Stand by your beds – by my reckoning there are EIGHTEEN Live races being shown on ITV this Saturday, Nov 4th.
Domestic action comes from Ascot and Wetherby, including the Charlie Hall; and then the small matter of Santa Anita, the Breeders’ Cup, those majestic San Gabriel mountains, and eye-watering prizemoney.
We’re in a bit of decent nick – several midweek winners and four in last Saturday’s ITV piece – so here’s a selection for every race covered by the ITV cameras on what’s a Super-duper Saturday and then some.
Wetherby’s Friday card was abandoned and they do need to pass a 7am Saturday morning inspection, so fingers are firmly crossed.
Here’s the menu;
13.15 – Bet Boost at b365 Handicap Chase 3M
13.50 – b365 Mares Hurdle (Listed) 2M
14.21 – b365 Hurdle (Grade 2) 3M
15.00 – b365 Charlie Hall Chase (Grade 2) 3M
15.30 – b365 Handicap Chase 2M 3M 1⁄2 F
13:30 – Ascot Underwriting Novices’ limited Handicap chase 2M 3F
14:05 – Byrne Group Handicap Chase 2M 1F
15:15 – Seat Unique Handicap Hurdle 2M
15:45 – Sodexo Live Gold Cup Handicap Chase 3M
18.30 – Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (1m, Dirt)
19.10 – Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (1m2f, Turf)
19.50 – PNC Bank Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (7f, Dirt)
20.30 – Fanduel Breeders’ Cup Mile (1m, Turf)
21.10 – Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (1m1f, Dirt)
21.50 – Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (1m4f, Turf)
22.40 – Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (1m2f, Dirt)
23.25 – Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (51⁄2f, Turf)
23.59 – Qatar Racing Breeders’ Cup Sprint (6f, Dirt)
Wetherby 13.15 – Ladronne each-way @ 11/2
Useful claimer and regular pilot William Shanahan takes off 5lb, and the gelding had a wind op in September. Decent level of form beforehand, and ran well here last March off a mark 2lb higher. Four places each-way, so that’s the way I’m playing this one.
Ascot 13:30 – Are U Wise To That @ 4/1
Smart, progressive – and with a top stable (Jonjo O’Neill). Won on chase debut at Warwick – steps up a notch but could well be up to the task. Exciting prospect.
Wetherby 13.50 – Luccia @ 2/1
No Nico de Boinville on board but the outstanding James Bowen deputises. A Nicky H inmate; and a 5-yr-old mare with oodles of promise. Score to settle with You Wear It Well, and Kateira is feared. Brilliant race.
Ascot 14:05 – Boothill @ 7/2
Talented gelded son of Presenting, multiple wins, and has faced some notable hounds (Jonbon, and Solo among them). Has won here over this trip – which is a big plus. Another superb contest in prospect.
Wetherby 14.25 – Dashel Drasher @ 9/4
Ten years young, tried to find one to lower his colours, failed. Admirable old campaigner I’d rather be with than against. Not many face the starter but what a lovely race. Rex Dingle rides for Jeremy Scott.
Wetherby 15.00 – Bravemansgame @ 8/11
The rightly revered Charlie Hall Chase – and a very hot fav in the shape of P Nicholls’ Bravemansgame. If the real Ahoy Senor turns up it could be intriguing; otherwise it looks (famous last words) like his to lose.
Took the race cosily last year, and was a highly-creditable third in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. At 8 rising 9, should be at the very peak of his powers.
Ascot 15:15 – Teddy Blue each-way @ 8/1
Warm handicap hurdle, and my selection is a Moore family conveyance that fell at Cheltenham the other day early in the piece. Lots of smart form in the back catalogue, and at the price is for me a sound each-way shout (we’re paying 4 places).
Wetherby 15.30 – Windtothelightning @ 11/2
Progressive profile, improving 5-yr-old mare, and returns to combat after an absence of 198 days. It’s another 4 places each-way race, and depending on the price closer to race-time that might be my angle. Knows how to win.
Ascot 15:45 – Beauport each-way @ 5/1
A Twiston-Davies inmate for whom soft ground should hold no terrors. Goes well fresh, and the stable are going ok. Four places each-way once again – could be a sound move. In the process of running a huge race at the Aintree Festival last spring in a £56k event only to disappointingly fall.
I’m fascinated to see how he fares now – I like him and feel a big pot is within his grasp.
Santa Anita 18.30 – Cody’s Wish @ 4/6
Has a bit in hand for me – reflected in the price. Junior Alvarado rides for Bill Mott in the Dirt Mile.
Santa Anita 19.10 – Fev Rover each-way @ 12/1
Javier Castellano is doing the steering for trainer Mark Casse – these are stellar names in US racing, as with the above, and Fev Rover took a massive prize at Woodbine last month at this trip.
Inspiral and Warm Heart leap out of the page for us Europeans, but I’m wondering if firm ground is what they need at the end of a taxing season over here.
Inspiral in particular steps up into unknown territory, trip-wise, but Warm Heart must have a bright chance if still in good fettle. Aidan will I’m sure have her purring.
Santa Anita 19.50 – Society @ 7/2
The brilliant Tyler Gaffalione rides this talented 4-yr-old filly for trainer Steve Asmussen. Took a Grade 1 readily last September at Parx and returned to that sort of form last time at Charles Town. I’m expecting/hoping for a catch-me-if-you-can job. Every post a winning one, over this fast 7f.
Drawn 7 – not ideal, and needs to fly out of the traps. On a day of fascinating affairs, here’s yet another.
Santa Anita 20.30 – Kelina @ 6/1
Beat the magnificent Kinross at Longchamp a tad controversially for me, but is undoubtedly in great heart. Races in the legendary Goldikova silks, as owners the Wertheimers acquired the Wildenstein family racing and breeding concerns.
Drawn 11, not great in my book, but in fine form and brings a welcome bit of Breeders’ Cup history with her. A daughter of the mighty Frankel. Another simply exquisite race.
Santa Anita 21.10 – Adare Manor @ 4/1
Prolific winning machine for Bob Baffert, one of the winning-most trainers in Cup history. Won the Grade 2 Zenyatta easily here in early October, making all. A repeat wouldn’t be out of place. Regular pilot Juan Hernandez is in the plate. Another scorcher.
Santa Anita 21.50 – Onesto @ 13/2
Stacks of Euro interest here – King Of Steel, Mostahdaf, and Auguste Rodin – but it’s to France I’m heading once again for my idea of the winner. Onesto ran a blinder in the Arc, finishing 2nd to Ace Impact.
That’s serious, serious form, and if repeated here, La Marseillaise could well be ringing out across this beautiful racetrack.
Santa Anita 22.40 – Ushba Tesoro @ 4/1
The Classic – and about two-and-a-half-million to the winner. Mind-blowing. My selection is a Japanese raider in what I’m sure is an absolutely wide-open contest, so it’s definitely very small stakes for me.
Santa Anita 23.25 – Arzak each-way @ 7/1
One of my favourite Stateside jocks rides – the great Luis Saez. Arrives seeking a hat-trick, and it appears another ace rider Joel Rosario might prefer Big Invasion for Christophe Clement instead of this fella, but there may be more to it.
Drawn in the car park, so needs plenty of luck in running.
Santa Anita 23.59 – Speed Boat Beach @ 9/2
The very epitome of a hot sprint contest. 58-yr-old Breeders’ Cup living legend Mike Smith (27 BC successes) rides our selection for Baffert once more, looking to add to both their amazing tallies. Just pipped here in a Grade 2 five weeks ago, and flies the flag for the 3-yr-olds – and his Hall Of Fame trainer, and jockey.
Insights – the home of ITV Racing tips