13:40 NEWBURY - HUDDLETON MAC (each-way) 

I was impressed with the way that Huddleton Mac stayed on up the hill on his most recent start at Sandown. He got outpaced at a crucial part of the race, but kept on, showing signs that he knows how to actually race. Plenty of horses throw the towel in as they run up the Sandown hill, but he didn’t. He showed a willing attitude.

This will be his second start after a wind operation, which often shows greater improvement than their first run after a procedure.

It’s interesting he started his career at Ascot and also ran in the Greenham Stakes – a well-known 2000 Guineas trial – which highlights the regard his yard must have of him. His rating of 85 could be a distant memory by the end of this afternoon.


It can often take time for horses to learn how to race. This is never truer than when speaking about sprinters, especially those who have been tried over further in the past.

King’s Lynn has always been held in high regard at Kingsclere, the home of Betway ambassador Andrew Balding, and it’s no surprise that he’s raced in Group 1 company over the minimum distance this season.

Owned by Her Majesty The Queen, the four-year-old took his time to get his head into sprinting and how to race by using his pace. He was successful in the Betway Achilles Stakes at Haydock in May, before a gallant and very unlucky 7th at Royal Ascot in the King’s Stand.

Narrowly beaten in the Wokingham on his next start, he showed himself to be a sprinter with great potential. I’m inclined to put a line though his last race, which was his sixth race of the season in a such short space of time, and he’ll have benefited from this much-needed break.

I think he’ll be at the top table in the sprinting division next season and to prove me right, he’ll have to go close to winning this.

15:25 NEWBURY - KING OF CLUBS (each-way) 

This race looks mighty competitive on paper with the question of ‘how good could they be?’ surrounding Aramaic and Mio’assess. I do like what King Of Clubs has done, though, and he has outstanding claims to pick up prize money.

Successful twice this season, the Hughie Morrison-trained three-year-old was put up 7lb for a recent victory at Sandown, where he needed every yard to beat a field full of 90+ rated horses and went in my book as a horse still on the up.

His rider David Probert is having an exceptional season and he can notch another winner to the tally here.


One of the strongest fancies of the weekend has to be Mercurius Power in the closing race at Newmarket.

A race confined to amateur jockeys, the 1m1f contest with a stuff uphill finish will suit the Betway ambassador Andrew Balding-trained three-year-old, who needed all of the extended trip to win at Epsom nine days ago. 

Only put up 2lb for that performance, he’s still got plenty in hand and has the assistance of leading amateur rider, Mr Simon Walker. They should be very tough to beat.


It took a while for Thaki to get off the mark  fourteen runs to be exact – but he has shed his maiden tag. While he’s been put up 7lb for a recent course-and-distance success, he’s still ahead of the mark I expected him to have, judged on his third at Yarmouth in August.

His competitors in this race don’t look up to a great deal and it’s hard to envisage anything improving past him for the in-form Chris Dwyer yard.

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