Best bets horse racing Saturday 20th July at Newmarket and Newbury plus the Irish Oaks

It is the weekend and Over the Irish Sea Aidan O’Brien is responsible for three of the ten fillies lining-up for the Group One Kerrygold Irish Oaks at the Curragh. I wrote on Thursday how I had backed G.2Ribblesdale Stakes winner Star Catcher at 9-2 and remain happy enough with the bet. As I said at the time John Gosden and Anthony Oppenheimer making the decision to send her across the Irish Sea is not to be underestimated with the Newmarket trainer going for a third success in the Irish Classic. She is open to improvement still having only raced four times and I think can give the home team a running lesson in their own backyard; the rain has been falling in Ireland from the early hours Friday I am told which must help her chances.

It is fairly basic stuff here in good old Blighty with a couple of Listed heats, one at Newbury and one at Newmarket, along with the Group Three Hackwood Stakes at the Berkshire track. Going descriptions on Friday morning for both tracks pretty have good-firm in them but it is raining across the UK and due to continue to do so all day and into Saturday; it will be a lot softer by the time they start racing.

My first punt of the weekend is in the 1m2f Listed Bet365 Stakes due off at 1.50 over at Newbury. Fox Chairman won on debut and in fairness has been beaten by a couple of decent ones on his next to starts; Circus Maximus in the Listed Dee Stakes and Sangarius in the G.3 Hampton Court Stakes last time. I wouldn’t have thought the forecast rain will not bother connections one bit and I have a little piece of the 6-5 that was about early Friday. I think First Nation might give the selection most to think about but he has to give the three-year-old 9lb.

It’s HQ Newmarket at 2.40 for the 1m4f Listed Aphrodite Fillies' Stakes. Some nice fillies’ line-up and my preference is for the grey Sparkle Roll. Third in the G.2 Ribblesdale on soft at the Royal Meeting behind Star Catcher (see Irish Oaks) that piece of form sets the standard to my eyes. I have a bit of the 5-2; hopefully, she will win giving my Oaks bet a form boost into the bargain. Once raced winner Kesia is the potential improver but she doesn’t appear to have beaten much on her debut at Ascot.

Race of th3e day in the UK is the Group Three 6f Bet365 Hackwood Stakes at Newbury due off at 3.00. The Tin Man has won this before, back in 2016 and is clear top-rated dropping into calmer water having finished sixth in the G.1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes last time out. I never seem to catch him right so his supporters will probably be happy to read I am taking him on. Three-year-old Khaadem never got involved in the G.1 Commonwealth Cup at the Royal Meeting having blown his chance at the start. Prior to that run, the colt had looked progressive winning the Listed Carnarvon Stakes over track and trip in May. He gets a handy 5lb from his elders here and at 5-1 looks a fair punt in a tricky heat. Snazzy Jazzy and Donjuan Triumphant are others to consider.

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