It’s one of the busiest, craziest and most hectic days of the racing calendar. It’s Super Saturday. Newmarket, York, Ascot, even Chester, have big races on offer.
Including the July Cup, Bunbury Cup and the John Smith’s Cup, it’s a punters’ paradise. Let’s take you through the three big meetings, and find the Best Bets.
Truth Be Told
This is one of the top two-year-old races of the season, and Godolphin have a great record in recent years. Native Trail and Master Of The Seas came from this race, and we all know what Native Trail did as a three-year-old. He has staying pedigree on both sides of his family, which won’t be a problem staying seven furlongs at two.
On his debut, he was a little green at Leicester, but he won with plenty in hand, and you can’t discount a 5-and-a-half-length win. On past trends, and breeding, Great Truth has sold me.
16:00 – Bunbury Cup (Heritage H’cap) – Bless Him @ 17/2 (William Hill)
Bless Him is now a nine-year-old, and has bucked the trends for this race as winners usually are between four and six. But he can still hack it at the top level, with an encouraging fifth in the Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot. And he is only two pounds higher than his winning mark in last year’s race.
It’s worth noting that Jamie Spencer is not riding on Saturday, so Callum Shepherd gets the leg up.
Star Of Orion has been quite a consistent horse this season, with two seconds at the start of the season. But Ralph Beckett seems to have laid him out for this race, electing not to go to Royal Ascot, and keeps his handicap mark at 92. Which is six pounds lower than last season’s mark.
He’s versatile on all grounds, and is good value each-way player at 12/1 (General)
Little Too Big
16:35 – July Cup (GROUP ONE) – Little Big Bear @ 4/1 (General)
When the odds came out for the race, I was shocked that Little Big Bear was at 4/1.
He got beat at Ascot, but that doesn’t mean he’s a bad horse. He’s a super sprinter! In fact he does have a good omen on his side, most recent winners have come from the Commonwealth Cup, but they didn’t win it.
Only Muhuraar has done the double, which doesn’t put Shaquille in a good spot. Plus the allowance that Little Big Bear is getting, puts him as the best rated horse in the race. For me, I wouldn’t be surprised if punters take advantage of this, and he’s backed down.
15:10 – John Smith’s Cup (Heritage H’cap) – Spirit Dancer @ 9/1 (General)
This year’s edition of the John Smith’s Cup is probably one of the best.
Each horse has strong claims, but I’ve gone for a regular at York. Spirit Dancer has been in the top four for the past five races, and his rating has only gone up five pounds in that period. He loves the firm ground, although the weather may set in at the weekend, as heavy showers are forecast. But he is versatile, as he can run well on good-to-soft ground.
Northern trainers always do well at York, particularly Richard Fahey, and he will have had this race in mind since he came fourth in last year’s renewal.
I also like the chances of Millebosc, who makes his reappearance on the track after 227 days. Horses who have been off the track have won the past three renewals of this race, and Haggas will have set out this horse for the race.
He’s only had one run in the UK, a fifth on the Lingfield all-weather. His record shows that his only win came on debut, but he did come third in a Prix du Jockey Club, behind St. Mark’s Basilica, so his Group form could come through. 12/1 (General) is a respectable price.
The Mighty Mighty
Another horse who has been laid off the track is Mighty Ulysees. He came ever so close in last year’s St James’s Palace Stakes, but didn’t kick on in his final two starts. Now he’s back, and he is rated as one of the best in the field, which must be taken note. He’s drawn wide, which shouldn’t be a problem for Robert Havlin. He can land another big Saturday winner for the Gosdens, who are operating at a 29% strike rate.
The very best of luck!