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ITV Racing Tips – Previews & Selections for All Eight Races on Saturday

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The ITV cameras are spread across Sandown, York and Chester on Saturday with eight races scheduled on the main channel. Our Racing Editor has produced previews and selections for all of the live televised action which you can check out below, along with Betfair‘s exclusive Bet £10 Get £30 In Free Bets new customer offer.

VEE SIGHT – (1:40 Sandown, Coral “Beaten-By-A-Length” Free Bet Handicap) 6/1

Ralph Beckett’s VEE SIGHT has been on my radar as a handicapper to follow this season and I’m not letting him go unbacked for Sandown’s opening 1m1f handicap on Saturday.

Closely related to next week’s Gold Cup hopeful Scope, Vee Sight produced progressive RPRs at an admittedly low level in three starts as a juvenile, producing an eye-catching performance when fourth in a 7f novice at Newmarket in October, staying on for fourth after being well outpaced 3f out.

The runner-up that day is now rated 102, whilst the third (who Vee Star was just a half-length behind) is rated 82, so there’s a strong possibility that the handicapper has let him in lightly here off an opening mark of 74.

Gelded prior to making his 3yo debut, this step-up in trip is certain to help Vee Sight and should regular front-runner Roudemental set a good clip here on the front end things could fall into his lap late on.


DASH OF SPICE – (2:00 York, Queen Mother’s Cup Handicap) 14/1

Somewhat interestingly, despite its unique nature (only open to female amateur jockeys) six of the last nine renewals of the Queen Mother’s Cup have gone to non-claiming jockeys, and that trend is backed to continue on Saturday courtesy of predominantly Jumps orientated rider Aine O’Connor – who rides DASH OF SPICE.

Adrian Keatley’s charge was a 3l Pontefract winner the last time he contested 0-90 handicap company, where he conceded 8lb and 9lb respectively to a pair of 3yos now both rated 93.

His form tailed off a little afterwards, but Dash Of Spice caught the eye when fourth in a maiden hurdle at Market Rasen last week, somehow finding himself still in contention turning for home after a round of awful jumping – those errors ultimately taking their toll late on.

It’s no surprise to see him return to the level on the back of that showing, and if anything the run should have blown off some cobwebs being his first since December. Once sent off the 3/1F for the prestigious John Smith’s Cup here (when holding a rating of 103), Dash Of Spice has the backform to prove a class above these rivals, and his rider is one of the more interesting jockey bookings given she travels over from Ireland for the ride and hasn’t ridden on the Flat in Britain since September 2019.

King Power’s Kingsofthemidlands has so far failed to live up to a €600,000 pricetag but surely has races in him and can be expected to provide the selection with most to think about.


EMPIRESTATEOFMIND – (2:15 Sandown, Coral Play “Racing-Super-Series” For Free Handicap) 7/1

Ouzo made a hugely encouraging debut for the Osborne stable when runner-up over course and distance last month and a 4lb rise still leaves him well treated on his peak form.

He looks like one of a number of runners set to be held up here, however, and if something can get let loose on the front end they could slip this field. If there is one with the potential to do just that it is expected to be the blinkered EMPIRESTATEOFMIND.

This gelding’s form figures since fitted with blinkers currently read an impressive 32112123104, his latest York fourth coming after Empirestateofmind had to expend energy early getting to the front of the field from his wide draw.

It was a run which suggested that he still had races in him off a mark of 88, and with regular pilot Jason Hart heading to York, connections turn to Jamie Spencer for the ride. Representing an age group that has landed six of the last eight renewals of this race, Empirestateofmind looks the one to be with here.

Tahitian Prince comes with just the one run and doesn’t seem to do a great deal once he hits the front, so whether this track will play to his strengths is open to question, whilst Sheer Rocks (another potential pace angle) needs to bounce back from a well below par Epsom showing.


LION TOWER – (2:35 York, JCB Handicap) 9/2

Mykonos St John is a handy tie-in for the form here, having been behind Maywake, Lion Tower and Boardman in three separate runs last month. He’s now 1-14 on turf compared to 4-13 on the all-weather and has to bounce back from a poor Epsom run.

Maywake is very progressive but he’s effectively a stone higher for last month’s narrow C&D win when factoring in the removal of his rider’s 7lb claim, and that leaves him with extra to find.

Boardman is in great form, but it’s a slight concern that six of his seven career wins have come in the month of May (exception in April), and it was around this time last year that he went off the boil. So, at the prices, he might be one to avoid.

In direct contrast, Challet has gained all five wins from July onwards, with his form figures in March, April, May and June reading 933055723 (0-9) compared to 3246113517314013 (5-16) from the start of July onwards.

Preference, therefore, goes to LION TOWER, who has held his form without winning in three starts this season. The 5yo only gave best late on in the 1m Hambleton Handicap here last month, when in front a furlong from home. Lion Tower once again shaped as though a mile at this track was just a little too far when runner-up in a Sunday Series handicap last time.

Connections reverted to hold-up tactics there, presumably in an attempt to get Lion Tower to see out the trip, but he’ll be far better served being ridden prominently back at 7f, which he looks almost certain to do from stall 2.


CATURRA – (2:50 Sandown, Coral Scurry Stakes) 6/5

A race in which Battaash famously burst onto the scene with victory back in 2017, and if there is a potential Group 1 sprinter in this line-up then it is surely the favourite CATURRA.

Clive Cox is renowned for improving his sprinters, and he appeared to have another potential star on his hands last season when this colt came with a late rattle to land the Group 2 Flying Childers at Doncaster.

Caturra couldn’t quite match that finishing kick in the Middle Park next time, but to be beaten just a length and a half in a Group 1 was far from disappointing.

Caturra has failed to add to his tally in two starts this year, but he has looked unlucky on both occasions, being headed in the shadows of the post in a Chantilly Group 3 before suffering notable trouble in running in last month’s Group 2 Sandy Lane Stakes.

Connections are presumably looking towards a confidence-boosting win here for Caturra dropped to Listed level, and should, as expected, Live In The Dream set the pace it can provide Adam Kirby’s mount with something to aim at, and ultimately pounce upon late.


MANDOOB – (3:05 York, Sky Bet Race To The Ebor Grand Cup Stakes) 9/4

The best bet across the Saturday cards comes courtesy of MANDOOB, who was twice a novice winner for this stable last year before an excellent second to Yibir in the Bahrain Trophy.

A subsequent Ascot disappointment can be forgiven considering it came on ground softer than ideal, and it was a little interesting to see this gelding purchased privately when set to go through the sales ring back in October – his trainer presumably feeling that he had plenty more to offer.

For these new connections, Mandoob put up a career-best showing when runner-up to the 117-rated Al Aasy in last month’s Buckhounds Stakes, a run which came over a seemingly inadequate 1m4f.

Mandoob will be far better suited by this extra 2f on drying ground, whilst on a formline through the Buckhounds fourth Stowell, he appears to hold an advantage over Kemari here, who also doesn’t come into the race in anywhere near the same form.

Without A Fight is yet to definitively prove that he fully sees out this trip, Euchen Glen is now a 9yo who hasn’t fired this season, John Leeper looks tripless and Onesmoothoperator is a turf debutante who’s probably best over further, so this really should be Mandoob’s race to lose.

Given his obvious scope for improvement compared with most of these rivals, it’s a surprise to not see him shorter in the betting.


THUNDER LEGEND – (3:20 Chester, Extra Places Every Day At Betway Handicap) 9/2

It’s fascinating to see Jessica Harrington send over Cowboy Justice here, but the draw hasn’t been kind to connections in stall 10.

William Haggas seldom sends his runners here for a day out, with his strike-rate just shy of 30% in the last five seasons, and that makes THUNDER LEGEND of obvious interest even before a delve into his form.

This gelding was beaten less than 4l into fourth in a Newmarket maiden on debut last July, with the front group pulling two and a half lengths clear of the remainder.

The winner that day is now rated 115, the second 97 and the third 98, whilst the fifth-placed horse holds an official mark of 85. That form in isolation makes Thunder Legend look potentially very well treated here off a mark of 84, and he shaped as though this pace favouring track would suit when a front-running third at Haydock last time.

The draw has been very kind in stall 3, and whilst he can lead, it’s hoped that Stevie Donohoe can position Thunder Legend in just behind the likely pace angle Roman Dragon, who has to be a questionable stayer upped to this trip for the first time.


ANNAF – (3:40 York, Pavers Foundation Catherine Memorial Sprint Handicap) 16/1

Market leader Ingra Tor was ultra-impressive at Newmarket last time, but he has to have been considered favoured by his track position that day and a 9lb rise demands more. Recent Sunday Series winner Showtime Mahomes is another that could have been favoured by a low draw here last month.

Topweight Gisburn likely has more to give but may prefer cut in the ground whilst Atomic Lady is probably well handicapped off a mark of 91 but is entitled to come on for this seasonal return.

The likes of Lucky Man (2), Watchya (4) and Edward Cornelius (9) are all potential pace angles here, and that suggests that it could pay to be drawn low.

Both Lethal Levi (7) and ANNAF (1) fit that criteria and will benefit from a strong pace to aim at, with the latter just favoured of the two.

Having failed to make the track for Owen Burrows, this colt was picked up for just 16,000 guineas at the sales in October, but he has already earned twice that in prize money, producing some excellent all-weather form earlier this year which included a fourth at Newcastle to El Caballo (now a Group 2 winner) and Tiber Flow (now a Listed winner).

Annaf was well behind both Ingra Tor and Harry Three at Newmarket subsequently, but given that he suffered interference leaving the stalls, got unbalanced in the dip and made his challenge from a disadvantageous track position, it’s wise to just put a line through that run.

Annaf was much better when third at Goodwood last time and that’s another run which deserves an upgrade as he ducked left from the widest stall and raced wide in a race where the front two positioned themselves on the rail.

The tendency to duck left leaving the stalls shouldn’t be as much of an issue on this straight track, particularly considering that he is drawn wide right in stall 1. Danny Tudhope takes the ride here and it’s worth noting that nine of his previous 12 rides for Mick Appleby have finished in the first three (75%) – suggesting that there’s a bit of each-way value available with Annaf at the current prices.


ITV Racing Tips

VEE SIGHT – (1:40 Sandown, Coral “Beaten-By-A-Length” Free Bet Handicap) 6/1

DASH OF SPICE – (2:00 York, Queen Mother’s Cup Handicap) 14/1

EMPIRESTATEOFMIND – (2:15 Sandown, Coral Play “Racing-Super-Series” For Free Handicap) 7/1

LION TOWER – (2:35 York, JCB Handicap) 9/2

CATURRA – (2:50 Sandown, Coral Scurry Stakes) 6/5

MANDOOB – (3:05 York, Sky Bet Race To The Ebor Grand Cup Stakes) 9/4

THUNDER LEGEND – (3:20 Chester, Extra Places Every Day At Betway Handicap) 9/2

ANNAF – (3:40 York, Pavers Foundation Catherine Memorial Sprint Handicap) 16/1


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