After taking the week off on the racing front while we have waited for the cards to improve and the weather to settle itself down again, we are getting stuck in again on Saturday as we build up to the Ebor Festival next week.
There are afternoon meetings at Newmarket and Newbury where our bets come from on Saturday, as well as at Doncaster and Dundalk over in Ireland, while Chepstow and Tramore give us our evening fix. We’ll go with two in the afternoon.
The Group 3 Geoffrey Freer over an extended 1 mile 5 furlongs kicks off the weekend, with a bare 8 runners. Morando won in this grade 2 starts ago so is a worthy favourite but he was a much more fancied favourite for this last year when he finished 2nd. Alignak is quite a short price on what he’s achieved to date but he ran a good race last time out in a Listed race at Haydock.
Hukum, the most unexposed runner in the field, is the selection. He’s a 3 year old & that age group receives 10lbs from the elders. He should also have plenty of improvement left, given his 3 career starts to date. His win as a 2 year old has to be seen to be believed; if nothing else, it showed he has a turn of foot which will stand him in good stead here. This year, he won the King George V handicap at Royal Ascot, travelling supremely well before keeping on strongly all the way to the line. This extra furlong will hold no fear & this ground should suit perfectly. It’s the stable form which finally confirms the selection with the yard’s 5 winners from their last 10 runners. None of the yard’s last 6 have finished outside the first 2 with 4 of them at odds between 5/1 and 8/1. He must go very close.
WON – Back Hukum (e/w) for a 1.5/10 stake at 6.00 William Hill BOG (⅕ odds 1-3)
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There’s 6 furlongs ahead for these 12 handicappers in a Class 4. It’s a very open race with bookies going 5/1 the field, Case Key the most obvious starting point having won this race twice & with Angus Villers taking a valuable 5lbs off his back. Clareyblue ran well last time out over the minimum trip & this step back up to 6 furlongs is sure to suit.
Paul Midgley has his string in top form with 3 of his 6 runners on Friday winning. That leads me to his runner, Buccaneers Vault who, despite being an 8 year old, continues to run well. He won his first start of 3 this summer, a 13 runner handicap first time up off 4lbs lower. However, his jockey’s 3lb claims offsets most of that rise. Since then, he’s twice run well, finishing 3rd at Newbury & 4th at Haydock. It was his run last time out behind Treacherous that catches the eye, especially as the winner has since gone on to land the consolation Stewards Cup in fine style under a penalty. Taking that form at face value would put him right in the mix &, as he’s won off this mark in the past, I’d expect him to go close.
Back Buccaneers Vault (e/w) for a 0.75/10 stake at 9.50 Betfair BOG (⅕ odds 1-4)
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