VENTURA GOLD (8.10) is worth keeping in mind on a brilliant Saturday of sporting excellence, with Richard Fahey booking Silvestre De Sousa at Nottingham.
Ventura Gold bounced off the firm ground to win at Musselburgh and wasn’t disgraced in better company behind Broken Force at Haydock a fortnight ago.
Thirty minutes earlier THE LAST EMPEROR (7.40) is on a recovery mission and Roger Varian has found him a suitable opening. The colt was well backed at Haydock but was hampered leaving the stalls. In truth, he ran a bit of a stinker in fourth but he is probably a good bit better than that performance.
WINGED SPUR (4.50) won’t be much of a price but should have little trouble completing his hat-trick at Beverley, while RAILPORT DOLLY (3.00) is recommended at Leicester. Mick Appleby’s three-year-old was strong at the finish when scoring at Redcar and should be able to defy an 8lb rise.
ROARING LION (2.10) can capitalise on the late withdrawal of Derby hero Masar by landing the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown. With Saxon Warrior a surprise but very welcome addition to the stellar cast, Roaring Lion should go
off at backable odds.
He was very impressive over this distance when trouncing his rivals in the Dante Stakes at York, while Saxon Warrior will appreciate going 1m 2f following two Derby defeats at Epsom and the Curragh. Aidan O’Brien wouldn’t have backed him up so quickly if he thought his impressive 2000 Guineas winner hadn’t recovered fully from last weekend’s exertions. It’s one to enjoy.
Haydock provides some excellent TV action and Sir Mark Prescott’s RUDE AWAKENING (12.35) scored in the fashion of a fast improving stayer at Doncaster. He must hold solid claims in the 1m 6f handicap and gets the nod over Ghostwatch and Making Miracles.
The bet365 Old Newton Cup is one of the most fearsome middle-distance handicaps to be run in the north during high summer and this year is no exception. ACROSS THE STARS (1.45) doesn’t make a habit of winning but Richard Hannon’s five-year-old has run well in a couple of competitive handicaps of late. He had the worse of the draw when running on into third behind Dash Of Spice at Epsom and may reverse placings with runner-up Golden Wolf.
Marco Botti has twice scooped this valuable prize in recent years, including 2017 winner Dylan Mouth at 25-1. His Crowned Eagle, sixth at Epsom, shouldn’t be ignored.
Top weight Blakeney Point finished fourth in the race last year from a terrible draw but is stuck out wide again in stall 16. His trainer Roger Charlton has stronger claims with likely favourite Atty Persse, although his 2017 Royal Ascot winner has been off the track for a long period. Of course, that didn’t stop Charlton’s Withhold bolting up in last Saturday’s Northumberland Plate after a similar lengthy absence!
- Nottingham 8.10
Ventura Gold (4-1, Paddy Power)
- Nottingham 7.40
The Last Emperor (3-1, bet365)
- Beverley 4.50
Winged Spur (4-5, McBookie)
- Leicester 3.00
Railport Dolly (5-2, Ladbrokes)
- Sandown 2.10
Roaring Lion (7-4, William Hill)
- Haydock 12.35
Rude Awakening ew (100-30, McBookie)
- Haydock 1.45
Across The Stars ew (12-1, bet365)