There is a very international feel to the post this weekend and we have a lot to enjoy on Saturday as horse racing really goes global. The big meeting in the UK is Kempton Park with three Grade Two’s over the obstacles. I am leaving the meeting alone for betting purposes but will naturally be keeping a close eye on proceedings with the Festival in mind. I am involved here in the UK on the All-Weather and in the big meeting out in Saudi Arabia.
Best bets for the Horse racing at Lingfield Park
The first race of interest to me on Saturday is at Lingfield and is the Listed 5f Hever Sprint Stakes at 1.30 Tone The Barone had Alligator Alley back in fourth when winning last time at Wolverhampton but they race off levels for this meaning Alligator Alley is 7lb better off here. There isn’t much to split them on form. The one that interests me is Miss Nay Never the five-year-old filly having completed a hat-trick at Chelmsford City this All-Weather season. She gets the 5lb fillies allowance which on ratings gives her every chance and she is clearly thriving this winter. Stall ten hasn’t helped her but with the two main dangers unlikely to want to lead, actually both prone to mistakes out of the stalls, she should be able to get over in this field anyway and at least dispute the lead early; the two likely leaders drawn inside, Look Out Louis and One Night Stand, are both unlikely to be able to stay with her in my opinion. If Jason Hart can get her out the stalls quick and in a good position early I think she can take this and have a bit of the 11-2.
At 2.05 it is the main event in Surrey, the 1m2f Group Three BetUK Winter Derby Stakes (All-Weather Championships Fast-Track Qualifier). A few of the usual suspects here with Lord North lining-up again, second last year, I assume taking the same route as in 2022 when he ran here before going to Dubai to win the G.1 Dubai Turf. He will be odds-on and unbackable, especially bearing in mind he got beat here last year!
Best bets for the Horse racing at Riyadh for the Saudi Cup meeting
Doha racecourse in Qatar wasn’t exactly kind to me last weekend but that won’t stop me getting involved in the meeting in neighbouring Saudi Arabia this weekend at Riyadh with the Group One Saudi Cup, the richest thoroughbred horse race in the world, the main event. The tracks at Riyadh are considered pretty fair with the King Abdulaziz Dirt track being left-handed and described as a fair galloping track with long sweeping bends. The dirt track is 2,000m with a 450m chute, the turns are described as very gentle, 500m in length, and the straights are both 500m. Saudi Cup, run over 1,800m includes just the one turn. The Turf course is inside the Dirt track and measures 1,800m around with 438m straights, the bend length being 478m. I did find a couple of winners again at Meydan in Dubai on Friday so hopefully that form will continue just down the road in Saudi Arabia.
The main thoroughbred card gets underway at 2.05 our time here in the UK with the Group Three 1m2½f Neom Turf Cup presented by Altanfeethi. Oisin Murphy has got back in the groove pretty quickly after his prolonged enforced holiday and has ridden five winners since getting back in the saddle nine days ago. He should ride another in Missed The Cut in this who looks a banker. I am on at Evens.
The stayers are out at 3.25 for the Group Three 1m7f Longines Red Sea Turf Handicap. Subjectivist , who was last seen strolling to a five-length win in the Gold Cup in 2021, returns to the track. He did win the Dubai Gold Cup before his Ascot victory, so no concerns about conditions, but he has been off the track for a very long time and has a big weight to carry. The Japanese raider Silver Sonic looks the one to be on here. He has improved for going cup distances, would mind the going at all and won a G.2 at Nakayama back in December. I have the 3-1.
We switch to the Dirt track for the last three races, the first of which is the Mile Group Three Saudi Derby presented by Boutique at 4.05. Havnameltdown has been sent over by Bob Baffert and that man Dettori is booked to ride. Neither of these two mess about when it comes to the big races so this one has to be considered. Beaten in the G.1 Del Mar Futurity has has won all his other starts and I would expect this one to be out an gone. I have the Evens.
At 4.45 its a case of blink and you'll miss it for the Group Three 6f Riyadh Dirt Sprint. I am a huge fan of G.1 Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Elite Power and am on at 3-1 for this. Its Dettori in the saddle again and I think the five-year-old can get the better of last years winner Dancing Prince. Gunite is also feared.
The big one is due off at 5.35 the Group One 1m1f Saudi Cup. Frankie Dettori will reunite with his Dubai World Cup-winning partner Country Grammer for this and he has a chance but I think the little Italian will be left disappointed in the big one. Taiba is the one for me over from the States. Third in the G.1 Breeders Cup Classic last year, I would argue the best form on show, and he lloks a solid bet to me. He is a three time G.1 winner, twice over this trip and should be backed at the 7-4.Be lucky