ITV Racing Saturday Ascot And York Preview

James Mackie | @jamesmackieee

Ascot - July 22 2022
Ascot 12:50
Frankie Dettori


J: Frankie Dettori
T: Ralph Beckett
Age: 2
Weight: 9-2
OR: 101
Days: 15

The first race of the afternoon is the Group Three Princess Margaret Keeneland Stakes over six furlongs and we can't look past the favourite Lezoo.

A strong favourite at the top of the market the Ralph Beckett trained two year old has been seen three times to date, winning her first two events at Bath and then at Newmarket when upped to six furlongs in the Listed Empress Fillies Stakes.

Last time out she narrowly lost her unbeaten record over the same course and distance when just going down to the talented Mawj, but there was trouble in running but unfortunately the placings weren't reversed.

Offers by far the best form in this race and although stepping up into a Group Three she is very progressive.

One of the best bets of the day.

York - July 22 2022
York 13:05
Sean Bowen

Soul Seeker

J: Sean Bowen
T: David O'Meara
Age: 5
Weight: 11-7
OR: 75
Days: 21

York's first event of the afternoon on ITV is the quirky Jump Jockeys Nunthorpe Handicap event where the jumps riders switch codes for the afternoon and try and ride a winner on the flat over five furlongs.

A race that could be harder than the Grand National find a winner in, we have give it a go anyway and we are sticking with the tried and tested route of last year's winner Soul Seeker for David O'Meara.

A general 10/1 shot, the five year old has been very out of sorts of late, sliding up the weights with the handicapper and running some average races that he is much better than.

However, this has now seen his mark drop considerably to 75 which sees him 8lb lower than when winning this exact race last term and having performed well over C&D on both his starts on the knavesmire, he could bounce back to form.

Sean Bowen is the man in the saddle.

Ascot - July 22 2022
Ascot 13:25
Andrea Atzeni

Kind Gesture

J: Andrea Atzeni
T: Roger Varian
Age: 3
Weight: 8-11
OR: 92
Days: 27

The Group Three Valiant Stakes over a mile looks a nice event at Ascot on Saturday afternoon and we are playing one against the field for Roger Varian.

Kind Gesture for owner Prince Faisal looks to be a very smart filly in the making, being seen three times to date and just going from strength to strength.

Finishing second on debut at Nottingham over 8.5f, she has since been seen twice, getting off the mark next time out at Wetherby and then last time out put up a career best performance over a mile at Windsor when bolting up by 10 lengths.

She is currently a double figure price which we think makes her overpriced and although stepping up massively in grade she just looks a potentially special horse that should just keep improving.

Roger Varian and jockey Andrea Atzeni are currently both running at a 30% strike rate for the last 14 days.

York - July 22 2022
York 13:40
Billy Garritty

Aberama Gold

J: Billy Garritty
T: Keith Dalgleish
Age: 5
Weight: 8-12
OR: 90
Days: 5

Another tricky one from the Knavesmire comes in the Sky Bet Dash Handicap over six furlongs and with a mammoth field going to post we have two each way selections.

The first is the course and distance winner Aberama Gold who has been in some fine form of late and loves it on the straight track here.

Winning at a high of 101 during his career he now sees himself off a mark of 90 and only at the age of five he still retains big ability.

A frequent performer in big fielded handicaps he will handle the conditions, track and bunching of the other horses and in his last two events has put up two nice placed efforts.

A strong second at Ayr at the start of July when only going down by a head, he then ran over the same course and distance in the Ayr Gold Cup Trial and was a 1/2 length second.

He seems to be a rejuvenated horse of late and should go well.

York - July 22 2022
York 13:40
Jason Watson

Nomadic Empire

J: Jason Watson
T: David O'Meara
Age: 4
Weight: 9-5
OR: 97
Days: 14

At a bigger price in the race and one we are taking a bit of a chance on is the David O'Meara Nomadic Empire who needs to bounce back to form in a big way but has some class form at this trip and his mark is constantly dropping to be workable now.

In September last year over course and distance he landed a 10 runner Handicap seeing off the likes of Chairmanoftheboard, Cairn island and Mr Wagyu off a mark of 99.

Now down to 97 he holds every chance of putting behind him his last run at Ascot being 2lb below his last winning mark.

Ascot - July 22 2022
Ascot 14:00
Rossa Ryan

Air To Air

J: Rossa Ryan
T: George Boughey
Age: 4
Weight: 8-11
OR: 95
Days: 29

One of the trickiest events from the Berkshire track on the weekend is the Class 2 Moet & Chandon International Stakes over 7f and with a huge field going to post we have dutched the race.

The first horse we are putting up is Air To Air for Classic winning trainer George Boughey with the money for this horse coming all week being 25/1 at the ante-post stage and is now around 8/1.

A horse that has matured with age and on his sole start this term at Yarmouth showed that he had progressed from his three year old campaign when winning a Nursery Handicap comfortably.

Seven furlongs seems to be his trip and with Rossa Ryan booked he holds every chance off a mark 95, which is only 4lb higher than his last run.

When the money comes for a Boughey horse they very rarely get it wrong.

Ascot - July 22 2022
Ascot 14:00
Colin Keane


J: Colin Keane
T: Charlie Fellowes
Age: 9
Weight: 8-12
OR: 96
Days: 37

At a much bigger price is the Charlie Fellowes trained Chiefofchiefs who does not know how to run a bad race around Ascot.

A frequent runner at the track over 6/7f in big fielded events he always seems to hit the frame and back in June 2020 went on to land the Silver Wokingham Handicap at the Royal meeting off a mark of 95.

Running crackers last season in similar events at the track with a strong fourth in the Wokingham Stakes and a close up seventh in the Victoria Cup, he has been in similar form this term.

Giving his best run of the year when last seen at the royal meeting he finished a narrow fourth of 29 in the Buckingham Palace Stakes over course and distance and off the same mark can't be ruled out hitting the frame again at an each way price.

York - July 22 2022
York 14:15
David Egan


J: David Egan
T: Jane Chapple-Hyam
Age: 3
Weight: 8-13
OR: 111
Days: 37

The big event of the afternoon at York is the Group Two York Stakes over 1m2f and we can't see past Claymore for the Jane Chappele-Hyam team.

The three year old has been a constant improver bar one run this season, making one run as a two year old when seeing off the smart Noble Order and My Prospero who have turned out to be nice horses.

This season the colt has been seen three times, making his debut in the Group Three Craven Stakes behind Native Trail and then drawn in the car park for the French 2000 Guineas he didn't get involved at all.

Upped to 1m2f last time out at Royal Ascot he upset one of the big favourites of the week for the Queen in Reach For The Moon, pulling away impressively.

He takes on his toughest test here but with his closest rival Dubai Honour performing better on softer ground and giving a lot of weight away, we think Claymore can get the job done.

Ascot - July 22 2022
Ascot 14:35
Frankie Dettori

Emily Upjohn

J: Frankie Dettori
T: John & Thady Gosden
Age: 3
Weight: 8-9
OR: 117
Days: 50

The final event on ITV and the feature race of the afternoon in the UK is the Group One King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes and a strong field of six heads to post.

We are siding with the John & Thady Gosden trained Emily Upjohn who is getting weight off the entire field and has the potential of being a superstar filly.

Making her first start last year at Wolves over 9.5f she saw off a nice challenger for Godolphin in Secret Image, who then went onto frank the form.

Put away for this season, Emily Upjohn made her sole start this term at Sandown over 1m2f and in one of the most impressive performances in the division this season, she went on to win by close to 10 lengths under a penalty.

Stepping up into black type company for the first time in her career last time out she went to York for the Group Three Musidora Stakes and made it a hat-trick of wins, when dominating a good field by close to six lengths.

It was all systems go for the Epsom Oaks and going off the strong favourite many expected her to get the job done, however having lost ground at the start not coming out the stalls well, she did extremely to battle back to get close to winner Tuesday, only going down in a photo finish.

Set to run in the Irish Oaks last week but having travel problems she has now been rerouted here and being fresher than the favourite Westover and also getting 3lb off him, she looks the value.