Steve Hughes has selections from around the country on Saturday
Without a standout meeting there are plenty of options today so I have selections from four different meetings on Saturday, including turf and All Weather, flat and jumps.
Chester 2.05: Lualiwa
From a punting perspective the best race at Chester comes first and Lualiwa, a winner at this track on his only previous visit last season looks well weighted to strike again.
A soft ground winner at Musselburgh way back in March, the gelding has not been able to hit the same heights since – but much of that can be put down to the poor form of the Kevin Ryan yard for much of the summer. There was much more to like about his third place at York last time and a further 2lb drop in the weights since means he is now only a pound higher than for that decisive spring win in Scotland.
A low draw always helps here and he definitely looks best on a tight track, having won here on that visit last summer, and having also won at Chelmsford in the past.
Sandown 2.25: Not So Sleepy
He is very difficult to catch right, but there is no doubting Not So Sleepy has the ability to win a race of this nature and this 10f trip is perfect for him – unlike potentially several of his rivals trying the step up from a mile.
He seems to go best on turning tracks and won a big race at the Epsom Derby meeting last summer, whilst his best races this term have been around the likes of Chester and most recently Ayr where the removal of the hood he was worn of late seemed to have a positive effect.
The headgear remains off today and perhaps he is mellowing in his old age which allows him to settle better in his races and conserve energy for the finish. Like last time I would hope he will be ridden prominently which might allow new jockey William Buick to get first run and test the stamina of his rivals.
Newton Abbot 3.05: Litterale Ci
Trainer Harry Fry has been excellent form with his small summer string and Litterale Ci can bag another big prize at Newton Abbot this afternoon.
Fry has two fancied runners with handicap debutant Serosevsky more fancied, but Litterale Ci has the experience at this level and is proving consistent on her favoured good going. She did not enjoy the run of the race at Worcester last time when badly hampered at halfway and then not enjoying a clear run in the straight.
Prior to that though she had won back to back races at Stratford and Ffos Las, both flat, left-handed tracks like this one. On the later occasion she proved she had the stamina for 2m4f and I don’t think this is a great race for the money.
Chelmsford 7.45: Masham Star
Full credit once again to Chelmsford for putting on some huge prize money this evening and Masham Star can land the £100k Chelmsford City Cup for the second year running.
Once again he has been kept very busy by trainer Mark Johnston, but the 4yo seems to thrive on his racing. He does seem better on sand than turf with a record reading two wins and three placed efforts from eight starts. That includes a win in this contest twelve months ago off the very same mark of 100 – and this time he has the added benefit of a useful 7lb claimer on board in Ollie Stammers.
Stammers won on his first go on the horse at Redcar last month and we can ignore his run at Goodwood last week because the horse was badly snatched up on the bend and could never get back in such a competitive race after that. His running style – usually just off the leaders is perfect for a race of this type at the track and he looks overpriced.
0.75pts each-way – Lualiwa – 2.05 Chester – 8/1 general
0.75pts each-way – Not So Sleepy – 2.25 Sandown – 11/1 general
1pt win – Litterale Ci – 3.05 Newton Abbot – 6/1 Paddy Power
0.75pts each-way – Masham Star – 7.45 Chelmsford – 18/1 Paddy Power (1/5 odds first 4)