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13:50 Newmarket

The first of four races from ‘Flat HQ’ on ITV this Thursday sees two horses head the market who did far better than expected when last seen.

The Andrew Balding trained Masekela produced a very impressive 4th in The Derby at 66/1 and Zechariah was mightily close to claiming Royal Ascot success. Both have clear and obvious chances and should appreciate this afternoons different trip but neither have claimed success in their last three performances and you have to worry about their will to win. Of the two I’d be more inclined to side with Martyn Meade’s Zachariah, especially with Ryan Moore now booked for the ride.

That being said, whenever it comes to Newmarket you have to keep a close eye on the boys in blue and Godolphin’s charge Walk Of Stars could be worth a bet. His run in The Derby was too bad to be true and the three year old has been gelded since. If the snip has done him the world of good and he takes to this longer distance then I’ll tentatively side with him here.


written by Rory Paddock

14:25 Newmarket

The second group race of the day looks a very tasty contest where a case could easily be made for a trio of these runners.

As mentioned in the previous race when analysing the action at Newmarket Godolphin’s runners always demand respect and Mysterious Night has done very little wrong in two starts to date. Both outings came at Newbury in which he claimed the runners up spot on debut before going on to go one better next time around. The form of both runs are decent enough but he’ll have to improve markedly to compete, based on form alone, with the two main protagonists.

Royal Ascot was the scene in which we saw both Little Big Bear and Persian Force last time. The Irish raider Little Big Bear claimed success in the Windsor Castle and showed grit and determination in doing so, where as Persian Force was a close second in the Coventry.

Persian Force can be a tad forgiven for not getting closer to the winner as he hung left inside the final furlong. That’s not to say he’d have won that day but I feel he’d have gotten much closer. I’d probably argue that his second placed effort is better form than Little Big Bear’s victory but I’m still going to side with Ballydoyle’s runner.

The way Aiden O’Brien’s charge battled in the final two furlongs when not looking the most obvious winner was impressive and this smaller field should also play into his hands. It’s a cardinal sin to write off these illustrious purple silks and I won’t be making such an error today.


written by Rory Paddock

14:45 Carlisle

The one and only race that the ITV cameras take in from Carlisle is this very competitive 6 furlong fillies handicap.

At the head of the market we see three year old Razeyna who hails from the in-form yard of William Haggas. The yard are flying with 14 winners in their last 44 runners. The negative however is that their three year old charge has gone off as short priced favourite in her last two outtings and has failed to deliver on both occasions. I’m hoping that now she’s up against older opposition for the first time and as such gets a weight for age allowance it’ll be enough to see her return to the winners enclosure.

Of the remainder fellow three year old’s Emeralds Pride and course and distance winner Monica could be worth following for each way punters looking to have a bit of interest in horses at much bigger odds.


written by Rory Paddock 15:00 Newmarket

Ingra Tor is the charge for Mick Channon and the inform Tom Marquand. He won on his three year-old debut at Southwell and was unlucky not to double up at Kempton the time after. He made a winning transition to turf when landing a competitive handicap at Newmarket. He reappeared at York but was hugely disappointing when finishing towards the rear of the field. He’s weighted well but holds an entry into the Stewards Cup. If connections were to take the entry then a victory today would more than likely kill his chances in the race.

Khanjar is the favourite today and may well have a bit of upside to offer. He was unlucky on debut at Ascot and debatably had excuses for a no show at Goodwood. He just won his final race as a two year-old at Ascot and made a winning start as a three year-old, scoring easily by three lengths at Ripon. He will be suited by the firmer ground today and has a nice weight. Moreover, connections are in good form. He’s a live contender.

Le Beau Garcon has been improving and may well relish the step up in trip today. He was runner up on his debut but obliged the time after and doubled up at Redcar next time out. He was desperately unlucky not to make a winning start to his three year-old career when having a cursed run at Musselburgh. He would’ve won that day and the mannerism in which he salvaged the silver medal suggests he’ll be fine with the step up to six furlongs. He’s worth taking on the aforementioned with.

LE BEAU GARCON (WIN) written by Kieran McHugh 15:35 Newmarket

Living Legend caused a bit of a shock when beating Yibir over course and distance in April. He’s been well beaten twice since, one when seemingly outclassed in the Coronation Cup at Epsom and the second in the Hardwicke. Ryan Moore is a positive but this seems a hard ask today.

Mostahdaf is a classy performer, only once finishing outside of the top two in nine starts. He’s won at Newmarket before and has been in decent form this year. He won on his reappearence at Sandown but found Bay Bridge too hot to handle the time after. He was stepped up to a mile and four furlongs at Ascot in the Hardwicke, when he bumped into a brilliant Broome. He seemingly stayed that day but that’s still a question mark, especially given his breeding. Nevertheless, he is still a prime contender.

Although Charlie Appleby isn’t exactly having a fine time of it at the moment, Yibir is taken to bounce back from a few below par runs. He was unlucky on his seasonal reappearence in Meydan but wasn’t at his best when beaten by the aforementioned Living Legend. He was desperately unlucky at Belmont, when he blew the start and struck the gate. He was only a length down come the end of the race which is a minor miracle. He should bounce back from that and make a winning return, after another slow start to his season.


written by Kieran McHugh


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