Horse racing betting tips for the best of the racing from Newbury on Saturday.
With the York Ebor Festival on the horizon many of the more powerful yards will be keeping their powder dry and looking after their stars. Nonetheless, there are plenty of competitive contests on Saturday including two Group races at Newbury which make-up our best bets.
We begin with the Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes over an extended 13f. 11 runners line-up and, on form, the majority of the field look to have serious claims. With considerable amounts of rain having fallen at Newbury over the last 48 hours its worth focusing on those who are capable of handling slower conditions.
One such runner is the interesting mare SEAL OF APPROVAL (5/1 Betfred). Despite flopping on her latest start she has solid form in her book (including a Group 1 win over 12f at Ascot on soft ground) and will be a major contender if back to her best. She ran well on her first racecourse appearance this season, finishing only just over 3 lengths off the winner in the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup, and there seemed to be no obvious excuse for her latest showing. She definitely represents a risky proposition, especially given the competitive nature of the race, but she is worth forgiving and giving another chance at generous odds.
The chief threats look to be Pether’s Moon who recently claimed a Group 3 at Goodwood and the globe trotting Red Cadeaux. The former is a complicated animal who is consistent but regularly finds one too good and wont appreciate the soft conditions. The latter will be having his first run since May and, although he has a good record fresh, he is now an eight-year-old and has future targets in mind.
Moving on to yet another hugely competitive affair and, despite the small field of seven runners, this year’s renewal of the Group 2 Hungerford Stakes looks likely to offer another good betting proposition.
John Gosden has a strong record in the race winning it for the fifth time last year with GREGORIAN (5/2 William Hill) who returns to defend his crown. A consistent if a little infuriating performer he claimed this year’s renewal of the Group 3 Criterion Stakes before going on to finish strongly in the July Cup only loosing out to Slade Power by just over a length. His latest start was somewhat of a conundrum as, after being well-backed before the off, he ran disappointingly in France over 7f on heavy ground. Although conditions seemed ideal on the day, his winning record tells you that he is seen to best effect in small field contests were he is able to quicken off a reasonable pace. They went hard in France and he looked tapped for toe in the early stages. Race characteristics should be far more favourable here as many of the runners enjoy being held-up and Gregorian could well have the best turn of foot in the soft conditions.
If the ground were to dry considerably then I would be really keen on the Clive Cox runner – Es Que Love. His performance in the Lennox was mightily impressive despite only winning by a small margin. That victory came off a good pace on good to firm ground as has the best of his form. He carries a penalty here and both that burden and the slow ground could make him vulnerable.
2.40 – SEAL OF APPROVAL (E/W) (5/1 Betfred)
3.50 – GREGORIAN (WIN)(NAP) (5/2 William Hill)
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