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Richard Hoiles: My 6 Saturday picks from around the UK

07 Jun | BY Richard Hoiles | MIN READ TIME |
Richard Hoiles: My 6 Saturday picks from around the UK

After last weekend's Classics at Epsom, the horse racing broadcaster picks out his fancies on a more low-key Saturday of racing.

After the Classics of last weekend, things are a lot lower key on Saturday with the quieter period between Epsom and Ascot being extended by an extra week. Coverage on ITV4 comes from Haydock and Beverley, with seven races split between the two venues.

At Haydock, the consistent DIVINA GRACE / (14:25) came back looking as good as ever at Goodwood, where she finished third under a hefty burden of 10st 2lbs. While moving away from Fillies-only races can represent a hidden rise in class, I am not sure that is the case here with quite a well-exposed set of rivals. She also handles fast ground well, with conditions quickening at the Lancashire track and a minimal amount of rain forecast.

A fast pace is the key to the chances of WITCH HUNTER / (15:35 Haydock) in the feature race, the Group 3 John Of Gaunt Stakes, which for the first time in several years has attracted a double-figure field. This, in itself, is helpful and with confirmed front-runners Pogo, Quinault, and Port Lynas in the field, if they all stand their ground, then it could be set up perfectly for Witch Hunter’s trademark rapid finish.

Juveniles hold centre stage at Beverly, with the Hilary Needler Trophy for fillies being particularly useful in drawing together the early collateral form with eight winners among the 14 runners. Even though she was a bit flighty on her debut when she got rid of her rider on the way to post at Brighton, OVER SPICED / (14:05 Beverley) has acquitted herself well in her short career to date. She was short of room on the rails that day and was able to show her true worth next time at Leicester, beating two horses who both won next time out. This represents a significant step up in class, but if she is allowed to jump at a double-figure price then she should not be overlooked.

The colts’ Conditions race at 14:40 is the more interesting regarding Royal Ascot clues as it pits smart debut winner Moving Force against expensive Breeze Up purchase horse Shareholder, who is the latest in a long line of significant acquisitions by Wathnan Racing. Both Richard Fahey and Karl Burke are having an excellent time with their youngsters, and it is a fascinating clash but one that is virtually impossible to price up.

BILLYB / (15:15 Beverley) can get a good trail into the race from stall 4 in a big-field handicap where an inside gate is likely to prove an advantage. There is not a long run into the first bend over 7f at Beverley, and several are likely to have to try and get over quickly from their outside stalls. Luck up the straight may be needed, but BillyB ran well for a long way at York on his first run for the stable and has dropped to a handy-looking mark if he can get the breaks.

PATONTHEBACK / (14:45 Catterick) comes from a yard in Gemma Tutty that is having a fantastic season. He is back below his last winning mark and met a complete dead end over course and distance last time when running on, and that is not a fair reflection of his ability on the day. Shark Two One is the danger, but the drying ground and hopefully better price means Patontheback is preferred.


Our regular weekly list of jockeys riding at tracks where they historically have a good record. Last week again threw up a couple of big prices with a 20/1 winner (Sean Bowen) and an 80/1 second (Sam James).

BANGOR ON DEE – Toby Wynne (10/41, Actual/Expected 2.14) Rides include Feel The Pinch in the 14:50 on whom he has won four times.

CHEPSTOW – Gina Mangan (17/109, A/E 1.47) She is reunited with Kenstone in the 20:00 on whom she made the frame at Wolves in January.

HAYDOCK – Callum Shepherd (12/51, A/E 2.12) including Divina Grace (see above) in the 14:25.

LINGFIELD – Trevor Whelan (28/213, A/E 1.50) which includes a spin aboard Mbappe in the 20:45.


No runners on Saturday but four during the last seven days: Cargin Bhui (2nd 4/1) at Hamilton just losing out in a photo, Glimpse of Glory (2nd 4/1) crying out for a step up in trip, Al Qudra (1st 4/5) winning despite a tough trip, and Jewel Of London (3rd 9/4) who seemed to get a bit far back and had to do a bit of running to get involved.

I am now retaining all horses until they have run three times or until they win, in which case they will usually be removed, but I am going to leave Al Qudra on for his third run as he did well to win at Lingfield after being held three wide from gate 6 and could now head to Royal Ascot, where he is likely to go off at a reasonable price. As a result, all four are retained, though Glimpse of Glory and Al Qudra will be having their last starts.

Two additions this week, the first of which barely beat a horse home in the three-year-old Dash at Epsom in SPLIT THE PROFIT. He raced out on the unfavoured centre of the track and hung even more to the left but did make some headway at halfway before weakening. He can also race in a significantly lower grade than he did here. Best produced late, he likes a strong pace to aim at as he is often not the best away from the stalls.

The other is more obvious in TAREEFA who put up an eye-catching debut at Haydock when finishing fourth in the 7f maiden. She comes from a good family and will improve both for the experience and the step up in trip, and would have been close to being second had he not been short of room when running on inside the final furlong. A run-of-the-mill fillies’ novice or maiden is hers for the taking next time out. A full list of the current tracker horses can be found here.


Stable Tracker 12/13.45 A/E 0.89
Day Selections 23/26.83 A/E 0.86
Jockeys For Courses 27/29.08 A/E 0.93
Total 62/69.36 A/E 0.89

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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.