Saturday ITV Racing Tips: Best bets for Sandown and Haydock

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You can read the reasons behind our selections (listed below) further down the page and we'll also steer you towards Planet Sport's Racing Live Centre, as it's here you'll find the highly informative race cards for Sandown and Haydock.

Selections:

Mitbaahy (13.50 Sandown)

Double Cherry (14.05 Haydock)

Darkness each-way (14.25 Sandown)

Stay Alert each-way (14.40 Haydock)

Heredia (15.00 Sandown)

Something Enticing each-way (15.15 Haydock)

Bay Bridge (15.35 Sandown)

13.50 Sandown - Mitbaahy

Three of the eight runners for this 5f Listed contest ran in the King's Stand at Royal Ascot, with Equilateral doing best of the trio in fifth. He will appreciate this drop in class but the seven-year-old is up against a couple of improving younger sprinters in Raasel and Mitbaahy, and they might fight out the finish here. The former horse has gone from strength to strength since winning off a mark of 73 at Goodwood last September, winning six further times since and including at this level on his most recent start at Haydock. However, the age allowance for three-year-olds means he is conceding 5lb to the Roger Varian-trained Mitbaahy, and that could prove decisive. Roger Varian's charge arrives here on a roll after wins at Hamilton and over this track and trip last time, when very much looking a horse of Group-race potential, and his connections swerved a suitable engagement at Royal Ascot to wait for this.

With his yard in terrific form - 13-41, 32%, in the last fortnight - he looks a good bet to land the hant-trick.

14.05 Haydock - Double Cherry

Likely favourite Sea King has not been seen out since winning a five-runner affair at Doncaster in April at odds-on and, for all he looked a useful staying prospect on that occasion, a 9lb rise might be enough to stop following up in much stronger company. Besides we're not short of value alternatives and Double Cherry, who is a double-figure price at the time of writing, could have more to offer now stepping up to 1m6f for the first time after keeping on strongly to score over two furlongs shorter at Goodwood last month. He too has been hit with a 9lb rise but even his new mark of 87 could prove generous when you consider the Goodwood third is now rated 86 after wining since, and the selection, who is a half-brother to three winners, including the smart Uber Cool (1m4f-2m), surely has more improvement in him after just four starts. The prospect of soft ground on Saturday is no concern either as he clearly relished such a surface on the Sussex Downs and it may well hinder the chances of some of his rivals.

14.25 Sandown - Darkness each-way

Sinjaari did best of those racing stands' side when finishing fifth of the 29 runners in last month's Royal Hunt Cup, having travelled well and being one of the last of the bridle, and he deserves to be favourite for this 1m handicap on that evidence. However, he's a horse who needs everything to drop just right, as shown by his 2-18 record, and for that reason he makes very little appeal at his current odds of around the 5/2 mark. Recent York winner Lion Tower has to be considered as does dual all-weather scorer Checkandchallenge, who will find this far easier than the 2,000 Guineas he contested last time and is very lightly-raced after just three starts. But this could be the day that David O'Meara's French import Darkness finally comes good in Britain after a string of encouraging efforts in decent handicaps under adverse circumstances. His highest finish to date came at Haydock in April when finishing strongly into third after a troubled passage, and his latest fifth at Redcar is better than it looks too as he was forced to make his effort away from where the main action unfolded.

The handicapper has dropped him a further 2lb since, meaning he's 7lb lower than when making his British debut in the Lincoln, and this three-time winner in France, who changed hands for €70,000 last July, looks poised to run a big race at an each-way price.

14.40 Haydock - Stay Alert each-way

The latest running of the 1m4f Group 2 Lancashire Oaks sees the return to action of the John and Thady Gosden-trained Free Wind, an impressive winner of the Park Hill when last seen out in September of last year and now the mount of Robert Havlin (2-2 on her). However, she's likely to need her first run back and Eshaada, who has the benefit of a previous run this term and doesn't carry a penalty for her narrow Group 1 success at Ascot on Champions Day, may prove best of the older fillies. You have to go back to 2012 to find the last three-year-old winner but one filly who might buck that trend is Hughie Morrison's Stay Alert, whose second in a 1m2f Listed contest at Newbury two starts back now looks even better form, with the winner Nashwa since taking third spot in the Oaks and the third finishing a respectable fourth in the Group 2 Ribblesdale. The selection continued her progress when going one better over the same course and distance on her latest outing, with the highly-regarded Golden Lyra comfortably held in second, and we know she stays this longer trip as she's already won over it.

She's yet to encounter a soft surface but her pedigree is encouraging in that respect - her sister Star Rock relished cut and finished third in the Group 2 Lillie Langtry over 1m6f for the same connections - and it's unlikely we've seen the best of her after just four starts. In receipt of 12lb from the three four-year-olds in the line-up, which dominate the betting currently, she looks well worth an each-way interest with three places up for grabs thanks to the dead eight runners going to post.

15.00 Haydock - Heredia

Heredia heads the betting for this 1m Listed contest for fillies and it's hard to argue with that.

Richard Hannon's filly maintained her unbeaten record (4-4) when trying today's trip for the first time at Royal Ascot, albeit she has to survive a Stewards' enquiry after bumping the second close to home, and the form of that 28-runner handicap, which was run in a fast time, looks very strong indeed.

On that evidence, she's definitely up to winning at this level and her connections clearly think she is capable of mixing it in even better company, given her Group 1 entries later in the season. She perhaps has most to fear from Grande Dame, a winner at Ascot on her racecourse debut in April and outclassed in the Group 1 Coronation stakes on her last start, while recent Carlisle winner Oscula is penalised 3lb for her Group 3 success last season and might be best over 7f.

15.15 Haydock - Something Enticing each-way

Bookmakers are taking no chances with Gaassee in this prestigious 1m4f handicap with William Haggas' progressive four-year-old no bigger than 7/4 at the time of writing to make it five wins on the bounce, and they may be right. However, he was far from impressive when landing the last of those at York, where he lugged lugging left under pressure close home for no apparent reason, and he has to be taken on at such short odds with the Ebor, run over perhaps a more suitable 1m6f back on the Knavesmire, his main target. The record of favourites - just two have obliged in the last 20 runnings - is another reason to find one to beat him at an each-way price and Andrew Balding's Something Enticing fits the bill nicely. She was a progressive sort at three for David Elsworth, winning twice and running some cracking races in defeat, including when narrowly beaten in a Listed contest at Doncaster in November, which was a personal best at the time and confirmed that she was still improving. Her most recent second at Goodwood in May earned her some black type and, given that was her first try over 1m4f, it was encouraging to see her stay on so well from the back of the field, following a slow start.

She does like to be ridden off the pace, so expect her to come late on the scene under David Probert, and should the ground come up soft on Saturday, as seems likely, it won't hinder her chances one bit as all her best form has come on such a surface.

15.35 Sandown (Coral-Eclipse) - Bay Bridge

Vadeni looked the real deal when slamming his rivals in the French Derby by five lengths or more and he's rightly favourite to give the French their first win in this race for over 60 years. Not many have tried in that time, it has to be said.

Still, there's a nagging doubt his Chantilly win flattered him a little as everything fell right for him from an advantageous low draw, and it's hard to believe many of those in behind ran near their previous best. Now taking on some classy older horses and with the ground likely to be riding much quicker than he's used to - assuming the weather forecast is correct - he has to be taken on at cramped odds. The obvious alternative is Irish 2,000 Guineas winner and fellow three-year-old Native Trail, whose only defeat in seven starts came at the hands of stablemate Coroebus in the Newmarket equivalent. Given how strong he was at the finish at the Curragh he ought to have no trouble staying an easy 1m2f, but he will have to see it out well in this grade and the suspicion is that the stiff uphill finish here might just find him out. His pedigree is more that of a miler than a middle distance horse, which can't be said of Bay Bridge, who is a half-brother to a 1m5f-2m winner and shapes as though 1m4f should be well within his range. But he's clearly very effective over this two furlongs shorter trip as he showed when powering away from some high-class rivals over this track and trip on his reappearance in May, looking every inch a star in the making.

The placed horses have done their bit to advertise the form since with the five-lengths runner-up Mostahdaf chasing home Broome in the Hardwicke Stakes, while the fourth Dubai Future won the Wolferton Stakes by three lengths.

Sir Michael Stoute's runner was sent off at odds-on for the Group 1 Prince Of Wales's Stakes on the back of that impressive effort, but had to settle for second behind the front-running State Of Rest, which is why he's only third favourite for this.

However, there was no disgrace in finishing just a length behind a four-time Group 1 scorer on ground that was faster than he would have liked, and the result may well have been the other way around had he been ridden closer to the pace. He certainly wasn't seen to best effect at the royal meeting and the return to the scene of his best ever run on ground which promises to be a touch easier can see him bounce back from that defeat. With question marks over the two three-year-old runners at the head the market and in the hope there will be a more generous pace from the off for him to aim at, he may well prove the answer to a classy renewal. Of the remaining three runners, you have to give plenty of respect to Mishriff, the highest-rated runner in the field and a serious player if returning to the sort of from he showed when beating the re-opposing Alenquer six lengths in last season's Juddmonte. The negatives being he hasn't been seen out since finishing stone last as favourite at Riyadh in February, which makes you question is readiness for this, and that he ran below his best when only third in last year's renewal.

The article Saturday ITV Racing Tips: Best bets for Sandown and Haydock appeared first on Planetsport.com.

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