Of You. I’m siding against her as I’m sceptical about the form of the yard after the contaminated feed saga. I do like the look of two in this, though. Nazuna (3/1) has shown a lot of promise and finished second to the classy Isabella Giles last time out over course and distance in the Rockfel Stakes. Trainer Roger Varian has hit the bar over the past few days with a few of his runners so hopefully Nazuna can get a win on the board.
Another horse that has caught my eye here is outsider Alicestar (20/1) E/W. She ran well with juice in the ground behind a few decent sorts at Salisbury last time out – namely Happy Romance and Alcohol Free.
Alicestar gave me the impression she will appreciate the step up in trip after being caught out for speed last time. If Jamie Spencer can get his timings right here I can see her being involved in the finish.
The next race is the Betsafe Stakes (Heritage Handicap) which is a Class 2 event run over 1m 5f. I really like the look of Favorite Moon (4/1) NAP here who I’m forgiving for his poor showing at York two starts ago.
William Haggas’ charge powered away from his rivals last time out at Haydock to win by an emphatic eight-and-a-half lengths. The trip is slightly shorter than at the Merseyside circuit but I’m sure the testing conditions will make up for that and we can be hopeful of a big effort.
The main danger here may come in the shape of the progressive Prince Alex who has defied four rises in the class and is knocking on the door of a five-timer.
The next selection comes up in the Goldophin Stud & Stable Staff Awards Challenge Stakes which is a Group 2 contest over 7f. There are a few classy types in here but I am going to side with Happy Power (5/1), who is a consistent sort. Andrew Balding’s four-year-old ran well last time out and gave the impression he may have had more in hand. The son of Dark Angel has form with cut in the ground I feel can make his presence felt in this higher grade.
The next race is the moment I have been waiting for – the return of quality National Hunt racing. The Unitbet Persian War Novices Hurdle is a Grade 2 contest run over 2m 3f. There’s no point beating around the bush here; the classiest horse in the field is Mcfabulous (4/5). Providing there is no fitness issues, he should win this race.
The next selection comes in the Bet365 Fillies Mile which is a Group 1 contest over 1m. It will come as no surprise I’m going for the progressive Isabella Giles (11/2) here, who was really impressive last time out and looks open to further progress.
The Belardo filly gives the impression she is improving for every run and certainly will give her all with conditions to suit.
Isabella Giles’ form could also be given a timely boost if Nazuna triumphs earlier in the day.
The main threat will be posed by Indigo Girl, who was impressive in a Group 2 contest last time out whilst running green.
The final selection comes up in the ultra-competitive Bet365 Old Rowley Cup (Heritage Handicap) which is a Class 2 event contested over 1m 4f. The selection here is the Hughie Morrison-trained Kipps (16/1) E/W NB who has run consistently recently and is knocking on the door to land one of these big handicaps.
The selection did run behind one of his market rivals in Cepheus last time out, but I am confident we can overturn that form at the weights. Kipps has shown the previous form on a softer surface and can do so again.
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