There are four races on ITV Racing at Newbury on Saturday and our man O'Malley reckons it could be a clean sweep for the market leaders...
Not only has this in-form Michael Dods trained sprinter won his last four outings, he has improved a bit with each run and, having won a Listed contest last time out, has graduated seamlessly from the handicap ranks. He could well be a rising force at 5f, for a trainer we know excels with sprinters. This is his first dip into a Group race down south, but he can be expected to handle it very well and prove the one they all must beat.
This veteran has been in the form of his last on his last two outings, producing quality performances to beat Mirage Dancer and Matterhorn - two solid Group animals - at Goodwood and Windsor. His main danger is a decent 3yo called Pondus here, but I do wonder whether that horse will see out this trip well enough, so Desert Encounter is taken pounce once more under Jamie Spencer.
I posted this horse on Tuesday in the ante-post column and maintain he has a massive chance here if leaving his Goodwood run behind. He is much better judged on his win in the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket before that, where he was excellent on the clock and looked to be a classy juvenile. He is strongly fancied to put things right here.
Forest Of Dean is a cracking looking son of Iffraaj, who took time to come to hand, but his now making at hay at a critical point in the season. Carrying a 5lb penalty for his most recent York romp, John Gosden’s improving 4yo can take this handicap en route to a tilt at the hugely valuable Cambridgeshire handicap on the 28th of September. The very much in-form Rob Havlin takes the reins this time and the pair will be tough to deny.
Bankers at Newbury on Saturday
Dakota Gold 1.45 Newbury
Desert Encounter 2.20 Newbury
Mystery Power 2.55 Newbury
Forest Of Dean 3.30 Newbury
Dakota Gold is part of your Daily Double for Saturday.
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