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GG Tips – How To Win The Tote £250k Newbury Placepot | Saturday, 20th May

Newbury plays host to a fantastic card on Saturday that includes the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes. It should be a fantastic day of racing and Tote are guaranteeing £250,000 in the Placepot for the Newbury card.

GG Editor Jake Russell guides us through his suggestions on how to scoop some of the big prize today.

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Leg 1 Selection – 1.50 Newbury (5) Rabaah

The Charlie Hills horses are going great guns at the moment with them currently operating at a very good 32% strike rate for the last 14 days. And Rabaah comes into this race in flying form at present, winning his last two starts. Both of them are on the all-weather however, so he needs to transfer that form to turf, but judging on his performance at Wolverhampton last time out, I can see him going well at a decent enough price. His performance last time out really caught the eye, where he beat My Turn Now by just under 5 legnths after carrying a penalty for the previous win before that. He has a bit to do on ratings, but he is improving at the rate of knots, so I expect him to go very well for a yard in form. 

Leg 2 Selections – 2.25 Newbury (7) Haskoy (5) Old Harrovian

Ralph Beckett is another trainer who has his horses running pretty well at the moment, and his filly Haskoy although has only had the three career runs, she was a very decent 2nd in the St Leger last season (Placed 2nd, but demoted back to 4th due to interference in the race) She is lightly raced and could be anything heading into her four year old season over this sort of trip, which is a division that is wide open this season. Providing she has trained on, then she could mix it up with the big boys this season, where she might even improve with each passing run the more experience she gets under her belt. 

Old Harrovian is a fascinating entry, and although he might not be good enough to land a race of this nature, and he needs to improve massively on figures, but horses that run well on the all-weather tend to do well when going on the turf. He was a disappointing 7th on debut behind New London, but he has been gelded since then and has never looked back. A 4-length winner at Lingfield, before going on to win very well indeed next time out at Wolverhampton, beating Active Duty by 10 lengths. He could be anything, and although is the outsider in this field, he could be absolutely anything.  

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Leg 3 Selections – 3.00 Newbury (7) Forca Timao (13) Silver Sword

In what is quite a wide-open race, and it usually is, Amo Racing very rarely have any horses run at this sort of bigger price with their retained jockey Kevin Stott booked, and their runner is Forca Timao. A winner on good to firm at Doncaster last season, before going on to come 5th in a Listed contest at Newmarket last time out over today’s trip of 1m2f. He has been given an opening rating of 92, which could be fairly lofty considering what he has done in his short career. But the feeling is he could improve on that last, which some of Richard Hannon’s horses need, he could win a race of this nature and show he is better than the handicapper suggests. 

South African trainer Dylan Cunha has done well since coming over from his native lands and settling down in Newmarket, and his runner Silver Sword does have a decent chance in this. A bit of a monkey last season as a two-year-old after refusing to race on his first two racecourse visits, he then went on to produce a fabulous effort to come 5th at 250/1 at Newmarket, only beaten by just under 5 lengths, behind Military Order, who is a leading contender for the Derby next month. He put it all together to come second on his last start as a two-year-old, before going on to win comfortably at Southwell last month, winning by just under 4 lengths on seasonal re-appearance. That was impressive, and his head seems to be in the right place at the moment, I expect him to go well for a small yard. 

Leg 4 Selection – 3.35 Newbury (10) Mr Prospero

The joint highest rated in the field My Prospero, his career best runs have come over the slightly further trip of 1m2f, which was a win in the Group 2 at Saint-Cloud and a very decent 3rd in the Champion Stakes at Ascot last October, only beaten by Bay Bridge and Adayar by half a length. As previously mentioned, his best trip might be slightly further than this the mile, but he does have some good form over the mile, winning the Listed Heron Stakes at Sandown last year before going on to finish a neck 3rd in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. So arguably both of his best career performances so far have been ones where he’s beaten, but they were very classy races. No run yet this season however, which might not play into his favour given the other main protagonists have already had their seasonal re-appearances, but he is clearly talented and is trained by a trainer who does very well with these types of horses in these colours. 

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Leg 5 Selections – 4.10 Newbury (11) Wanees (1) Bless Him

Wanees has the four wins in just eight career runs, including a big field handicap winner at Haydock last September on good to soft. He was disappointing last time out on seasonal re-appearance, when finishing one off last place in the Lincoln, but that was on very testing conditions, which is a tough ask for the first run of the season. Back on these conditions that suit, he will go very well in this at a big price. 

Top weight Bless Him has been an excellent stalwart for David Simcock over the years, he looked better than ever in his eight-year-old season. Winning at Newmarket and coming second in a very decent contest at Ascot behind Fresh. He has already had his seasonal re-appearance at Newbury last month, where he was a well beaten 6th out of 10 runners on soft conditions. Back at these better conditions, he could be seen to good effect again, he could defy top weight and land this, a race that judging on his previous form is very winnable for him even though he is now in his nine-year-old season.  

Leg 6 Selections – 4.45 Newbury (1) Polly Pott (5) Inner Space

Ben Pauling has acquired this horse Polly Pott from Harry Dunlop who is now no longer training horses, and she arguably has the best form on offer in this race. A winner over 1 mile at Group 2 level last season as a two-year-old, she then went on to run in the 1000 Guineas last time out on her seasonal re-appearance where things were a little too hot for her at this stage of her career. The thought process has always been to step her even further up in trip in time, and this drop back down in class would suit her, back in slightly calmer waters. She’s already a Group winner, the highest rated in the race compared to those with a rating, and I can see her going well in this contest.  

Inner Space was a winner on just her only start as a two-year-old, when winning by just under 4 lengths at Kempton, which was in quite taking fashion. She was then thrown straight into the deep end contesting in the Group 3 Nell Gwyn Stakes, where she was well beaten on the day, looking like she needed the run. That will put her straight, and this step up in trip is interesting with Frankie Dettori booked to ride. 

Suggested Placepot

Leg 1 (5) Rabaah

Leg 2 (7) Haskoy (5) Old Harrovian

Leg 3 (7) Forca Timao (13) Silver Sword

Leg 4 (10) Mr Prospero

Leg 5 (11) Wanees (1) Bless Him

Leg 6 (1) Polly Pott (5) Inner Space