The reasons behind our picks (listed below) are further down the page, while anyone considering a punt or two would do well to check out the race cards for Sandown, York and Chester, just a click away at Planet Sport's Racing Live Centre.
Aldhaja (13.40 Sandown)
Dash Of Spice each-way (14.00 York)
Via Serendipity each-way (14.15 Sandown)
Lion Tower (14.35 York)
Caturra (14.50 Sandown)
Mandoob (15.05 York)
Outgate (15.20 Chester)
Roach Power (15.40 York)
13.40 Sandown - Aldhaja
Charlie Hills' Aldhaja has won half of his four starts and being so lightly-raced he still has plenty of scope, so a 3lb rise for winning by a nose on soft ground at Haydock last time might not be enough to stop him. His jockey on that occasion, Jim Crowley, was of the opinion that he'd be even better on a quicker surface and, given that he needed every yard of the mile trip at the Lancashire track, today's extra furlong and stiff finish is another thing in his favour.
Charlie Appleby's Maplewood looks the chief threat having run a creditable third on his handicap debut over a mile at York last month, when giving the impression he'd be suited by a return to further. His rider Adam Kirby has a 1-3 strike rate for the stable.
14.00 York - Dash Of Spice each-way
This 1m4f handicap confined to female amateur jockeys is wide open, but one that catches the eye at a double-figure price is the locally-trained Dash Of Spice on the suspicion he has been laid out for what is the most prestigious (and valuable) ladies' race in the calendar. The winner of a Royal Ascot handicap in his earlier days with David Elsworth, during which he reached a peak rating of 104, the now eight-year-old broke a long losing spell when making all at Pontefract last August to show he still retains plenty of ability. A spin over hurdles at Market Rasen eight days ago will have put him spot on for this and he's the ride of experienced amateur Aine O'Connor, who has enjoyed plenty of success over jumps in Ireland and has ridden regularly for JP McManus. She's 2-5 in Ireland over the last fortnight. Of those at shorter prices, Andrew Balding's Kingsofthemidlands makes plenty of appeal having produced a solid effort to finish third on his seasonal reappearance and handicap debut at Goodwood eight days ago, following a winter gelding operation. He should build on that with the freshness knocked out of him and his jockey Molly Landau, who has ridden a couple of winners over jumps from just a handful of rides, is claiming a valuable 5lb off his back.
14.15 Sandown - Via Serendipity each-way
Likely favourite Encouraged arrives here chasing a hat-trick after a couple of narrow wins on the all-weather, but a further 5lb rise and a big jump in class makes him opposable. Jamie Osborne's Ouzo is the obvious form alternative having been beaten a neck on his stable debut / seasonal reappearance here 16 days ago, and he is on a good mark based on his best efforts. However, the current double-figure quotes on Via Serendipity make plenty of appeal as the eight-year-old should be spot on after a couple of runs this season, when still having his winter coat according to his trainer Charlie Fellowes in a recent stable interview. While he's much higher rated on the all-weather, he was winning for the seventh time on turf at Goodwood last September off just a 1lb higher mark than today's, and a glance at his CV also reveals a win over this track and trip.
With his stable enjoying a double in midweek, one of which was ridden by star apprentice Harry Davies, who is claiming a valuable 5lb off the selection, everything looks in place for a big run at each-way odds.
14.35 York - Lion Tower
Tim Easterby's Boardman has flourished as a six--year-old, winning three of his five starts, including the last twice over today's trip of 7f, and he's very much the one they all have to beat here. However, another personal best is perhaps required here, having been raised to a career-high mark of 99 and meaning he's giving weight away to all bar one of his nine rivals. The drying ground is against him too as he prefers a little cut. Given his cramped odds, the temptation is to take him on and Grant Tuer's Lion Tower, who has run creditably in defeat over a mile here the last twice and is a dual scorer over this shorter trip, looks a solid alternative. The five-year-old found only one too good in a 20-runner handicap at the Dante meeting last time out, when ridden further back than usual, and a more positive ride from Sam James on this occasion could be what he needs to get his head back in front.
14.50 Sandown - Caturra
It's hard to see past Clive Cox's Caturra for this 5f Listed contest as he is the clear form horse, having finished second in a French Group 3 on his seasonal debut, and has at least 10lb in hand over his rivals on official ratings. He's since finished fifth in a Group 2 at Haydock, in which he might have been placed had the runner-up not drifted right and into his path close home, and this stiff track should suit given he stays 6f. That he carries a penalty for his Flying Childers success as a juvenile is not ideal, and helps explain why he can be backed at odds against rather than odds-on, but he should still prove too classy for these.
"He is just a really professional sprinter and he has an amazing temperament"
Clive Cox is hoping Caturra can vindicate the decision to swap an outing at Royal Ascot for a run in the @Coral Scurry Stakes at @Sandownpark on Saturday...https://t.co/NUy0cQq2QJ
— Sporting Life Racing (@SportingLife) June 8, 2022
His main market rival Live In The Dream, who has been in a rich vein of form in handicaps this season, including when winning here in April, looks the one for the forecast.
15.05 York - Mandoob
Brian Meehan's four-year-old has a little to find on the ratings for this 1m6f Listed contest but he's lightly-raced for his age, having seen racecourse action just five times, and looks capable of winning at Group level this season
The winner of his first two starts at three (unraced as a juvenile) before chasing home Yibir in a Newmarket Group 3, he showed the benefit of a wind operation with a solid front-running second behind the classy Al Aasy on his return to action over 1m4f at Ascot last month.
Sure to strip fitter for that run and with today's extra two furlongs in his favour - he has always been considered a stayer in the making and holds an entry in the Irish St Leger - he runs in this instead of next week's far hotter Copper Horse Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Kemari, his closest rival according to the betting, has not been seen since producing a tame effort at Meydan in January, while Without A Fight needs to prove his stamina for this far.
15.20 Chester - Outgate
William Haggas' Thunder Legend arrives here on the back of a solid third in a useful handicap at Haydock, which was arguably his best effort yet, and he's the type to improve again after just five starts. However, the drop back to 7f might not be ideal for him - he won over an extended mile last season - and preference at slightly bigger odds is for Daniel and Clare Kubler's Outgate, who enjoyed a perfect trip around the inner when scoring over this track and trip two starts back.
— ITV Racing (@itvracing) May 5, 2022
He's since finished third in another competitive handicap at Haydock, where he was held-up in what was a well-run race, but he'll surely be given a more positive ride this afternoon by Derby-winning jockey Richard Kingscote from what is a favourable draw in stall two. He was under consideration for next week's Britannia at Royal Ascot but this valuable contest, which was mentioned as a target after his win here, looks far more winnable.
15.40 York - Roach Power
A typically competitive 6f handicap on the Knavesmire with 19 set to go to post and they are headed by Mick Channon's Ingra Tor, who looked a young sprinter on the upgrade when beating the re-opposing Harry Three at Newmarket in April. He deserves to be favourite but at around double his odds we'll plump for another sprinter on the up in Roach Power, who is bidding to give Tim Easterby his sixth win in the race. A lightly-raced half-brother to the same stable's speedy Art Power, his best run from three starts as a juvenile came in a hot novice over this track and trip in September, when beaten only a neck having travelled strongly throughout and clearly appreciating the straight 6f.
His trainer may well have hatched a plan then to come back for this valuable sprint and he should be spot on after a couple of runs this season, most recently when finishing third on his handicap debut at Leicester nine days ago.
The two horses that finished in front of him on that occasion, Devaste and Gisburn, take him on again but the selection, who was slow to come to hand this spring according to his trainer, is taken to improve past them and lose his maiden tag in some style.
The article Saturday ITV Racing Tips: Best bets for Sandown, York and Chester appeared first on Planetsport.com.