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ITV Racing Tips – Selections In All Eleven Races On Shergar Cup Day

There are no fewer than 11 races live on ITV Racing this Saturday, as the Shergar Cup comes to Ascot. With seven races broadcasted live from Ascot and four more from Haydock, Newmarket and the Currgah, including the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes, there are betting opportunities aplenty. Check our selections out in each race below, alongside an exclusive 888Sport offer, which provides £30 in Free Bets + A £10 Casino Bonus.


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Stone Soldier (1:35 Ascot)

Recent winners Orbaan and Epsom Faithfull or obvious types, but their victories were secured over separate distances to 7f having often raced at this trip prior. There is a chance it does not quite suit either ideally while the former has to concede 5lb all round.

Instead, it might be worth throwing a dart at ITV’s opener on STONE SOLDIER for Archie Watson and Jamie Spencer. The Britain and Ireland captain is a veteran of this event and this horse may just be very well-treated on level weights against these.

His record on the all-weather is superior to that on turf, but he has hardly been useless on grass, having won twice, including at Haydock last July off a mark of 85. Since then, he has won an open conditions event at Southwell and his only other completed run on turf since then saw him race on unsuitably soft ground.

He is capable of a level of performance that could win this sort of race. The ground will be more in his favour and he may well be the kind of horse Spencer can smuggle into contention. 

His price is reflective of a horse who bookmakers do not fear away from the all-weather. They may just have got this one wrong.

13.35 Dubai Duty Free Full Of Surprises Classified Stakes (GBB Race)
Result
3rd 14/1


Count D’orsay (2:10 Ascot)

Of all the jockeys riding in the Shergar Cup on Saturday, the least is probably known about Spanish veteran Jose-Luis Martinez. The 51-year-old has been champion jockey in his home country on nine occasions and has well over 1,000 winners across Europe.

How he will cope with a British 5f sprint is up for a little debate, but that could easily be a disservice to him. At this stage, it is mere speculation, especially as his mount COUNT D’ORSAY may have a very decent chance.

Tim Easterby’s six-year-old has gone close on numerous occasions since his last win in September 2020, but he was beaten a head off this mark of 94 when drawn in the car park at Chester in May. That effort is well worth upgrading, while he has form of 354 in 5f turf handicaps since, all off 1lb higher than this mark.

Two of those were at Chester and in both, he messed up the start. The fifth came in a 20-runner event at Ascot though and that sort of effort in this less competitive, smaller field would see him bang in the mix.


14.10 Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Dash (Handicap)
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Electrical Storm (2:25 Haydock)

The outsiders in the field Fame And Acclaim and Gioia Cieca have both run their best races of the season at this venue and one of them is expected to run a big race here.

However, Saeed bin Suroor’s ELECTRICAL STORM looks comfortably the likeliest winner. The Godolphin five-year-old missed the entirety of 2021 having also missed the majority of 2020, being forced to only run on the all-weather towards the end of the season. Since returning to turf this season though, he has kicked on and could well still be progressive.

Bin Suroor’s faith and patience was rewarded with a comfortable win at York off a mark of 83 and though he could not follow up at Sandown over 1m2f, he led with a furlong to run only to tire. He was fiercely competitive off this mark though and the drop back to 1m looks the right decision.

Both trainer and jockey Andrea Atzeni have been in good form of late and have combined for two wins from just five mutual runners this season. Another winner for the pair is incoming.


14.25 Betfred ‘Play Fred’s £5 Million’ Handicap (London Mile Series Qualifier)

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Red Force One (2:45 Ascot)

It is important to clarify that RED FORCE ONE is only a reserve, but he is priced up accordingly to his chances if he runs.

With five of the runners in the field having run in the last ten days, there is a fair chance there will be a non-runner above him too. Phil Kirby’s charge brought up the hat-trick at York last month when kicking clear by an extraordinary eight lengths.

His first win on that run was his first for over a year. That came at Musselburgh over 2m and it is that marathon trip over which he has excelled. Previously a handicap hurdler of a decent level for Paul Nicholls, it is unsurprising that he has performed to his best when stamina comes into play.

He is up 10lb for his most recent success, but such was his manner of victory that he could easily extend his unbeaten run to four. If getting in of course.


14.45 Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Stayers (Handicap)
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Grocer Jack (3:00 Haydock)

One criticism that could be levelled at GROCER JACK is that he has hardly been prolific in his career. However, he was campaigned very aggressively by Waldemar Hickst in Germany until he eventually won a Group 3 at San Siro in Italy.

Indeed, he only won two races for his initial trainer, but early indications are that he will be winning far more for William Haggas. He ran solid races in Group company in Saudi Arabia and France before bolting up on his British debut.

He was very well-supported into 5/4 favourite for Newbury’s Listed Steventon Stakes and he duly hacked up by nine lengths from the front. That was a blistering performance and though his rivals may have slightly underperformed, it strongly suggested he would be capable at a higher level.

The progressive handicapper Anmaat is feared, but this is a very good opportunity for Grocer Jack to take another step up the ladder. Group 1s cannot be ruled out in his future.

15.00 Betfred Rose Of Lancaster Stakes (Group 3)
Result
2nd 6/4


The Whipmaster (3:20 Ascot)

Frankie Dettori is the headline act for Team Europe at the Shergar Cup, but fellow Italian Antonio Fresu may beat him to a winner aboard THE WHIPMASTER.

Fresu is one of the top riders who plies his trade in the UAE and his mount in this contest has been a star this season for Gary Moore. After defeat on his return, he swiftly racked up four wins in a row.

The first three were over 1m2f at Lingfield and Sandown, but he arguably improved for a step up in trip at Windsor when making it four-in-a-row off a mark of 83. All told, he had gone up 16lb in the handicap when he raced over course and distance last time out.

His winning run may have come to an end, but he and the winner pulled 14 lengths clear of the third. There is every chance he was bumping into one who was way ahead of the handicapper when conditions fell right.

That is unlikely to be the case here, for all that his two main rivals at the top of the market are on a hat-trick. However, in another universe The Whipmaster would be up just 1lb and seeking a sixth win in a row, which he may well achieve here.


15.20 Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Challenge (Handicap)
Result
6th 4/1
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Lady Alara (3:40 Newmarket)

This is a tricky race to unravel, with Lakota Sioux clearly not the finished article given how her tail flashes during her races.

If she puts things together, she has a lot of talent, while all of Novakai, Alseyoob and Mottisfont could be anything after their debut victories. However, LADY ALARA, like Lakota Sioux, has already raced in Pattern company and may be able to step forward here.

She did a lot wrong when third in Sandown’s Listed Star Stakes last month, but still plugged on to place. Having been last with a wall of horses in front of her, she found herself challenging long after the first two had already flown clear.

There is also a chance that the two fillies who beat her are particularly smart, so there was no disgrace in her finishing position. If she makes a cleaner start, she should improve.

15.40 Jewson Sweet Solera Stakes (Group 3) (Fillies)
Result
8th 13/2


Montassib (3:55 Ascot)

Having scored so readily at Goodwood on his third career start, it looked as though MONTASSIB might be destined for the very top.

That victory was a cruise off a mark of 87, but even up 10lb he was made a short-priced favourite to maintain his unbeaten record at Royal Ascot. However, the more frantic nature of that race, combined with the big-field served to find him too far back and he could only run on into fifth.

Next time out at Newmarket, he was ridden in completely contrasting fashion by Cieren Fallon, bearing the brunt of the pace on the far end in a race that eventually suited the ultimate closer Bless Him. Had his tactics been reversed in those two defeats, we may still be talking about an unbeaten horse.

As it is, he remains on a mark of 97, but he is surely a winner in waiting. The British and Irish team may not have a better chance all day and Danny Tudhope will be confident of getting him home in front.

15.55 Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Mile (Handicap)
Result
4th 2/1
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Little Big Bear (4:15 Curragh)

This is a fantastic contest and there is unlikely to be a better juvenile Group 1 this season. Outsider Apache Outlaw is no mug, but it is not beyond reason to expect the other five to be very high-class.

Bradsell is the least experienced in this field, as well as a surprisingly cheap purchase. He won really impressively in the Group 2 Coventry Stakes and Hollie Doyle has betrayed her Shergar Cup prospects to ride in this race. Runner-up Persian Force took a while to get going that day, but has since claimed his own Group 2 in Newmarket’s July Stakes.

Despite that Royal Ascot form it is actually Blackbeard, fourth to Bradsell that day and a relative veteran having run six times, who is the highest-rated. He won by a tidy three lengths in a French Group 2 last time, but there are doubts about the opposition he beat to accomplish that, while he was also behind Shartash the run before. Johnny Murtagh’s two-year-old is somewhat of an unknown quantity.

However, set to trump them all is Aidan O’Brien’s other runner and first string LITTLE BIG BEAR. His win in the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes has been franked in fine style by a number of the vanquished since and he stepped up to 6½f superbly at the Curragh last time out.

He claimed the Group 3 Anglesey Stakes in splendid isolation and it will help that stablemate Blackbeard won when front-running last time. That should ensure a good pace for him to aim at, as it already looks like he will get further.

16.15 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes (Group 1)
Result
1st 11/4


Approachability (4:30 Ascot)

The Johnston yard have won this race for the last two years and they might have a horse in APPROACHABILITY who fits the bill for the hat-trick.

The Girls team have the favourite in Berkshire Breeze, but team captain Hayley Turner is aboard this colt, a son of Mastercraftsman. He won takingly at Pontefract on debut, but though he has not yet returned to the winners’ enclosure, a repeat may be coming soon.

His narrowest defeat this season came when second to stablemate Enfranchise at Pontefract over this 1m4f trip. It is also the only time he has front-run, with all of his other starts coming from a location either in the pack or out the back.

The latter was the case last time out at Goodwood, mainly due to being slow out the gates. However, he ran on to be a promising sixth of 13 behind a progressive winner and is down 1lb for that run.

If Turner can get a good break from the stalls, he may be able to dominate from the front.

16.30 Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Classic (Handicap)


Razeyna (5:05 Ascot)

It is difficult to ignore the claims of RAZEYNA in the last, who only required patient handling at Carlisle before bursting through for a comfortable success.

That was on only her fourth career start and her first over the shorter distance of 6f. For much of the race, it appeared as though she would have no through road to the front, but once Stevie Donohoe found a gap, she responded in good style to win her race.

Up 4lb, she is still off a fighting, competitive mark. She may not have looked quite as flashy when asked for a response last time, but she had comfortably enough tactical speed to lay up nicely in behind over 6f.

There could be a slight concern insofar as there is not a great deal of obvious pace to make it a strong 6f. However, she is yet to show her hand in terms of tactical versatility and on form, she has the strongest chance.

17.05 Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Sprint (Handicap)


ITV Racing Selections – 6th August

Stone Soldier (1:35 Ascot)

Count D’orsay (2:10 Ascot)

Electrical Storm (2:25 Haydock)

Red Force One (2:45 Ascot)

Grocer Jack (3:00 Haydock)

The Whipmaster (3:20 Ascot)

Lady Alara (3:40 Newmarket)

Montassib (3:55 Ascot)

Little Big Bear (4:15 Curragh)

Approachability (4:30 Ascot)

Razeyna (5:05 Ascot)


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