There’s good racing on Saturday afternoon at Newmarket and Ascot. The feature race is the Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes and the principals are very closely matched on their recent running at Deauville and Leopardstown. Provided the pace is not too slow, I fancy Qemah to come out on top.
There’s enough evidence to suggest that she’s better at running a straight mile than running around a bend. I’m fairly sure that she has the most class in this field and can make her turn of foot tell, so long as she switches off early in the race.
She was too far off the pace in the Matron Stakes and pulled her chance away in that bunched finish behind Roly Poly at Deauville. Circumstances at Newmarket may suit her better and as such, she makes most appeal at the prices (11/2).
Earlier on the card at Newmarket, the 6f Fillies Handicap may well produce a big run from the Michael Wigham trained, Clear Water, who was unlucky not to finish in front of a couple of better fancied rivals at Salisbury last time and gets a massive jockey switch with Jamie Spencer taking over.
She looked, potentially, quite smart for her previous trainer on this track last spring and she’s just edged her way down the handicap to a point where she becomes quite interesting.
At Ascot, Blue point is sure to be all the rage in the Bengough Stakes, but there might be some mileage in siding with Magical Memory.
Admittedly, he can chuck in some shockers these days, but what happened at Haydock was simply a carbon copy of what happened the previous year – there’s clearly something about the very soft ground at that track which he doesn’t particularly like.
What we do know is that he goes with cut in the ground, at least, and that he has some very good Ascot form to his name.
Evidently, Blue Point is highly talented and has been running against a very strong group of sprinters, but he’s a very skinny price and the selection is a borderline Group 1 horse on his day – I’ll be interested to see if Oisin Murphy can get a good tune out of him.
In the somewhat impossible Heritage Handicap, it might just be Firmament’s turn to get his head in front this season. He has been incredibly consistent and as such has received no let up from the handicapper.
But race conditions could hardly be more ideal for him and I can see plenty of merit in backing him each way at the prices. I will be hoping the early pace is sufficiently strong so that the race collapses around him and he’s still there at the finish.
Best of Luck!
2.05 – Fillies Series Sprint Handicap – Clear Water
2.40 – Sun Chariot Stakes – Qemah
3.00 – Ben Gough Stakes – Magical Memory
3.35 – Heritage Handicap – Firmanent E/W
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.