Steve Hughes spreads around his Saturday selections.
The Shergar Cup is never a concept I have warmed to as a betting medium with unfamiliar jockeys riding horses they have never ridden previously and recent form does not necessarily work out. Instead I have a selection from each of the other four afternoon meetings. We had a cracking day in the last column on Sunday with a 21/1 SP double from Kimberella (SP 4/1) and Kaeso (advised 4/1).
Chelmsford 2.40: Mazzini
He is far from the most straight forward, but at least we know Mazzini is on his favoured artificial surface and has an exceptional record at this track in particular in handicaps reading 2133.
That win was gained in style last July, aided by first time cheekpieces. Sharpened up nicely by the headgear he was soon in front and rarely looked troubled by his rivals as he stormed to a 4l win.
He has not won since, but does have some good form dotted around including a second place to the in-form Spanish City at Doncaster in June. However trainer James Fanshawe has targeted a return to sand is a positive and with only six runners remaining the opportunity looks there to get out in front on this track that heavily favours pacesetters.
Redcar 2.55: Normandy Barriere
Having provided us with a winner in the last column the on fire Nigel Tinkler yard is entrusted with another bet in Normandy Barriere this afternoon.
The 6yo has paid his way over the years with a solid 6-27 career record including a comfortable win on his only previous visit to Redcar. He loves rattling fast ground and will get that sort of surface today.
He has a particularly good record at Ascot and returned to form in style with a fine second place in the lady Amateurs race on King George day there recently. That was over 7f and that probably taps into his stamina reserves – however a fast run 6f is ideal and a recent wind op looks to have been a success given that recent Ascot run.
Haydock 3.05: Communique
A typically tough Mark Johnston improver I think Communique might prove too gutsy for some classy but potentially temperamental rivals.
He has rattled wins in three of the most valuable 3yo handicaps of the season, including his last two starts at Newmarket’s July meeting and last week at Glorious Goodwood. That win at Goodwood was particularly impressive as he was in control from some way out, but his determination to retake today’s rival Zaaki at Newmarket the time before was also reassuring.
At home racing handily he should enjoy this track – something that might prove a negative for the slow into stride Zaaki. Whilst this represents a step up in grade for Communique he has earned his right to the class rise and as usual it will take a classy and brave horse to get by him.
Newmarket 3.10: Restorer
A winner on his first start for Ian Williams at Chester’s big May meeting, we have not seen Restorer since May – presumably on account of the prevailing fast ground. He has good form on soft however and gets another chance on a slow surface today.
That Chester win was gained with plenty in hand from his mark of 95 and as a result I fancied him to follow up in the Zetland Gold Cup at Redcar. In truth though he was outpaced from some way out and perhaps the much faster conditions found him out – or perhaps the race came too soon after Chester?
Either way he has had some good recovery time since and he won at listed level as a younger horse on soft ground here. I think there may be more room for improvement for his excellent trainer from a mark only 4lbs higher than his last win.
1.5 pts win – Mazzini – 2.40 Chelmsford – 2/1 general
1pt win – Normandy Barriere – 2.55 Redcar – 3/1 Paddy Power
1pt win – Communique – 3.05 Haydock – 6/1 William Hill, Paddy Power
1pt win – Restorer – 3.10 Newmarket – 11/1 general