Horse Racing Lucky 15 Tips for Saturday 18th July

ITV racing schedule

It’s John Smith’s day at York on Saturday and it is normally staged in front of packed stands but despite the absence of crowds this year, some competitive fields have been assembled especially in the big feature handicap.

That clash is supported by a Group 3 contest and a Listed event among others while at Newbury, the main challengers for another Group 3 race are previewed. All four races are set to be televised on ITV4 and you could add the four picks to a lucky 15 tip for the ITV racing.

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John Smith’s Silver Cup – 1.55 York

For this 1m6f Group 3 event, Moonlight Spirit should be a leading contender after winning a similar event at Longchamp last September. His racecourse appearance this season was not particularly impressive when finishing last in the Ascot Gold Cup but this contest is much less demanding.

The Charlie Appleby trained gelding will be joined in this event by Communique from the Mark Johnson yard. Racing over 1m4f for much of his career, he was a Group 2 winner twice last term, including beating Defoe, and raced as though needing extra distance when second at Newmarket last time.

Universal Order will be another challenger after narrowly winning on his seasonal debut last month. He had progressed from handicap company into a Listed event and needs to progress further.

Tip – Communique to win.


John Smith’s Cup – 2.30 York

This 1m2f Class 2 race is always a popular handicap and John Gosden is sending up Harrovian to contest the prize. The 4-year-old gelding was a narrow Class 3 winner on his previous outing but has not been so productive at this slightly higher level.

In contrast, Fifth Position has shown much promise this term by winning at this grade earlier last month and raced creditably in decent company last term, especially when finishing a close fifth behind the useful Elarqaam at Sandown.

Caradoc should also be a leading contender after twice winning at this level last term and he was a fast finisher when a close sixth at Epsom earlier this month while Solid Stone was a winner last time but that victory was earned over a mile.

Take note also of Desert Icon who has been raised in the weights after winning a recent Class 2 handicap over 1m2f by more than eight lengths but he was opposed by just four other horses that day.

Tip – Fifth Position to win.


John Smith’s City Walls Stakes – 3.05 York

Stage over 5f, this Listed event is likely to be fiercely contested and Al Raya could be a prominent contender. The 3-year-old filly was a Group 3 winner last term at Chantilly and ran creditably last time when finishing second at the same course.

Among the other contenders will be Equilateral who finished second in the King Stand Stakes behind Battaash but who seemingly failed to cope with the extra furlong when disappointing in the July Cup at Newmarket behind Oxted.

Que Amoro is another competent five furlongs campaigner who won a Listed event at Ayr last month while El Astronaute was an early-season winner at Doncaster over this distance and is a fairly consistent seasoned performer at sprinting.

Two third positions in Group 3 company is also a plus factor for Major Jumbo but he won just once in eight starts last term when winning over six furlongs at Chester.

Tip – Equilateral to win.


Bet365 Hackwood Stakes – 4.10 Newbury

It is interesting to note the declaration of Mum’s Tipple for this 6f Group 3 contest after two failures this season at Group 1 level. Ryan Moore is set to ride and there will be hope that he can reproduce his York form of last season when he won by eleven lengths. This race is a less demanding opportunity.

In opposition will be the veteran Judicial who claimed a useful Group 3 event at Newcastle last time with 6f now seemingly viewed as his favoured distance rather than the minimum trip.

Another contender is likely to be Repartee who won much easier than the one length official margin suggests when scoring at Windsor later last month. This consistent colt was second in York’s Gimcrack Stakes behind Threat last season and should not be overlooked.

There will also be some confidence in the chances of Shine So Bright who finished third behind Safe Voyage at Epsom earlier this month and has raced creditably in decent company throughout the past two seasons.

Tip – Repartee to win.


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