ITV Racing Saturday Newbury, Ripon & Newmarket Preview

James Mackie | @JMackieRacing

Newbury - August 18 2023
Newbury 12:50
Tom Marquand


J: Tom Marquand
T: William Haggas
Age: 3
Weight: 8-12
OR: 104
Days: 37

The first selection of the afternoon from Newbury on Saturday comes in the Group Three Geoffrey Freer Stakes over 1m 5 1/2f and Klondike makes big appeal for trainer William Haggas.

Seen three times during his career making his debut at Newbury over 1m3f on soft ground at Newbury when seeing off the likeable Banderas by a head, getting better the further he went.

Sent to Goodwood next time out over the same trip in the Listed Cocked Hat Stakes he finished a good second behind Group Two Queen's Vase winner Gregory, again staying on at the finish.

Last seen upped to 1m5f at Newmarket in the Group Three Bahrain Trophy Stakes he ran another solid event to finish under three lengths behind the winner Castle Way.

He looks an extremely slow horse that loves a slog and will get that on Saturday and although running well last time out the race turned into a sprint where the more galloping track at Newbury will play to his strengths if getting a nice pace to aim at, which he should do.

Newmarket (July) - August 18 2023
Newmarket (July) 13:05
David Probert

Celtic Champion

J: David Probert
T: Andrew Balding
Age: 3
Weight: 9-11
OR: 87
Days: 189

The quirky Grey Horse Handicap is the only race on ITV Racing from Newmarket on Saturday and we have picked out two at the top of the market who should go close at 6/1.

The first is the Andrew Balding trained Celtic Champion who is having his first run for 189 days and off a mark of 87 might still be underestimated.

A winner on his third career start last term at Salisbury when bolting up by just under three lengths, he then finished the season with a fair fifth on handicap debut off a mark of 86 behind some nice horses.

Needing his first run of the season at Southwell when going too hard early on, that run put him bang on for his next event at Lingfield when taking a decent handicap at Lingfield seeing off the talented Danger Alert off a mark of 84.

Now racing off 3lbs higher having his first run since a gelding operation, we think he can keep improving and go close.

Newmarket (July) - August 18 2023
Newmarket (July) 13:05
James Doyle

Divine Libra

J: James Doyle
T: Charles Hills
Age: 3
Weight: 9-10
OR: 86
Days: 21

Another nice runner in the race with a big chance is the Charles Hills trained Divine Libra who having been running well in better races now drops back into a Class 4 and could dominate.

The colt having got off the mark on seasonal debut on heavy ground showed his versatility over 7f at Catterick but then ran in two good Class 2 Handicaps and was slightly outclassed off a mark of 85.

Dropped back into a Class 4 at Chester he was a good winner showing he was above the field and then last time out off 86, back in a Class 2 event over C&D he was only two lengths back behind some smart types.

This event sees him drop back into a Class 4, a level that has already won at this season and off the same mark makes obvious appeal at a track he handles.

Big opportunity in this sphere.

Newbury - August 18 2023
Newbury 13:25
William Buick


J: William Buick
T: Roger Teal
Age: 5
Weight: 9-13
OR: 87
Days: 18

Next up at Newbury is the Class 3 Handicap over 5f and we are giving a chance to the double figure priced Whenthedealinsdone.

He is a horse that has really lost his way of late but that has now seen him dropped down to a mark of 87 which is 3lb below his last winning mark.

Some of his better form has come with juice in the ground with a good third behind Fast Response at the end of last season on heavy ground in a good Class 2 Handicap.

His last two runs have been well below par but having dropped in the handicap accordingly, he also now drops into a Class 3 event having been running in Class 2's and also returning to a course and distance he has won over can see him get back on track.

Ripon - August 18 2023
Ripon 13:40
Barry McHugh

Thornaby Pearl

J: Barry McHugh
T: Adrian Nicholls
Age: 5
Weight: 9-4
OR: 72
Days: 16

The first event on ITV Racing from Ripon is the Silver Trophy Handicap over 6f and the horse that takes the eye is the Adrian Nicholls trained Thornaby Pearl.

A winner on soft ground over C&D on his second start of the season off a mark of 67, he was last seen at Nottingham on heavy ground when not finishing far behind the winner but didn't make life easy for himself by running slightly free in testing conditions.

Dropped 1lb for that run to a mark of 72 and getting back to easier conditions, but still a surface he handles, he also gets back to a C&D he has form figures of 121 and he should go close again form a nice draw.

Newbury - August 18 2023
Newbury 14:00
Richard Kingscote


J: Richard Kingscote
T: Clive Cox
Age: 3
Weight: 8-10
OR: 87
Days: 42

Another tricky handicap event from Newbury sees the Class 2 event over 7f and we have picked out one at a price to keep an eye on.

Scholarship was a winner on juvenile debut on good to soft ground over 6f at Haydock, but on his next two starts at Royal Ascot and Newmarket failed to get involved in what were good events.

Starting this term off at Newbury over C&D on soft ground he got back to winning ways in good style beating some nice horses off a mark of 86.

Upped to marks of 93, 92 and 90 on his last three run have seen him drop below the standard we know he can run to but now back down to a mark of 87, which is 1lb higher than his seasonal debut win makes him a big player.

He gets back to a course and distance he is proven over and set to get cut in the ground again makes him very interesting.

Ripon - August 18 2023
Ripon 14:15
Daniel Tudhope


J: Daniel Tudhope
T: David O'Meara
Age: 9
Weight: 9-4
OR: 97
Days: 21

The feature race of the afternoon from Ripon is the 20 runner Great St Wilfrid Handicap over 6f and we have picked out two runners at each way prices that can go close.

The first is the nine year old Summerghand, who has been a horse of a lifetime for David O’Meara and connections throughout his years landing this race off a mark of 108 back in 2020 and last season he managed to put up his best season to date as an eight year old.

Only ninth in this event last term, he went to York two starts later off a mark of 97 and landed the 17 runner Constantine Handicap beating old rival Commanche Falls who has landed a Listed event this term and won this race last year.

He didn’t stop there with his performance of last season coming in the 24 runner Ayr Gold Cup off a mark of 102 when taking the event again from Commanche Falls by a length.

Having then finished just over a length behind Rohaan in the Group Three Bengough Stakes at Ascot in October, he finished the season off at Lingfield in the Listed Rose Stakes and returned to winning ways in fine style.

This season has all been about getting his mark down to something more workable and starting off a mark of 109 he has ran the majority of the time to a poor level.

However, last time out dropping down 12lb to a mark of 97 he gave his best run of the season at York when finishing a close fourth in the Dash Handicap over 6f only going down by 1 3/4 lengths giving weight away to the rivals that finished above him.

The winner of that race has since backed that up in the Stewards' Cup at Goodwood and off the same mark, being drawn well this looks a nice opportunity for him.

He finished fourth in this race last term from a worse draw and off 1lb higher, he is drawn much better in stall 7 on Saturday.

Ripon - August 18 2023
Ripon 14:15
Faye McManoman

Lakota Blue

J: Faye McManoman
T: Nigel Tinkler
Age: 3
Weight: 8-6
OR: 88
Days: 16

One near the bottom of the weights that does have to handle stall 1 is the Nigel Tinkler trained Lakota Blue who was a big eye-catcher last time out at Goodwood on soft conditions.

A winner over C&D on his second start this season on soft ground off a mark of 83, he has then gone up the handicap and racing on ground quicker than he likes.

Back on soft ground and dropped to 5f when last seen at Goodwood he was a huge eye-catcher finishing a good second behind Jm Jungle, coming from off the pace to only go down by a length.

He looked that day to want to go back up to 6f having been powering home at the finish and getting his ideal conditions again, over his preferred trip at a C&D he performs well at, he has a lot going for him off only 2lb higher than when last seen.

Newbury - August 18 2023
Newbury 14:35
Jamie Spencer


J: Jamie Spencer
T: Charlie Fellowes
Age: 3
Weight: 9-3
OR: 110
Days: 18

The feature race of the afternoon at Newbury is the Group Two Hungerford Stakes and we have picked out two at each way prices that could run well.

The first is the Charlie Fellowes trained Marbaan who was a big eye-catcher at Goodwood last time out and getting the age for weight allowance of the top two in the field makes him interesting.

A horse who showed big potential last term as a juvenile when rattling off a hat-trick at Nottingham, Salisbury and Goodwood in the Group Two Vintage Stakes.

Unfortunately he finished last term in the Group One National Stakes at the Curragh and in the Dewhurst where he was outclassed on both occasions.

Back as a three year old this term and he has threatened on a few occasions to show improvement, making his seasonal debut over 6f at Ascot when a fair fourth behind the likes of Cold Case and Bradsell in the Group Three Commonwealth Cup Trial.

A good second next time out at Salisbury in the Listed Cathedral Stakes only going down by a head to the talented Run To Freedom, he then went to Royal Ascot in the Group One Commonwealth Cup and only beat one home.

Upped back up to 7f when last seen at Goodwood in the Group Two Lennox Stakes, he flashed home from the rear to finish a fair third behind Kinross and Isaac Shelby who did pull clear, but he showed a good attitude that day to stay on over the 7f.

He has shown he is not a Group One horse but is definitely at the level to go close in a Group Two like this and this looks slightly easier than the race he was in last time out.

Interesting contender handling juice in the ground aswell.

Newbury - August 18 2023
Newbury 14:35
Tom Marquand

New Endeavour

J: Tom Marquand
T: Roger Varian
Age: 3
Weight: 9-3
OR: 103
Days: 37

Another three year old at a bigger price that is worth keeping an eye on is the Roger Varian trained New Endeavour who is another who has been threatening to run well in a race like this.

A fair juvenile horse, he made his seasonal debut this term at York over 7f in a decent Class 3 Handicap off 85 when only finishing two lengths behind the winner.

Getting off the mark for the season off 1lb lower at Kempton when bolting up by four lengths, he was then sent into the Britannia Stakes at Royal Ascot and finished a half length second to the well handicapped Docklands giving him 1lb.

Stepped up to Listed level last time out when back in third behind the talented Nostrum, he drops back to 7f here and having ran well on softer ground before he should handle conditions.