It’s a Group 1 day on Saturday. Newbury hosts the Lockinge Stakes, but while the fantastic Palace Pier should be far too strong in that race, he really isn’t a betting proposition at the prices.
With that in mind, we look for value elsewhere with these six all being worth a look at Newbury, Newmarket and Doncaster.
1.50 Newbury (Carnarvon Stakes – Listed Race) – CREATIVE FORCE
It’s very interesting to see Tactical running in this six-furlong race and the Queen’s horse is the overnight favourite.
Andrew Balding is in fantastic form and Tactical managed to win the European Free Handicap last time out, however based on that, his breeding and his win in the July Stakes last year you’d be forgiven for thinking this drop in trip is not ideal.
He also gives away 3lbs to Charlie Appleby’s Creative Force and that may prove to be too much. James Doyle’s mount has done nothing but improve, while we need to also seriously upgrade his win last time against just three rivals.
All three of his wins so far have come at Newmarket, but he seems like a horse going places and it shouldn’t bother him coming to Newbury. He’s favoured ahead of Tactical and Happy Romance.
2.25 Newbury (Aston Park Stakes – Group 3) – LOGICIAN
This is a fantastic race, so keep an eye on this one as far as form going forward is concerned. Ranch Hand is on a hat-trick, Thunderous was last year’s Dante winner and the top two in the market are essentially Group 1 horses.
All the talk has been of Al Aasy of the William Haggas yard. The team is doing well and the four-year-old was imperious over this course and distance back in April.
It’s thought that this is a stepping stone to Epsom and the Coronation Cup by a team that has a lot of confidence in the Sea The Stars colt, however they may not have quite banked on one particular horse being in opposition.
Logician, the very classy grey who won the 2019 St Leger in style, makes his seasonal reappearance here. He wasn’t seen to best effect last term although he did win very easily first time up and is good when fresh.
Knowing this type of horse from the Gosden yard, even at five we are unlikely to have seen the best of him and he may be heading for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe later in the year.
Still a full horse, had the team at Juddmonte not thought he could land a major blow at the top level they would very definitely have retired this son of Frankel by now. He’s proven at the trip, he’s a Group 1 winner, he gets 3lbs from Al Aasy and is second-favourite behind his rival. Big chance.
2.40 Newmarket (King Charles II Stakes – Listed Race) – CLOUDBRIDGE
On a day like this, a Listed race at Newmarket may slightly go under the radar but it may well be that there is great value in this seven-furlong event.
Cloudbridge, owned by Godolphin and trained by Charlie Appleby, put up a debut performance last August when winning that even by the standards of this team was exceptional. I haven’t forgotten that, and I’m sure they haven’t either.
He went off even-money favourite for the Group 3 Acomb at York but ran way too free, then finished his year off as early as September with a close second in another Group 3 at Kempton over six furlongs.
This is more his trip, and we have no idea how much he may have improved since we last saw him. He has tons of class and it’s hard to know why at the time of writing he is available at 5/1.
William Buick has chosen to come “home” and ride this horse rather than ride Creative Force, Tamborrada and A’Shaari at Newbury, which is a nod in itself. Bellosa and Fundamental are best of the rest.
3.00 Newbury (London Gold Cup Handicap) – TAMBORRADA
As for Tamborrada, he may even go and win the London Gold Cup. Despite being unbeaten, this gelded son of Dubawi doesn’t appear to that well handicapped when you consider his 8lb rise for a very narrow win at Doncaster.
However, he looks to be a real improver while a closer look at that Doncaster form reveals it was a better race than we all thought.
The second, a Mark Johnston horse, has improved plenty to win since then while the horse he beat has also stepped forward since then.
Bay Bridge was impressive at Newcastle last time for Sir Michael Stoute and is a major danger, as is John Gosden’s Highland Rocker.
4.10 Newbury (Fillies’ Trial Stakes – Listed Race) – A’SHAARI
In reading the racing press it would seem everybody wants to be on the likely short-priced favourite Sea Empress in this race, and that’s understandable.
William Haggas’ young Sea The Stars filly looked very good when winning her debut at Newcastle ahead of Teona no less, the filly who won by 9 lengths at the same track afterwards and went off only 15/8 for the Musidora the other day.
The form is rock solid, but we only have the one example and such debut winners don’t always go on to be superstars.
At the odds, the value call is A’Shaari. Herself just 6/4 for the Listed Pretty Polly Stakes recently, she didn’t handle things that day and will also strip much fitter now for the run. Her own debut was pretty spectacular at HQ last August and she’ll appreciate the extra juice in the ground here. The Oaks may yet be on the cards.
7.35 Doncaster (Handicap) – THIRD KINGDOM
Having found the ground too quick when earning a mark of 86 at Sandown on his second run, John & Thady Gosden’s Third Kingdom finished off his juvenile season with a very facile win at Newcastle in September.
He was bumped up to a mark of 88, but that underestimates him for certain and he’s in a position to use this race as a springboard to better things. Beau Jardine is the main danger.