Already a few horses that catch my eye from Saturdays cards at Haydock and Newmarket. I’m unable to punt at Ascot on the Shergar Cup, which is loads of fun and very watchable, because much as I admire the class of jockey on show they rarely know the horse and there is always the possibility of team orders. No wonder the trainers like the concept, C2 handicaps with £22K to the winner and only 12 runners!
Top of the Saturday List include
Newmarket 4.25 FARLOW (Richard Fahey) OR99 He maybe an 8yo but he’ still retains plenty of ability. He runs the 7F at Newmarket very well and he just needs to be close enough in The Dip to make his late surge count. His last visit was most encouraging when 6th beaten less than two lengths. He has top weight here but for a reason and seems to have seasoned handicappers in opposition as opposed to any obvious improvers.
Haydock 2.00 PICK YOUR CHOICE (William Haggas) OR91 Lightly raced 4yo who could start to repay The Queens patience. George Baker has the ride and could this race be a stepping stone to the Clipper Logistics handicap at York in a fortnight’s time or the Cambridgeshire long term? 8F is fine but this will probably be the quickest ground he has encountered.
Haydock 4.15 ABDON (Sir Michael Stoute) OR102 Just had the three career runs, winning his 2yo maiden, runner up to Hawkbill in a Listed 3yo 10F contest at Newmarket on 3yo debut before failing to step forward in the G3 10F Tercentenary at Royal Ascot. Notebook said “Been given a tough opening OR102. Suggests it will be Listed and above, 10F+” so a little surprised to see him in a handicap, albeit a good one. Andrea Atzeni rides and he’s 3 from 6 for Stoute this year.
Haydock 4.15 GERSCHWIN (David Lanigan) OR98 Trainer David Lanigan is convinced this a Group horse and last time out at Ascot looked a handicap snip off OR93, went clear at the furlong pole but got mowed down by the Group class Move Up. Now up 5lb to OR98 and has a few questions to answer.
Haydock 4.45 CANYARI (Richard Fahey) OR78 To make Canyari a bet we will have to be fairly forgiving as his form on paper this season looks awful. However this time last season he was running in the Stewards Cup Consolation having won at Leicester and Doncaster off OR79 and OR85. In 2016 he started off on OR86 and was OK at Doncaster and York within four lengths of the winner. Bad draw and hung at Haydock, up to 7F at Catterick drawn 1, slow to gather pace and was on the rail at the rear and behind the eight ball, didn’t handle the bends either! Then sent off 7/1 third favourite at York despite being drawn 19 of 19 he had no chance.
Now down to OR78 he has a 6f Haydock win on his CV and Andrea Atzeni is an unusual jockey booking, I from 3 in the last five seasons. Just nine runners here and Barkston Ash to set the race up. Strong fancy just a niggling doubt the horse may have gone at the game but he’s only a 5yo and this is his level.