Only the 20 races to be covered on ITV this Saturday, the first getting underway at 12.40pm and the last nine hours later at Keeneland in the US.
We have selections for all eleven afternoon races along with two Breeders Cup tips in the evening.
“Tip of the Day” - Highfield Princess (4.29pm Keeneland) - 5/2 with Betfred
John Quinn’s sprinting sensation is fancied to top a fabulous season by conquering top US sprinter Golden Pal and company, recording a notable victory for the north.
12.40pm Wincanton, 2m 5 1/2f - Lady Adare
Unbeaten on all four starts to date, three over hurdles along with a Newcastle bumper victory, the Harry Fry-trained LADY ADARE makes her handicap debut in this mares’ contest off a mark of 130.
The mount of 3lb claimer Lorcan Murtagh could well prove much better class than her seven rivals and is expected to keep her 100% record intact.
12.50pm Doncaster, 6f - Art Power (Next Best)
Having to concede between 5lb and 10lb to his 11 rivals, Tim Easterby’s ART POWER faces no easy task, despite the five-year-old’s rating of 114.
David Allan’s mount has an excellent record when encountering testing conditions however and a repeat of his many top class efforts on soft ground at Ascot would be more than good enough against today’s opposition.
1.01pm Aintree, 3m 1/2f - Johnson’s Blue (Each Way)
Many of the eight runners for this Pertemps Qualifier will have more important targets over the coming months, whether it be over hurdles or fences. So, it could pay to side with the Mark Walford-trained JOHNSON’S BLUE (e.w.) who is on a five-timer here following three victories at Hexham and one at Carlisle back in July.
Jamie Hamilton’s mount will need to go up another stone or more from his current mark of 120 to make the final at next year’s Cheltenham Festival but can begin the climb up the ranking with a victory here off bottom weight.
1.15pm Wincanton, 2m 4f - Hang In There
Paul Nicholls’ McFabulous is an exciting recruit to the chasing game and with a hurdles rating 13lb higher than that of main rival Sebastopol, and in receipt of a handy 5lb from that horse, has been found a good opportunity to make a winning debut over the bigger obstacles.
Things are rarely that simple however and the experience of Tom Lacey’s charge could prove decisive. This is not a two-horse race however and I am prepared to forgive Emma Lavelle’s HANG IN THERE a disappointing run at Cheltenham last month, as Tom Bellamy’s mount has his ground here and this exuberant jumper is more than capable of making a bold bid from the front.
1.30pm Doncaster, 1m 2f - Misty Dancer (Each Way)
A tremendously competitive 1m 2f Listed race for fillies and mares, especially with most encountering this type of ground for the first time. It usually pays to follow a filly in form at this time of year and the Simon & Ed Crisford-trained MISTY DANCER (e.w.) has progressed from a rating of only 73 just over two months ago to the 94 she runs off here following a hat-trick of wins.
Jack Mitchell’s mount may not have the best of the draw from stall 18 but seemed to relish the soft ground at Newbury last time and gets the each-way vote in an open contest.
1.50pm Wincanton, 3m 1f - Slipaway (Each Way)
Frodon has produced some excellent weight-carrying performances in the past and will need to do so again if Bryony Frost’s mount is to take this valuable handicap chase. The likelihood is that something lurking further down the handicap will spoil the party for supporters of Paul Nicholls’ popular chaser.
In receipt of over a stone, Frodon’s stablemate Enrilo will be well fancied. But at a double-figure price I can see Ben Pauling’s SLIPAWAY (e.w.) running well off a mark of 133. This will be only the sixth start over fences for the mount of Nico De Boinville, who impressed when running away with the Highland National at Perth back in April.
The Stowaway gelding has a decent staying handicap chase in him this season and is open to more improvement than most of his rivals.
2.11pm Aintree, 2m 5f - Gesskille (Each Way)
Not many of the 15 runners have experience over the big fences, one of the few exceptions being last year’s runner-up Senior Citizen. Alan King’s charge disappointed in the Topham at the Grand National meeting and will need to step up on that run to take a hand here.
Broken Halo looks well handicapped if taking to the fences. But the Oliver Greenall and Josh Guerriero stable have started the season well and their ex French-trained GESSKILLE (e.w.) could be the answer off a mark of only 133.
The Network gelding won both of his hunter chase starts for the stable earlier in the year and with plenty of chasing experience for a six-year-old could be just the type to excel over the Grand National fences.
2.32pm Down Royal, 3m - Conflated
A field of only five for this Grade 1 contest headed by the Gordon Elliott-trained pair of Galvin and CONFLATED. The former will be a warm favourite following his victory at Punchestown last month. But I don’t think stablemate Conflated got the credit he deserved when running out an easy winner of the Irish Gold Cup back in February.
A length second behind Clan Des Obeaux in Aintree’s Betway Bowl on his most recent start, the mount of Jack Kennedy may have too much pace for Galvin in what could be a tactical race.
2.45pm Aintree, 2m 4f - Langer Dan
Brewin’upastorm is the highest rated of the four runners and should win this in receipt of 4lb from Dan Skelton’s LANGER DAN. However in another potentially tactical affair, the finishing pace of Harry Skelton’s mount could prove decisive.
3.00pm Wincanton, 1m 7f - Sceau Royal
Alan King’s veteran 10-year-old SCEAU ROYAL goes for a hat-trick of wins in this Grade 2 contest.
With conditions to suit, and following the gelding’s easy victory at Kempton last month, Daryl Jacob’s mount should prove too good for his three rivals. Knight Salute can take the runner-up spot.
3.13pm Doncaster, 1m 4f - Teed Up (Each Way) (Longshot)
At a best price 11/4 as I write, the John & Thady Gosden-trained Israr could well prove to be the good thing the betting would suggest for what is usually one of the most competitive handicaps of the season. Jim Crowley’s mount won here on heavy ground last month but being drawn 21 of 22 may not be ideal.
With most bookmakers going six or even seven places, I am more inclined to look for some value among those horses at a double-figure price and the one who takes the eye is TEED UP (e.w.) from the Grand National winning stable of Emmet Mullins.
All three of the gelding’s Flat victories came on heavy ground and a fair effort in a Premier Handicap at Leopardstown last month should have put the selection spot-on for this valuable contest. The booking of top lightweight jockey Franny Norton is another plus.
4.29pm Keeneland, 5 1/2f - Highfield Princess (Nap)
The winner of all eight outings when racing on turf in his own country, Wesley Ward’s Golden Pal will be expected by many to take his record on the course to five wins from five starts and a third Breeders Cup victory.
The son of Uncle Mo will undoubtedly blaze the trail once again. But British raider HIGHFIELD PRINCESS has been something of a fairy story in Europe this season and John Quinn’s fabulous mare is fancied now to conquer her rivals on the other side of the Atlantic.
Jason Hart’s mount has been handed a decent draw in stall six and I expect the daughter of Night Of Thunder to prove too good for Golden Pal and company in the closing stages.
7.10pm Keeneland, 1m - Modern Games
A victory for the Ralph Beckett-trained Kinross and jockey Frankie Dettori would prove a popular success for the home team. But I can’t help thinking that the combination of a better draw in stall 4 along with his victories in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf and more recently the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile Stakes in Canada, puts the ball firmly in the court of Godolphin’s MODERN GAMES.
William Buick’s mount ticks all of the boxes and can take this race for the Classic generation with Annapolis expected to do best of the home team.
* Betting odds correct at the time of publication. All odds are subject to changes.
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