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Matthew Sutcliffe’s Value Punts – Top Tips for Newcastle and Newmarket’s Saturday Meetings

After a sensational Royal Ascot, Matty Sutcliffe returns to his bread and butter in looking for weekend value. He has five selections to look out for on Saturday from Newcastle and Newmarket.

Published: 12.17pm, Tuesday, 25th June (Prices correct at time of publishing)

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2:04 Newcastle – Jenningsbet Nun Street Newcastle Open Now Chipchase Stakes (Group 3) (Class 1) (3yo+) Montassib 5/1 1pt WIN + Never Just A Dream 25/1 0.5pt EW 3 places 

Kinross might need this run over six furlongs with bigger targets down the line, and Tiber Flow is likely to contest the Criterion Stakes having produced a career best over seven furlongs last time out, which makes the 5/1 for MONTASSIB well worth taking at this stage.

The six-year-old son of Exceed and Excel hasn’t been the most straight forward throughout his career, often suffering from bad luck in running, but produced a career best on his penultimate start at Doncaster when bursting through the pack with relative ease to win a shade cosy close to home. The third was an unlucky third in the Wokingham last week and the 4th has since wone three races and placed in both the Pavillion Stakes and the Caravan Stakes, so the form has worked out well too. 

The yard have seemingly found six furlongs to be his perfect trip with his record over the distance now reading 15116 (first came over C&D), and his 5th/6th were close efforts, latterly faring well from the rear in the G2 Duke of Clipper Stakes at York when it paid to be both to the fore and on the far side. He was only beaten four lengths, and the winner was beaten a length in the QEII last week with multiple form boosts at group level elsewhere. 

He returns off a short break for his in-form yard who’ve taken the last two runnings of this contest and can make his presence strongly felt down in grade. 

The other I’d like to chance is the rank outsider of the lot. It was either boom or bust for NEVER JUST A DREAM as a two-year-old, with form figures of 810181, but two of those victories came over C&D, the former taking a racing league nursery off top-weight, and the latter beating the progressive Shouldvebeenaring by two lengths, who’s since gone on to prove a solid sprinter at Group level. 

The selection requires a bit of faith given he’s yet to match his two year old form and his form overseas in the winter was below par, but he was able to produce an RPR of 96 when taking. Fifteen runner handicap in comfortable fashion over six furlongs, so there is hope that he retains that ability now back on these shores. 

He was last seen finishing three lengths behind Mischief Magic in October at Kempton and that form’s worked out well, but if he can rediscover his course and distance form then there’s every chance he could spring a surprise result, particularly now the yard are off the mark for the season with a winner at Windsor on Monday. 

Jenningsbet Nun Street Newcastle Open Now Chipchase Stakes (Group 3)

2:15 Newmarket – Maureen Brittain Memorial Empress Fillies’ Stakes (Listed Race) (Class 1) (2yo) – Tales Of The Heart 6/1 1pt WIN 

Ralph Beckett has conjured up an excellent record in non-handicaps on the July course in the last five seasons, reading 54-11-32 (20% W/59% P – £18.43+), and he’s won this particular Listed race twice in the last four seasons including same connections’ Lezoo. This has evidently been the plan for TALES OF THE HEART, whose dam was a one length second in this race in 2010 after an all-weather success. 

A full sister to G2 Flying Childers winner turned stallion Caturra, she’s bred to be sharp and showed that with an excellent turn of foot on debut at Kempton earlier this month, flying home down the outside having initially battled through an early scrummage shortly after the break. The next five home had all had the benefit of experience, and the third/fourth finished 4th/5th in the Chesham Stakes last week behind the runaway winner Bedtime Story. 

Beckett doesn’t have an abundance of precocious two-year-olds, with the majority of them coming to hand later on in the year so these types are to be noted, and with any natural progression from her RPR of 82 then she could make up into a smart filly for connections. This turf debut is obviously an unknown, but she’s bred for this quick surface and three of her relations (including dam) failed to win on the all-weather, so I’d have no problem with her on the ground. 

Maureen Brittain Memorial Empress Fillies’ Stakes (Listed Race)
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2:50 Newmarket – JCB Fred Archer Stakes (Listed Race) (Class 1) (4yo+) – Crystal Delight 3/1 (generally, 4/1 Hills/365) 2pt WIN 

King Of Conquest holds the majority of these on form and is clear on ratings, but he isn’t a straightforward sort and the progressive CRYSTAL DELIGHT can serve it up to him. The gelded son of New Approach was regressive last season for William Jarvis, whose horses were rarely up to scratch during the phase of him winding down his operation. But, from the family of Crystal Ocean out of the excellent Crystal Capella, he’s bred to be a smart sort and improve with age, and since joining Harry Eustace, perhaps we’re finally seeing his underlying talent. 

He bolted up when making all at Epsom in April, pulling five lengths clear from stablemate Ziggy who was beaten a two lengths third in the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes last week. He then easily defied a 9lb rise to a career high mark of 97 at York, again making all and coming home just shy of five lengths clear. It pays to be prominent at York, but I’ve always felt it’s a hard place to make all and judge the fractions right so the fact he was able to make all and still clock the quickest two final furlongs (highest finishing speed of 106.30%) suggested it was a very smart performance. 

That race booked his place in the Ebor meeting, and off this mark of 105 he’d still be a shoe in. However, I’m not all that sure he’d get the 1m6f and the fact that connections have him entered in here and the Princess Of Wales Stakes over 1m4f not only backs up my theory, but also that perhaps he is good enough to become a group horse and thus his rating of 105 as opposed to King Of Conquests 114 shouldn’t put us off here. 

I’m aware he’s a short enough price for this column, but in terms of ‘value’ he could easily go off a 2/1 shot or shorter. This small field scenario with little pace on (Deauville Legend unlikely to be ridden as aggressively) will aid his cause and while I’ve given Jim Crowley some flack for his ride on Autumn Return, he is excellent on these forward going types. 

JCB Fred Archer Stakes (Listed Race)

3:10 Newcastle – Jenningsbet Northumberland Plate Handicap (Heritage Handicap) (Class 2) (3yo+) – Yashin 12/1 0.5pt EW 4 places

In recent years, just one horse (9/2F) has won this race below a mark of 96, and given there’s only three entered in here above that mark, I think we can comfortably say it’s not a vintage renewal. YASHIN could end up being the top-weight should Tashkhan nor Prydwen line up, but Trueshan proved that shouldn’t put us off and if declared (market signals suggest he will be), then this classy sort can comfortably dispatch these handicappers. 

Though untried over the distance, he;’s shaped on both occasions over 1m6f this season that this trip is well within his range, firstly beaten five lengths by Kyprios giving him 3lbs despite being rated 12lbs lower, and he backed that effort up when finishing closer up behind the same pair in a G3 at Leopardstown, beaten just two lengths and this time off level weights. 

That is by far the best form on offer with Kyprios winning the Gold Cup last week and both the 4th/5th bettering their form since. He’s proven himself to run well in big field handicaps, such as when beaten three lengths off this mark (3rd highest RPR in the race of 111) in last seasons Ebor, which again is another piece of form unmatched by any of these in here. The obvious issue is whether he’ll take to the surface, but he’s by Churchill which shouldn’t pose an issue and if the surface doesn’t hinder him, then it’s hard to envisage him not being thereabouts at the finish.

Jenningsbet Northumberland Plate Handicap (Heritage Handicap)
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