This weekend sees the return of ‘Super Saturday’ as ITV Racing broadcast 10 live races, with top class action throughout the day. Newmarket’s July Festival comes to a close with the feature Group 1 July Cup, whilst York hosts a very competitive card. As if that action wasn’t enough, Ascot also host a premier race-day featuring the Group 2 Summer Mile. Be sure to follow me on twitter @JakePriceRacing for updates throughout the day. Good luck!
14:40 York – Silver Cup Stakes (Group 3) 4yo+ – 1m6f
Raheen House has always been a horse who’s show promise in his career, highlighted by victories in the Group 3 Bahrain Trophy and Listed Noel Murless Stakes as a three-year-old. Despite this Son of Sea The Stars tenure with trainer Brian Meehan coming to an end after a fruitless campaign last season, William Haggas is undoubtedly the lucky beneficiary of a talented animal. Having been Gelded over the winter during the transition to Somerville Lodge, Raheen House made his debut for the yard over this course and distance last month when contesting the 1m6f Listed Grand Cup Stakes. Held up by James Doyle, this five-year-old started to make some headway at the four-furlong marker before finding himself in the lead with two-furlongs still to go – eventually being outstayed by Gold Mount. The pair pulled nine-lengths clear of a decent field that day which included the likes of Mekong, Austrian School and Making Miracles, and although they disappointed on the day it does give encouraging signs that Raheen House is back to near his best. With that being his first run for 231 days after a Gelding operation, I strongly feel he will come on for the run. With only two-and-a-quarter lengths to find with Gold Mount, a change in tactics to wait a little longer could also help – and top hold-up Jockey Jamie Spencer has been booked for the ride. Faster conditions on Saturday than when the pair met last month should further help our selection bridge the gap, especially when considering Gold Mount is undefeated on good-to-soft or softer ground. With Raheen House holding an entry in the Ebor Heritage Handicap next month, connections will be hoping for a big run here.
Raheen House @ 3/1 3rd
15:30 Newmarket – Bunbury Cup Heritage Handicap (Class 2) 3yo+ – 7f
Kynren would definitely feature in the nominees for ‘Most unlucky Horse in Training’ if such an award existed, but I’m willing to give him another chance here. Placed in big Handicaps at York and Ascot last season, this David Barron horse made a very pleasing return to the track at Doncaster in March when second to Auxerre (108) in the Lincoln Handicap. Having made such a pleasing return behind a Group horse running in a Handicap, Kynren‘s next start came in the Victoria Cup at Ascot in May. Despite running an absolute cracker under Robert Winston, his luck was out yet again as he went down a neck to Cape Byron (113). This Roger Varian horse has since gone on to win the Wokingham Handicap at Royal Ascot, and will take his chance in the Group 1 July Cup later on in the card – so this really does look like the definition of ‘bumping into one’. Kynren himself ran a good race at Royal Ascot where he was drawn on the complete wrong side of the track in the Royal Hunt Cup. The winner Afaak came from stall 21 that day, with the second, third and fourth coming from 18, 32 and 25 respectively. Our selection still finished a gallant fifth from stall 3 however, which highlights just how well he has been running in defeat. The handicapper has left Kynren alone on a mark of 101 after Royal Ascot, and this contest looks like calmer waters despite having to carry 9-6. A draw of stall 7 should leave connections with no excuses, and I am hopeful he can finally have his well deserved day in the sun.
Kynren Each/Way @ 7/1 NON-RUNNER
15:50 York – Diamond Jubilee Cup Handicap (Class 2) 3yo+ – 1m2½f
Mountain Angel has enjoyed a very successful season so far for Roger Varian, and he can continue his fine form back in Handicap company at York. A winner on seasonal reappearance at Epsom in April when beating a decent field from a mark of 96, Mountain Angel followed that effort up with a repeat course and distance victory off 101 on Epsom Oaks day. He beat another competitive field that day which includes one of today’s rivals Jazeel – who has since boosted the form when winning at Sandown last week. The last time we saw this Son of Dark Angel was at Royal Ascot in the Listed Wolferton Stakes. Despite having a lot of ground to make up on official ratings, Mountain Angel ran a cracker in fifth behind top class rivals Addeybb (114), Magic Wand (110), Elarqam (111) and Latrobe (112). The form of the race has received two significant boosts since, with Elarqam landing the Listed Gala Stakes at Sandown last week despite carrying a penalty, and Latrobe finishing second in the Group 2 Curragh Cup. Although left on a rating of 106 means Mountain Angel has to carry a fairly big weight, class can prevail for our selection here under David Egan.
Mountain Angel Each/Way @ 15/2 7th
16:00 Ascot – Summer Mile Stakes (Group 2) 4yo+ – 1m
Ascot’s feature race of the Day is the Group 2 Summer Mile ran on the round course, and last year’s winner Beat The Bank looks the one to beat. Sixth in last year’s renewal of the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot before beating Lord Glitters in this race twelve months ago, this Andrew Balding charge has shown even better form as a five-year-old. A winner on seasonal reappearance at Sandown in April when landing the Group 2 bet365 Mile (round course), Beat The Bank stayed on well to beat Sharja Bridge and Regal Reality with Silvestre De Sousa aboard for the first time. Although running a shocker in the Lockinge Stakes over a straight Mile at Newbury in May, Beat The Bank bounced back with a much better performance at Royal Ascot, finishing second in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes, a neck behind old rival Lord Glitters (who also ran poorly in the Lockinge). A return to Ascot’s round Mile today should suit this course and distance winner, and I’d much prefer him to Zaaki who is yet to prove he is up to this level on form. If the round course does indeed bring out further improvement from his Queen Anne performance, Beat The Bank will be tough to pass under Silvestre De Sousa.
Beat The Bank @ 7/2 1st
Good luck! – Jake Price