THE live ITV coverage on Saturday comes from Newmarket, Windsor and Goodwood and the rain has brought soft and heavy ground across the board.
That soft ground might lead to some non-runners on Saturday morning so keep your eyes peeled and it has also had a significant impact on my thinking. I will give my thoughts on each race on ITV but I only have two confident bets for the day.
I think this is a toss up between the proven form of Happy Romance and the potential of Pomelo who won very well on debut. Heavy ground is an unknown for both horses though and I'm not willing to take a punt on either of them at fairly short prices. If you forced me to have a bet I would side with Happy Romance.
This looks like a pretty hot listed race to my eye with Summerghand in fine form and other notables including Jash, Raucous and Shabaaby. The one that I fancy though is VENTURA REBEL who didn't enjoy the step up to 7 furlongs last time and will be happier back at 6 where he ran so well in the Coronation Cup at Royal Ascot. This isn't as hot as that Group 1 and with his previous good form on soft ground (close 2nd to A'Ali last season) I can see him nicking this one.
The only handicap on the ITV card on Saturday and it has unearthed a value bet for me. With the heavy ground it's essential for me that the horse has previous form on the surface so that leaves me with Alemaratalyoum, Cold Stare, Milltown Star and Battered to really drill down into. Alemaratalyoum likes it at Goodwood but his last two runs really have been poor so his price is a bit short. Cold Stare also holds some appeal but he isn't in great form and David O'Meara's horses aren't getting their head in front at the minute. Milltown Star is very tempting but he hasn't been seen since November of last year which would be a big concern. My choice is BATTERED who hasn't been running too badly but has dropped to his lowest handicap mark for two years. He is a course and distance winner who will enjoy the heavy ground and will benefit from the assistance of Oisin Murphy who had another good day on Friday.
This one probably comes down to Desert Encounter and Alounak for me. The former enjoys his trips to this meeting each season whilst Alounak is a class act who will be comfortable on the ground. I couldn't pick between the two so I have left the race alone.
I would probably be tempted to have a small win bet on Cabaletta in this if she drifted out to around 2-1. As things stand it's quite a tight looking affair and I'm not too excited by any of the others.
Fox Chairman is the obvious one who should be fine on the ground and has all the form in the book but the price is just a bit skinny for me to be having a bet.
Regal Reality won for me a couple of weeks ago at Salisbury but this is a trickier race in tough conditions and he is half the price so doesn't appeal. I'm not particularly keen on any of the alternatives at the current prices so this one is another watching brief for me.
Good luck to everyone with Saturday's bets and enjoy the racing!
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