Best bets for the horseracing Saturday 23rd September 2023

There is plenty going on this weekend though it has to be said it’s the sort of racing that can take your boots off if you're not careful. I am treading carefully on Saturday as it’s competitive stuff and with the weather we have had the soft, in some cases heavy, going is likely to mess with the form quite a bit. If the rain continues be ready for a number of non-runners as the day goes on; Ayr Gold Cup jolly Juan Les Pins was taken out of the race Friday lunchtime, trainer Mick Appleby telling the Racing Post "He's not running and we'll pull him out due to the ground."

The 6f Group Two Alan Smurfit Memorial Beresford Stakes is the race of the day here in the UK with some nice two-year-olds lining-up. The going is heavy at Newbury and that concerns me, especially with this looking a tight heat anyway. I will be watching rather than punting. Sense Of Duty makes her long awaited return to the track at the meeting but I can't be backing her after fifteen months off the track on the going; she should win the G.3 Dubai International Airport World Trophy Stakes but I wouldn't imagine connections will be looking to give her a hard race after such a long break. 

Best bet for the horseracing at Newmarket

Unlike elsewhere in the UK the going is actually good-good to soft in places at HQ with the chance of a little sun at times. The first of the day at HQ is the mile Turners British EBF Fillies' Novice Stakes at 1.40. Charlie Appleby sends a couple for this including Beautiful Love who I tipped on her debut and I really wanted to back her but she opened odds-on and is getting shorter. I am leaving here alone at the price; she should win hard held. 

The mile Turners Fillies' Handicap at 2.15 is a pretty competitive little affair but I like another Charlie Appleby trained on in this. Shining Jewel has been a bit of a slow burn for Godolphin, just the three career starts and a couple of wind surgeries, but she got off the mark at the third attempt at Chelmsford City last month and an opening handicap mark of 91 may underrate her. The rest of these are pretty exposed for three-year-olds, they’ve all run more times this season than the selection has in her career, and I think she has more to offer yet and just might be the Pattern class filly in this handicap. I have a bit of the 9-4 this morning. 

Best bet for the horseracing at the Curragh

The Curragh certainly wins the longest going description of the day - Straight: soft-yielding to soft in places; round: yielding to soft-soft in places - I wrote shorter essays at school back in the day! The big race out in Ireland is the Group Two mile Alan Smurfit Memorial Beresford Stakes at 2.30. Grosvenor Square probably didn’t beat much on debut but he won at Galway over their extended mile despite being somewhat green at times looking about a bit and surely has more to offer. The half-brother to Irish Derby winner Santiago, as well as a couple of other winners, will surely be one for middle-distances next year and can take this before a likely tilt at the G.1 Futurity Trophy Stakes at Doncaster next month. I am told Aidan O’Brien has saddled the winner of this twenty-one times, which is incredible, and I think he is going to make it two little ducks 22 this afternoon. I am on at 5-2. Trained by Joseph, Stromberg has been beating up lesser rivals on his last two starts, and in fairness he can only beat what runs against him, so is feared but this looks a much stiffer test than he has faced thus far. Navy Seal, ridden by Frankie Dettori, should be there or thereabouts but I think the selection is the best of the three from Ballydoyle; stablemate Chief Little Rock looking the weakest of the three entries.  
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