RaceBets rock up to York on Friday and are sponsoring two races, both of which will be covered by the ITV4 racing team. The first of these is the RaceBets Money Back Handicap at 2:40pm, which is a 1-mile handicap and this is followed by the RaceBets Handicap which is a 1 mile 6 furlongs for three-year-olds at 3:50 pm.
There is also a fantastic card at Newmarket, where there are four Group races, chief among them is the Group 1 Fillies’ Mile and the ultra-competitive Old Rowley Mile handicap.
The RaceBets Money Back Handicap 2nd 3rd 4th is the first race to show by the ITV racing team at York on Friday and it has a predictably tough look to it. Roger Varian’s ultra-consistent UAE Prince heads the market after finishing a luckless fifth in the Cambridgeshire and if he turns up in anything like that form then he’ll prove tough to beat.
Ian Jardine has done well since getting his hands on Alemarataayoum from Ed Dunlop earlier this year and after a narrow victory at Haydock just under two weeks ago, he will be looking to capitalise on the geldings rich vein of form. He looks versatile trip wise but is probably best over a mile and if he continues t progress then he’ll give UAE Prince most to think about.
Chatez has only had two runs on the flat in the last three years and after what one can only assume was an injury-laden period, Alan King’s gelding showed that he retained plenty of ability on his first run of the season behind Warrif in decent Ayr handicap last month. Given normal improvement and the likelihood that he will appreciate the better going, the seven-year-old looks the each-way bet of the race.
Get Knotted last three victories have come at York which will entice many punters to row in behind the Michael Dods-trained gelding but these have all come over seven furlongs and with some battle-hardened milers in the field, he looks vulnerable for win purposes.
Others worth considering include Great Order and Yuften.
Selection: UAE Prince
The RaceBets Handicap sees thirteen horses go to post for a 1-mile six-furlong contest. On breeding, one horse stands head and shoulders above the rest and that’s Surya, who is by Frankel out of Sariska. John Gosden’s charge took four runs to win a race but hasn’t looked back since and looks like a filly that will keep on improving to tackle black type company is the not too distant future. Nicky Mackay retains the partnership that has proved fruitful thus far.
Canford Heights flies the flag for the William Haggas yard in this and looks very much a leading contender having won his last two races in very impressive fashion. The son of Canford Cliffs relishes these longer trips and may well be the last to cry enough.
Almoghared was slightly disappointing when going off well fancied in the JLT Handicap at Newbury in July but my initial impression that day was that the didn’t stay the marathon trip. He showed much more over shorter behind Kew Gardens in the Group 2 Queen’s Vase at the Royal meeting. This piece of form is the best on offer and couple this with the fact that he comes into this as a fresh horse and he’s my idea of the winner.
Other of note include Elegiac and Proschema.
The Group 3 Cornwallis Stakes is the opener at Newmarket and it’s for the two-year-olds over five furlongs. True Mason heads the market for the curtain raiser on Friday and the son of Mayson is justifiably to the fore of market having shown a very consistent level of form all season, including a third-place finish in the Group 1 Prix Morny at Deauville. There may be something lurking in the field with more potential but True Mason undoubtedly brings the best form into the race.
Robert Cowell knows how to handle a quality speedster and he looks to have another nice type on his hands in the lightly raced Pocket Dynamo. The American bred son of Dialed In ran a commendable race to finish runner-up to Shang Shang Shang in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot and if he can put a slightly disappointing run in the Prix Robert Pain behind him, then he must go close.
The Aidan O’Brien pair of Fantasy and Sergi Prokofiev will have their followers but on the balance of form, they both need to find some improvement to challenge for the top spot.
Selection: Pocket Dynamo
The Group 3 Oh So Sharp Stakes is for two-year-old fillies over seven furlongs and proves as a good guide for trainers considering classic campaigns with their leading juveniles. been won by some very classy fillies in recent times It’s the once-raced unbeaten pair of Frosty and Hidden Message that head the market.
Frosty is the sole Ballydoyle representative and this full sister to the multiple Group 1 winning Winter was a snug winner of a Dundalk maiden last month. In truth, it probably wasn’t the strongest maiden but if she even inherited half the talent as her sister then she should be collecting this Group 3 prize.
The William Haggas trained Hidden Message wore a hood when winning on debut which puts a small question mark over her temperament but that being said she produced a blistering turn of foot to stretch away from her rivals in a Yarmouth novice contest. This race is obviously a big jump in class but it’s the same for the majority of the field and she holds more potential than most.
Another to consider is the Ralph Beckett trained Glance who was comprehensively beaten on debut but showed the benefit of that run to stylishly land a Goodwood novice event. Beckett is a master trainer when it comes to fillies and if she progresses half as much from her second run as she did after her debut perhaps she can trouble the principals.
The Group 2 Challenge Stakes sees Limato try and string three winning runs together, Henry Candy’s leading light had been very disappointing earlier in the season and has appreciated a drop down in grade in recent starts. If in his prime the Group One winning son of Tagula would be a shoe-in for victory but he must prove that he retains the ability in this tougher contest.
D’bai represents the Godolphin operation and Charlie Appleby’s globetrotting son of Dubawi must hold leading claims on the back of a creditable runner-up in a Group 2 at Doncaster last month. Although the four-year-old has never won a race beyond Group 3 level, they may still be some improvement forthcoming.
Mankib represents the potent combination of William Haggas and Jim Crowley. Since transferring from Freddy Head at the beginning of the season, he has won three of his five starts on British soil and even though this represents a step up in class, a big run loos on the cards.
Many punters will just back Oisin Murphy blind due to recent high profile success and the Irish jockey has a plum ride in this Group 2 aboard the Andrew Balding-trained Dancing Star. The pair proved the perfect combination when landing the Group 3 Spectre Stakes when last seen and in the contest of this race, he must enter calculations.
Selection: Dancing Star
The Fillies’ Mile is the feature race at Newmarket and it’s for the two-year-old fillies over the one-mile distance. The race has been won by some great fillies in recent times including Minding (2015) and Laurens last season.
Antonia De Vega was an impressive winner of a hot Newmarket maiden in July beating Zagitova. The Ralph Beckett trained colt supplemented this with another smooth victory in the Group 3 Prestige Stakes at Goodwood in August. The son of Lope De Vega looks to have a great opportunity of making it three wins on the bounce in this Group 1 event.
Pretty Pollyanna makes a quick reappearance after racing too freely in the early stages of the Cheveley Park Stakes and fading late on behind Fairyland. Prior to this disappointment, Michael Bell’s stable star won the Prix Morny and if she employs more positive tactics then she can get her head back in front.
The “Arc” winning combination of Dettori and Gosden team up again with the unbeaten Shambolic in an attempt to land back to back high profile Group 1’s. The daughter of Shamardal has won both starts at Newmarket and Ascot which entitles her to a live chance in this contest.
Selection: Pretty Pollyanna
Eleven go to post in the Old Rowley Mile Handicap at Newmarket where the market is headed by the Sir Michael Stoute trained Baritone. The improving son of Camelot will have the assistance of David Egan in the saddle. He showed the benefit of being gelded when routing a Pontefract maiden field by an eye-watering eight lengths. This obviously isn’t the strongest for but given his connections and breeding, he looks like a horse to follow.
Another real improver is the Aidan O’Brien trained Astronomer who since finishing fourth on debut has won all four starts including a Premier handicap at Listowel. Although he has to give away a lot of weight Astronomer looks better than a handicapper and this may be the last time we see him contesting one.
Rock Eagle is the least experienced horse in the line-up having only graced the track on four occasions, two of which resulted in victories. Ralph Beckett’s inmate ran very well when stepped up in class to finish fourth behind Communique in a handicap at Goodwood. A reproduction of that run would give him hope of being competitive.
Others to consider include Breath Caught, Berkshire Royal and Jack Regan.