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Richard Hoiles: Four Saturday selections and two tracker additions

10 May | BY Richard Hoiles | MIN READ TIME |
Richard Hoiles: Four Saturday selections and two tracker additions

The horse racing broadcaster picks out four fancies from around the racecourses on Saturday and adds two horses to his stable tracker.

With time ticking down, the markets for the Oaks and Derby remain unusually open. Despite his blowout, City of Troy, at the time of writing, is still currently the shortest price of the Aidan O’Brien horses in the ante post market, but he could well be joined by either ILLINOIS / (15:00 Lingfield) or The Euphrates if they win the Lingfield Derby Trial. Aidan has won the race six times, including with a subsequent Derby winner in Anthony Van Dyck, but usually the winners tend to cause ripples rather than waves in the ante post markets.

Illinois was a beaten odds-on favourite in the Group 3 Ballysax, one place behind The Euphrates, but it was very deep ground and he seemed to labour on it when asked for his effort. It is interesting Ryan Moore perseveres with him rather than jumps ship, and the stable showed signs at Chester in the week that they are beginning to shake off their traditional April UK malaise, even if it has happened a week later than usual.

Over at Ascot, the big handicap is the Victoria Cup, the first of many large field 7f races the course stages during the season. Form in similar races is always an advantage, and HICKORY / (14:40 Ascot) showed that on a couple of occasions last season, notably when placed 2nd in the International at the King George meeting. He ended up on the wrong side on his last start here in October but made an encouraging comeback on the All Weather last month without the visor that had seemed to be the catalyst for improvement last season. It is reapplied here, and in Saffie Osborne, he has a rider who performs well at the track (see Jockeys for Courses).

Away from the main action, one of the angles that has paid its way for me down the years is bumper horses that run in Nigel Twiston-Davies’ own colours. The rationale behind it is that these horses are very much in the shop window to be sold, so they need to be far enough forward/educated to run well. There is no point in playing the long game if you are the one picking up the training tab, and there looks to be an example in BORNA GEM / (18:45 Hexham) with Sam Twiston-Davies, who is up there for just a couple of rides (9/25 at track, A/E 1.22). The choice of such a stiff track makes sense as Borna Gem won a weak-looking point to point on his third run and changed hands for £15,000 less than a week later. This angle has produced 47 winners from 253 bumper runners with an A/E of 1.18, so even if Borna Gem just proves to be plain slow, it is well worth sticking with in the long term.

After a quiet April (2/24, A/E 0.57), the Simon and Ed Crisford team have started May in much better form (4/11), and TWIRLING / (16:05 Nottingham) can make her class tell in the mile handicap. She was added to the tracker after a luckless run at Lingfield on the All Weather in January, but when she did not appear in her expected all-weather engagements was removed. She makes her return here and is back partnered by Jack Mitchell, who rode her to win on her racecourse debut. She hopefully can take a trail off Ribble Rouser to help her settle and get a nice passage into the race.


Our weekly list of jockeys riding at tracks where they have good career records in terms of the numbers of winners they have ridden (Actual) compared to the number they should have ridden based on their Exchange SP’s (Expected).

ASCOT – Saffie Osborne (12/73, A/E 1.99). As well as the already mentioned Hickory, Saffie is reunited with Mother Mary in the 14:05 whom she rode to finish Second at Thirsk last season.

HAYDOCK – Richard Kingscote (130/782, A/E 1.12). Richard has always excelled round here. He rides Magical Merlin (14:45) for only the second time, having won on the horse in a two-year-old race at Windsor back in 2022.

HEXHAM – Tommy Dowson (34/268, A/E 1.48) including a regular ride in Zwicky in the 16:00 for Phil Kirby.


One runner today in DANIELLE / (14:25 Lingfield) who lines up as quite a short-priced favourite in the Oaks Trial. She was added after catching the eye on debut at Southwell in December and retained after her defeat at Chelmsford and win at Wetherby. This represents a step up in grade, but the race lacks Pattern race form and she looks to have the most potential of being able to make that transition.

From the runners over the last seven days, Summerghand and Al Qudra (please run away from Newmarket next time!) are both retained, whilst Youthful King and Sanitiser are released.

Added this week is Old Chums, who showed up for a long way at Chester in a race where they went hard on the front end. He has been in good form throughout 2024, and this confirmed his ability to handle turf, having been campaigned on the All Weather since moving into handicaps. 6f round a bend looks ideal, and it would be no surprise to see him back at Chester in the coming months.

From the same race, Cargin Bhui was a little less obvious but had a fair bit go wrong and looks capable of a better showing on another day. Held wide and covering extra ground, he then got checked in the straight before keeping on. It is still early days for him in handicaps, and if he is dropped a couple of pounds off the back of this, he will be worth checking out in his next few starts.

Retained: Summerghand, Al Qudra

Released: Youthful King, Sanitiser

Added: Old Chums, Cargin Bhui

A full list of the current tracker horses can be found here.


Stable tracker: 8/10.12, A/E 0.79

Day selections: 21/22.28, A/E 0.94

Jockeys For Courses: 21/22.68, A/E 0.93

Overall: 50/55.08, A/E 0.91

Visit Betway’s horse racing betting page.

Richard Hoiles

Richard Hoiles

Richard is a horse racing broadcaster and commentator who has been involved in the sport since 1992.

Richard Hoiles

Richard Hoiles

Richard is a horse racing broadcaster and commentator who has been involved in the sport since 1992.