It’s one of those standout Saturdays as far as ITV coverage goes. The broadcaster brings us NINE live races, incorporating gems from day two of Newmarket’s Dubai Future Champions Festival, and some superb supporting fare from York.
The National Hunt season is beginning to ramp up beautifully, with all the associated magic that brings; but as to flat season last hurrahs, today is right up there.
Here’s a detailed look at Saturday’s menu, October 14th;
13:15 York Coral.co.uk Rockingham Stakes (Listed Race) Cl1 (2yo) 6f
13:25 Newmarket Emirates Autumn Stakes (Group 3) Cl1 (2yo) 1m
14:00 Newmarket Native Trail’s Dewhurst Stakes (Group 1) Cl1 (2yo) 7f
14:25 York Coral Sprint Trophy Handicap (Heritage Handicap) Cl2 (3yo+) 6f
14:40 Newmarket Club Godolphin Cesarewitch Handicap (Heritage Handicap) Cl2 (3yo+) 2m 2f
15:05 York Coral Racing EBF Maiden Stakes (Qipco British Champions Series 2YO Race) Cl2 (2yo) 1m
15:15 Newmarket Ghaiyyth Zetland Stakes (Group 3) Cl1 (2yo) 1m 2f
15:35 York Coral Racing Bet Bundles Handicap Cl2 (3yo+) 1m 2½f
15:50 Newmarket Earthlight Darley Stakes (Group 3) Cl1 (3yo+) 1m 1f
13:15 York – Serried Ranks each-way @ 7/1
A 2-yr-old juvenile colt carrying the Royal colours who has three racecourse appearances under his belt. The last of those was a fine effort in a warm Goodwood nursery when beating Starlust comfortably at this 6f trip.
Red-hot Rossa Ryan was on board on that occasion, but Hector Crouch is doing the steering on Saturday. It was a markedly progressive performance, and he’s earned a tilt at this Listed challenge on the Knavesmire.
On official ratings he’s got it to do – but sire Land Force won the G2 Richmond, and didn’t mind cut in the ground, either – which could be useful if it’s damp in God’s county at weekend. Each-way advised.
13:25 Newmarket – Orne @ 11/2
Once-raced Orne represents promise. After a nice Kempton debut win at 7f he steps up to a mile here, looking to justify an entry in the Futurity at Donny in a couple of weeks.
Sire Acclamation was a sprinter, pure and simple, whereas Orne is showing signs that today’s trip of a mile should be within compass. He’s out of an Excelebration mare, and though he had the misfortune to be around at the time of Frankel, he still hoovered up a Moulin, Hungerford, Jacques le Marois and Gladness at this kind of trip.
Encouragement on the breeding side then – add in the magic of the Gosdens, and a sporting punt becomes that bit more plausible. Trappy, fascinating contest. Can’t wait, and encapsulates perfectly the ‘future champions’ element of the weekend.
14:00 Newmarket – City Of Troy @ 1/2
This Aidan O’Brien-trained flyer has looked outstanding in his two appearances so far. A son of Justify out of a Galileo mare, he’s aiming to take very high rank among the season’s juveniles – perhaps to be the best. He’s already favourite for the 2000 Guineas next May and an impressive win here will send him and his supporters in to winter quarters on cloud nine.
Disappointing, and a surprise frankly, if he’s anything but decisive here.
14:25 York – Montassib each-way @ 12/1
Montassib ran an absolute cracker in the Ayr Gold Cup last time, and didn’t have the clearest of runs under today’s jockey Cieren Fallon. It was under the circumstances a stellar effort to be beaten only a length-and-a-quarter – and with York’s inviting, verdant and scrupulously-fair 6f track to negotiate on Saturday, off the same mark of 101, compensation could await.
We’re paying 5 places e/w, so that’s the way I’ll be playing it. Montassib’s trainer William Haggas is a proud Yorkshireman who would love I’m sure to bag this lovely pot, and in a white-hot heat can hopefully give us a grand run for our money.
14:40 Newmarket – Pied Piper @ 4/1
Could be forgiven for thinking that the new National Hunt season has come to Newmarket! Plenty of timber-toppers in action here in the Cesarewitch, notable among them our selection Pied Piper.
Trained by Gordon Elliott in Ireland, Ryan Moore has been booked to ride the runner-up in both the 2023 County Hurdle and 2022 Triumph Hurdle. Stamina won’t be an issue, and we know he’s got gears.
Expect him to travel like the proverbial travelly-thing and appear on the scene from the bushes, before skipping away up the hill – that’s the theory! We’re paying six places e/w and though I’m having a win bet I wouldn’t put anyone off taking out some e/w ‘insurance.’
One at a price that could go well e/w is Typewriter (25/1), a filly trained by Andrew Balding and ridden by claimer Callum Hutchinson. Soft ground should be fine, and arrives after a fine effort at Goodwood 17 days ago.
15:05 York – Colarada Dancer @ 5/2
Any Richard Fahey-trained juvenile popping up on the Knavesmire demands the closest scrutiny. Colarada Dancer’s sire Time Test won a Group 2 here back in the day and ‘Dancer’ steps up to a mile from 7f on Saturday, which should suit admirably.
Many of his rivals have yet to see the racecourse, but the Johnston representative Align The Stars, unsurprisingly a Sea The Stars colt, for me sets a decent standard. Lovely race that’s sure to throw up winners for very late this season and next.
15:15 Newmarket – Gasper De Lemos @ 3/1
Ten-furlong Group 3, and a small but select field. Arabian Crown has the rating on the board, but I’m hoping that Gasper De Lemos has the improvement in his locker.
The original Gasper was a Portuguese explorer who helped to discover Brazil. Saturday’s would-be equine star is a 2-yr-old colt by Justify out of a Galileo mare, in the care of the peerless AP O’Brien.
Impressive winner of a Curragh maiden on his 2nd run last time, and could be anything. Wonder if ‘the lads’ will be having a little interest? In any event, a fascinating contestant in a fabulous little conundrum.
15:35 York – Scampi each-way @ 9/1
Juddmonte-trip of over ten furlongs; and a competitive-looking field. We’re paying four places e/w, so that’s exactly how I’ll be approaching it. Scampi has been fairly busy since April, and bagged a couple of good handicaps along the way, including here.
The 5-yr-old gelding has been admirably consistent throughout, having been campaigned at further. Interesting that connections drop back to this trip for what is a modest Class 2 handicap in terms of York, and this might just be a little less competitive in fact than many at this prestigious venue.
Talking of York – Scampi’s sire Nayef won the Juddmonte over this course and distance back in 2002. Can his son turn back the clock on Saturday? Fingers crossed.
15:50 Newmarket – Knight @ 3/1
A Group 3 contest over 9 furlongs. Our selection is a 3-yr-old gelding in the care of the Crisfords, and ridden by the brilliant James Doyle.
Knight almost took a Listed affair at Sandown last time, and ran superbly in Goodwood’s G2 Celebration Mile in August. His form is at a level where prizes like this are well within range, and the likely easy ground will hold no terrors.
The Doyler has ridden him on each of the last four outings and it’s high time the partnership was rewarded with a ‘W.’