ITV Racing Saturday Ascot & York Preview

James Mackie | @JMackieRacing

Ascot - July 28 2023
Ascot 12:50
Rossa Ryan


J: Rossa Ryan
T: Clive Cox
Age: 2
Weight: 9-2
Days: 15

The first race of the afternoon from Ascot on ITV is the Group Three Princess Margaret Stakes over 6f and Symbology looks interesting.

Seen just once to date when winning well at York over six furlongs with the further she went the more she got the hang of things.

She is sure to improve for that run and being a daughter of Havana Grey she should handle the softer conditions better than most.

York - July 28 2023
York 13:05
Micheal Nolan

Soul Seeker

J: Micheal Nolan
T: David O'Meara
Age: 6
Weight: 10-12
OR: 66
Days: 20

One of the toughest punting events of the afternoon on ITV comes from York with the Jump Jockeys Nunthorpe Handicap over 5f and we have gone for Soul Seeker for David O'Meara.

A winner of this race two years ago off a mark of 83, he races on Saturday off 66 having been dropping massively down the handicap which could underestimate him.

A winner in August last year at Pontefract off a mark of 73 he has been seen frequently since then and although his form fell off a cliff, this term he has been running to a respectable level.

Not finishing out the top three on his last six runs, albeit not winning he has been knocking on the door and now down to a career low mark back over a course and distance he has won over he could cause a shock.

Soft ground should be no issue.

Ascot - July 28 2023
Ascot 13:25
Jamie Spencer

Cadeau Belle

J: Jamie Spencer
T: J P Murtagh
Age: 3
Weight: 8-11
OR: 99
Days: 48

Next up from Ascot is the Group Three Valiant Stakes over a mile and at an each way price the unbeaten Cadeau Belle makes big appeal for trainer Johnny Murtagh.

Making her debut on soft ground over 7f at Gowran Park in a Fillies Maiden she went on to win impressively, leaving her connections excited for the future.

Last seen stepping up to Listed class at Navan in the Kooyonga Stakes over a mile, she made it 2/2 again comfortably beating a nice type for Willie McCreery.

Stepping up again into this Group Three getting plenty of weight off the majority of the field, she looks a big player being one of few in the field that will revel in the softer conditions.

York - July 28 2023
York 13:40
Andrea Atzeni

Lucky Man

J: Andrea Atzeni
T: Richard Spencer
Age: 4
Weight: 9-6
OR: 93
Days: 15

York host another tricky punting event with the Dash Handicap over 6f and Lucky Man for trainer Richard Spencer has performed well at this track in the past and on a dropping mark can do so again.

Last season he took his form to a new level when winning at Lingfield in March off a mark of 83 and off the back of that he went on to win and place in good handicaps at Chester, York, Ascot and Ayr on a mixture of good and soft ground, with his place at Ayr coming in the 24 runner Ayr Gold Cup.

His York record speaks for himself from last season finishing second in June in a 19 runner handicap and then finishing second in this event last year off a mark of 89.

He was then seen twice more at the track when getting back to winning ways over C&D off 91 and then in October off a career high of 96 he finished a good fifth of 19.

Seen twice this season when starting the term off over C&D when running no race at all, but when last seen on soft ground at Ascot he finished third behind a well handicapped horse in Popmaster.

Running off a mark of 93 which sees him only 2lb higher than his last winning mark, he can bounce back to winning form.

Ascot - July 28 2023
Ascot 14:00
Kevin Stott


J: Kevin Stott
T: George Boughey
Age: 5
Weight: 9-1
OR: 96
Days: 37

The big handicap event of the afternoon at Ascot is the International Stakes over 7f and we have picked out two runners that can go close.

A horse that did not do a lot for Johnny Murtagh over in Ireland but moved to George Boughey in October last year he made his debut over 7f at Doncaster in November on heavy ground.

Showing completely different form to his time in Ireland he went on to win comfortably by over a length, with the heavy ground bringing huge improvement.

That win came off a mark of 93 and only 4lb higher in the Lincoln Handicap on seasonal debut he ran a solid event to finish a good third behind winner Migration out of 22 runners.

Tried at Ascot when next seen in the Victoria Cup over C&D on soft ground off the same mark of 97 he ran another credible race to finish sixth of 22.

Last seen at the Royal meeting again over the same C&D of this race the quicker ground went against him and he ran no race at all.

Dropped 1lb for that getting back to softer conditions he looks a player showing already he handles the track to a good level.

Ascot - July 28 2023
Ascot 14:00
Sean Levey

Tacarib Bay

J: Sean Levey
T: Richard Hannon
Age: 4
Weight: 9-8
OR: 103
Days: 102

At a bigger price in the race and another horse who won't mind the softer conditions is the Richard Hannon trained Tacarib Bay who has his first run since a gelding operation.

Last winning back in July at Haydock on soft ground off a mark of 103, he has then ran to a fair standard off a slightly higher mark with one of his better performances coming at Ascot in October when a good third of 20 runners in the Balmoral Handicap over a mile.

Being tried at a mile on his three other starts since he has always struggled to get home over the distance, with his run at Doncaster in the Listed Doncaster Mile showing he needed to drop back to 7f.

He got that next time out at Newmarket when 1lb lower and getting juice in the ground he had every chance of going close but for some reason did not run his race.

He has since been off for 102 days and has been given a gelding operation and hopefully that sees him focus on the job more.

Back to his last winning mark, on soft ground back at a track he has ran well at in the past he looks an each way player.

York - July 28 2023
York 14:15
Tom Marquand

My Prospero

J: Tom Marquand
T: William Haggas
Age: 4
Weight: 9-8
OR: 121
Days: 38

The feature event of the afternoon from York is the Group Two York Stakes over 1m2f and My Prospero should take all the beating on ratings.

A model of consistency last term the son of Iffraaj made his seasonal debut in a Maiden Stakes at Newbury when comfortably beating Britannia Stakes winner Thesis.

Kept at a mile for the Listed Heron Stakes at Sandown he was a very convincing winner of the event ahead of Reach For The Moon.

Stepped up massively in class to the Group One St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot he ran a cracker to finish third in a photo finish behind Coroebus and Lusail in a cracker of a race.

Sent to France when last seen up in trip to 1m2f he got back to winning ways when taking the Group Two Prix Eugene Adam and having been saved for this since July it would not be a surprise to see him go close.

Rounding out last season when running a cracker in the Group One British Champion Stakes finishing a 1/2 length third to Bay Bridge and Adayar on good to soft ground.

This term he has not quite hit the heights of last time being seen twice and finishing fourth on both occasions in the Group One Lockinge Stakes over a mile and when last seen in the Group One Prince Of Wales's Stakes.

This event sees him drop in grade to a much easier race and getting his ideal ground conditions he should get back to form.

Ascot - July 28 2023
Ascot 14:40
Jim Crowley


J: Jim Crowley
T: Owen Burrows
Age: 6
Weight: 9-9
OR: 122
Days: 65

The feature event of the afternoon at Ascot and on ITV is the Group One King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes over 1m4f and Hukum for Owen Burrows has been primed for this event.

The six year old has been a special horse all the way through his career taking races like the King George V Stakes as a three year old at Royal Ascot, Group Three Geoffrey Freer Stakes on two occasions, Group Three Cumberland Lodge Stakes, Group Two Dubai City Of Gold Stakes in Meydan and his best success to date in the Group One Coronation Stakes at Epsom last year.

Not seen for almost a year after that success picking up a big setback injury, he returned this term over 1m2f in the Group Three Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown and showing an almighty turn of foot he went on to see off Derby winner Desert Crown to take the race.

After so long off it was a superb performance overcoming a slight bit of trouble in running and he was then set to head back to Royal Ascot for the Group Two Hardwicke Stakes but with the ground being too quick for him, he was withdrawn from the contest won by Pyledriver.

Getting juice in the ground a nice break since his seasonal debut win, he will primed to go close at a track he performs extremely well at with figure of 131 in his three runs.