Best bets for the horse racing this weekend

The least said about York the better, a nightmare three days for me and many of us punters with plenty of big price winners and more than a shock result or two. Newbury hosts the Lockinge Stakes on Saturday with several big names lining-up and as it happens all my fancies for Saturday are at the Berkshire track.  

Best bets for the horse racing at Newbury

I had Noble Style pencilled in for the opener but the race has cut-up a bit and he is now odds-on so I am leaving the race alone. The 1m4f Group Three Al Rayyan Stakes at 2.25 looks to be all about good old Yibir to me. Last seen winning the G.2 Princess of Wales's Stakes at Newmarket last back end he rarely runs a bad race but if there is a concern he isn't always at his best fresh. That said I think he will have too much for this field and I am on at 6-4.  Charlie Appleby told the Godolphin website “Yibir suffered a setback after winning in July but his preparation has gone well. He went for a racecourse gallop at Newmarket a couple of weeks ago and we were very pleased with how he went. If he can bring the level of form he showed as a three-year-old and what we saw last year, he is going to be the one they all have to beat."

The BetVictor London Gold Cup Heritage Handicap at 3.00 over 1m2f looks a tricky heat on paper but I wonder if there is a Group horse masquerading as a handicapper in here. Bertinelli is bred to be very good being by  US Triple Crown winner Justify out of G.1 winner Together Forever with plenty of big names on his page. Second on seasonal debut in a 1m2f Cork conditions race last month I think he will be running in Pattern races through the summer (has a Derby entry though that I admit looks an unlikely target now). I am on at 11-2. Bold Act is feared but top weight and a wide draw haven't helped his chances and Desert Hero is probably the biggest danger is fully wound-up on his first start of the season. 

At 3.35 it is the Group One  Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes over the mile. Laurel getting the filly allowance is considered whilst My Prospero and Mutasaabeq are also shortlisted but there is only one I can back. Modern Games is out of the top-drawer and was remarkably consistent last season across the globe. He won three G.1's last season, the French 2000 Guineas at Longchamp, Woodbine Mile in Canada and Breeders' Cup Mile at Keeneland. Second on his seasonal debut at Keeneland last month Buick, for once, perhaps got it a little wrong leaving the colt with too much to do late. That run will have blown away any cobwebs and I fully expect the son of Dubawi to get back to winning ways here. I have the 4-1 this morning.  Charlie Appleby said “Hopefully, this will be the opportunity for Modern Games to win a G1 in the UK. The Maker’s Mark Mile proved a strangely run race from our perspective, but he came out of it well and heads to Newbury in great shape. We know that he is a crack miler and he goes here with the benefit of a run under his belt. Conditions at Newbury should suit, especially with the drying ground, and he is going to be a big player."

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