Saturday ITV Racing Tips: Best bets for Newmarket, Goodwood and Thirsk
As well as the Group 1 2000 Guineas (1640), Newmarket serves up the Group 3 Palace House Stakes (1600) for the TV cameras, and three other intriguing contests, plus a race each from Goodwood and Thirsk. Before we get into the detail let's have a canter through our list of top tips. You can find more info on each of our highlighted selections further down the page.
Don't forget to check out the racecards, results and live odds in Planet Sport's racing live centre.
Good luck and please gamble responsibly.
(Please be aware selections could become non-runners after article publication)
14:15 (Newmarket) Gale Force Maya
14:50 (Newmarket) Blackrod 15:05 (Goodwood) Maghlaak 15:25 (Newmarket) Saga 15:40 (Thirsk) Northern Express 16:00 (Newmarket) Twilight Calls 16:40 (Newmarket) Chaldean
14:15 (Newmarket) Gale Force Maya
Gale Force Maya (fourth) was giving Azure Blue (winner) 4lb when the pair met over course and distance in October, but it would be no surprise were Michael Dods' charge, who was progressive last season, to reverse that form on revised terms. Makarova outran her odds to finish second in that same contest and she merits respect, despite having a bit to find once again. Irish-raider Spring Feeling was last seen finishing a good third at Group level and the unexposed filly could rate higher yet.
14:50 (Newmarket) Blackrod
In a wide-open contest, only a tentative vote can go to Blackrod. The son of Mayson was well in command when winning this from a 2lb lower mark last year, and he might be able to repeat the feat following a recent pipe-opener at Kempton. Tanmawwy defied market weakness only to be narrowly denied at Newbury on his return to action. He is 2lb well-in and merits respect, as do Probe, Chairmanoftheboard, Lethal Levi and Popmaster.
15:05 (Goodwood) Maghlaak
Maghlaak returns to the Sussex Downs for the William Hill Epic Value Handicap after winning a novice event there back in September.
Winner of one of his two all-weather starts, Maghlaak made a seamless transition to turf in fending off Jean Danjou by a neck. While the second has not franked the form, the third and fourth have won subsequently and Maghlaak looked the type to develop into a nice four-year-old.
15:25 (Newmarket) Saga
Saga could give the King a coronation winner in the Howden Suffolk Stakes. The four-year-old came within a head of providing the late Queen with a final Royal Ascot win last June, with his last start when fourth at York reading all the better now given the subsequent exploits of winner Algiers. Beaten two and a half lengths by the Dubai World Cup second, Saga should be suited by the likely stronger pace in a bigger field and he is edging back down the handicap.
15:40 (Thirsk) Northern Express
Northern Express did not get the clearest of passages when fifth at Musselburgh on his seasonal return last month but that was still a very promising effort. With more luck and off a 1lb lower mark, it would be no surprise to see the five-year-old play a leading role in the Thirsk Hunt Cup. Symbolize rarely runs poorly at this venue and should not be underestimated, while Autumn Festival and Austrian Theory are others to note.
16:00 (Newmarket) Twilight Calls
Twilight Calls has won first time out for the last two seasons and can maintain his record in the Howden Palace House Stakes. Henry Candy's charge was sent off favourite for this Group Three contest last year after winning a Newmarket handicap on his return, but he had to settle for a narrow fifth after a rather luckless run. Beaten just a head in the Temple Stakes next time, Twilight Calls posted a career best to chase home Nature Strip in the King's Stand at Royal Ascot, emerging best of the rest after coming from off the pace but ultimately well held by the Australian sprint star. A setback kept him off the track for the rest of the campaign, with Candy taking a patient approach to his recovery - an outlook which can pay dividends this term.
16:40 (Newmarket) Chaldean
Chaldean can get Frankie Dettori's victory lap off to a flying start in the Qipco 2000 Guineas. The Italian will hang up his boots at the end of the year, stating his intention to make the most of his final campaign and in Chaldean he appears to have a perfect contender for one last Guineas strike. Mark Of Esteem, Island Sands and Galileo Gold have all obliged for Dettori in the past and the Andrew Balding-trained Chaldean staked his claim when making rapid strides last season, progressing from a novice win to victories in Group Three and Two company before rounding off with Group One glory in the Dewhurst. He only beat the reopposing Royal Scotsman a head on that occasion, but Chaldean should be given extra credit as he was slow to stride and had plenty of ground to make up on the second, who raced prominently through the early exchanges. Clearly Chaldean did not enjoy an ideal reappearance run as he unshipped Dettori coming out of the stalls in last month's Greenham, but he at least had a spin - albeit minus his rider - and he was caught pretty quickly at the finish. Aidan O'Brien's pair of Auguste Rodin and Little Big Bear are obvious obstacles in Chaldean's way, but the son of Frankel should be perfectly suited by a mile and can give Balding a second race win after Kameko three years ago.
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