Andrew Balding: Beat The Bank can repeat Summer Mile win
The Betway ambassador previews his runners at Ascot, Newmarket, York, Chester and Salisbury on Saturday.
It’s going to be a busy Saturday for us like many other yards. We’ve got 15 runners around the country and it’s definitely a logistical challenge.
Hopefully we’ve got a few nice chances, though, so we’re looking forward to it.
Ascot on Saturday
We send five to Ascot and first up is Stone Of Destiny in the opening five furlong handicap (13:45).
He’s been disappointing for us really since his excellent fourth in last year’s Commonwealth Cup.
We’re hoping the drop back to five furlongs might suit him, as we’ve had some issues getting him to settle. We’re going there more in hope than expectation.
Berkshire Rocco makes his debut in the seven furlong novice race (14:15), he’s a nice horse and we like him.
He’ll definitely need the experience but he’s a horse we’ll have fun with going forward.
I think Be More is reasonably well handicapped in the fillies’ handicap (14:50) and I hope she’ll run well.
She’s a nice filly and I suppose the only question mark is fast ground, but her brother, Born In Bombay, handled it well when he won the Britannia a few years ago.
Our big runner at Ascot is Beat The Bank in the Summer Mile (16:00).
He won the race last year and although it’s going to be a bit tougher this time with a 3lb penalty, he has come out of Ascot in good form and it was a great run in the Queen Anne.
Zaaki is probably the main danger but I’m hopeful he’ll go close.
Never Do Nothing runs in the 1m4f handicap (16:35). He’s probably better on softer ground but he’s an improving horse and he won well at Goodwood last time.
Newmarket on Saturday
I thought Flashcard (14:20) ran well last time at this course over seven furlongs and we’re hopeful that the step up to a mile in this handicap will suit him. The form of that race has been franked too.
Even though he’s the outsider of the six, he’s only 10/1 and I hope he’d have every chance.
The Bunbury Cup (15:30) is always a very hard race to win but we’re very happy with Crossing The Line at home.
She’s a tough filly and has won a big field handicap before. She also won her maiden at Newmarket.
She’s drawn in six and we won’t know if that’s good or bad until after the race. I hope she’ll run well, though.
Strict Tempo takes her chance in the fillies’ handicap (16:05).
She has been disappointing this year, but I think there have been legitimate excuses. The ground will suit and she’s not without a chance.
The July Cup looks a very good race as always and Dream Of Dreams would be the one for me.
He seems to have improved this season and put in an excellent performance behind Blue Point in the Diamond Jubilee last month.
He’s a typical Sir Michael Stoute improving older horse.
York on Saturday
Maid Up (14:40) has been a bitter disappointment this year. Her work has been fantastic at home, but she ran deplorably at Chelmsford last time.
I’m scratching my head a little. If it wasn’t for her last two runs, she’d have every chance. She’s won a Group Three and has been placed in a Group Two. We just have to hope she can bounce back to form.
I think Pivoine has a great chance in the John Smith’s Cup (15:50). He won really well over course and distance at last year’s Ebor meeting so we know he likes the track.
We made too much use of him at Ascot last time and we’re hoping the rain stays away.
Flintrock (16:25) is a bit of a monkey. He’s been gelded since his last start and if that helps he can run well. On his best form he would have a chance.
Chester on Saturday
Pass The Gin goes in the six furlong fillies’ handicap (14:35) and we’ve been very lucky with the draw in getting stall one.
This is her type of track, she won over course and distance as a two-year-old and has run well the three other times she has come here. We’re quite hopeful about her.
Paradise Boy only faces three rivals in the 1m 6½f handicap (15:45).
He ran well at the track last time and is stepping up in distance on Saturday.
Despite the small field, it’s quite a trappy race but I hope he’ll run well. If he stays, he’ll be there or thereabouts.
Salisbury on Saturday
Our final two runners on a busy day are at Salisbury with Berlin Tango making his debut in the seven furlong novice race (17:50).
He’s a nice horse and we’ve been pleased with the way he’s been going at home. Like most of ours, though, he will improve for the experience.
Geomatrician has his first run in a handicap in the 1m4f race (19:50).
He ran pretty well last time and has a good chance if he handles the quick ground.
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