Best bets for the horse racing this weekend

I managed to break that run of seconds and thirds I was on Friday I am happy to report and go into the weekend in confident mood. I fancy four on Saturday, three are quite short but one is at a nicer price, hopefully they'll all get the job done. 

Best bets for the horse racing at Newmarket

Charlie Appleby has given me a headache with two entered for the 7f Discover Newmarket British EBF Maiden Stakes at 1.27. Regular readers will know I love a Godolphin owned one making debut at HQ but the bugger has entered two in the same race! He has trained the winner of the past two running's so whatever he sends has to be taken seriously and Bold Act and Highbank are the colts in question. Highbank cost a few quid being by Kingman out of Bristol Bay and is a half-brother to three winners but only one won at two and that was an All-Weather maiden, they all got better for going middle distances. Bold Act is by New Approach out of Dancing Sands making him a half-brother to 2-y-o 7f winner Wakening (won over this track and trip) so you would expect this one might be a fair juvenile. I have taken a bit of the 11-10.  

Best bets for the horse racing at Ascot

Zanbaq and Jumbly head the market for the Group Three one-mile Longines Valiant Stakes at 2.25 but both possibly require softer going to be at their best and the same is probably true of Novemba as well. Oscula is a very consistent filly that has all her best form on good or faster ground. This would require a career best but with question marks about the ground for the market principals, it is officially Good to firm-good in places, she may not need to improve much on her recent running's to nick this. The yard of George Boughey is in fair form and Will Buick is in the saddle so there are a number of positives in her favour. At the 6-1 I took with Betfair Friday lunchtime I thought she was worth a speculative punt.  

The main event is due off at 3.35 the 1m4f Group One King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes. The three-year-olds get a big weight-for-age allowance here, colts 11lb and fillies 14lb, and that simply has to be taken into account when making a selection, I think. Westover was perhaps a little unlucky at Epsom when third in the Derby but Ralph Beckett’s star colt gained compensation when easily taking the Irish Derby at the Curragh earlier this month – tipped on here. With Desert Crown missing following a setback he is the main colt contender for the Classic generation. Stats can help and can confuse but an interesting one is that Colin Keane has a 0-46 record at the Berkshire venue so will need to break his duck at Ascot in one of the biggest races of the season. That said a line through Tuesday, who Westover beat convincingly at the Curragh, gives him the edge over Emily Upjohn to my eyes despite her 3lb allowance. The Curragh is right-handed and galloping and, in that regard, very similar to Ascot so this track should suit the colt just fine. I have a piece of the 11-8 I took on Tuesday – he is bigger in places Friday evening but not many. “He’s trained well since, we’ve been happy with him and he looks like he’s ready to go,” Beckett told TalkSPORT2 earlier this week “Races like this are what we all do it for, days like Saturday, they don’t come around too often so you’ve got to make the most of them. Juddmonte have an agreement with Colin Keane to ride their horses when he’s available. This is just an extension of that. We don’t have a stable jockey, we have three jockeys who ride for us regularly but if an owner wants someone else that is their prerogative and all concerned understand that. Colin obviously knows the horse now and, in that sense, it is pretty straightforward.” Emily Upjohn runs here having missed her intended target, Saturday’s Irish Oaks, as she was unable to get across the Irish Sea last weekend. With the age and sex allowances in her favour she has to be considered getting a stone from the older colts and geldings and the above mentioned 3lb from her own generation. Team Gosden also send Mishriff who will have a new partner in the shape of James Doyle with David Egan no longer being retained jockey to Prince Faisal. He is a very good horse, I never seem to catch the bugger right, but he has to give a lot of weight to the three-year-olds and that has been his downfall in the last two running's of the Coral-Eclipse and in this last season. Broome is Aidan O’Brien’s sole runner, a good solid horse he has never quite reached the heights hoped for and looks set for another good run but a place is surely his best hope; if he front runs again, and he probably will, he looks likely to set this up for a closer. Last season’s shock Arc winner Torquator Tasso will run but it will surely be too quick under hoof for that one whilst Pyledriver is a decent horse but I will be flabbergasted if the five-year-old wins this and he is better going left-handed.  

I had Naval Power pencilled in for a bet in the 7f Listed Flexjet Pat Eddery Stakes at 4.10 early this week – I tipped him last time at Leicester at odds-on and I really don’t like doing that but he does look a talent. William Buick has a full book of rides at the meeting but this colt is clearly the main reason he is here. Charlie Appleby said this week “We have been very pleased so far with Naval Power, who has progressed nicely with each of his two starts. This looks the natural next step and he could potentially go up in trip later in the season, which may suit him better.” Get on at a 11-10

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