Friday Horse Racing Tips

There is a bumper card on Friday with the bulk of the quality action taking place at Ascot as they begin their King George weekend.  The evening cards are competitive too, here are the better races featuring the main contenders and their chances:

2.10 Ascot – Crocker Bulteel Maiden Stakes, 6f, 2yo

Superbly bred; by Dubawi out of an Indian Ridge mare he represents Richard Hannon and Sheikh Hamdan and is unlikely to be backward.  6 furlongs should be fine at this stage and a good debut is expected.

Mythical Magic
By Ifraaj whose two-year-olds tend to be well forward.  This one is entered in the Gimcrack at York (Group 2) and the yard know how to get them ready first time up.

No I’m Easy
Tom Dascome knows how to win his races at Haydock and Chester so his bringing this one here, and only this one, could be a pointer.  That said he has a team in the south to run at Sandown and Newbury on Friday and this horse perhaps isn’t quite as well bred as some.

Regally bred, which is perhaps the most fitting epigram since this one is owned by the Queen, this Shamardal colt doesn’t have any fancy entries in the short term but may be decent in time.

Given than this is a race for unraced horses there is naturally little to go on until we see the betting, but on paper the Godolphin-owned MYTHICAL MAGIC makes plenty of appeal given that the yard know how to get them ready first time up and breeding would suggest he’ll be good as a juvenile.  Maghaweer is next best on what we know, which isn’t much.

2.45 Ascot – 2m Handicap

Ran his best race in the Northumberland Plate last time and as a 4yo can improve again from that.  The form of that race is bomb proof and with another step forward this horse could be considered to be a couple of pounds ahead of the handicapper.

Desert God
Form not so flashy since leaving India for Dubai and now Britain, though his handicap fourth last time doesn’t read too badly.

Had a nice break and can resume improvement now.  He seems best on the all-weather but will stay better than most and can still prove to be a tough nut to crack.

Mister Manduro
A less competitive race, more suitable ground and a required step up to two miles all mean there will be improvement from this one.  Mark Johnston’s are notoriously hard to pass so getting him there with a furlong or two to go will probably mean success.

UAE King
Showed much improvement when given a go on firmer ground and so this may not entirely be to his liking, likewise the two-mile trip.

has a chance to show off the Northumberland Plate form and should go well, though he’s not that well treated really and will be vulnerable to Mark Johnston’s MISTER MANDURO who will have the conditions to prove he is even better than what we’ve seen so far.

3.20 Ascot – Valiant Stakes, 1m Fillies & Mares Listed Race

Golden Stunner
Seems to be pretty versatile as far as ground conditions go and is rated 107.  A win and two runners-up efforts this season show her to be in great heart.

A belated seasonal debut for John Gosden’s filly who has only been outside the places twice in 8 runs and both of those in Group 1 company.  Conditions are perfect for her here and she goes well fresh, meaning that natural progression from three to four should put her in the 110-115 bracket now.

Gone backwards since her first run this season and may find one or two too hot here.

Progressing slowly but surely and should appreciate some give in the ground.  On a hat-trick now after two handicap wins and deserves her place in the race.  Will win one of these at some point, whether it’s this one though is open to doubt.

On Her Toes
Not particularly ground dependant and in fact may appreciate this further test, she looks better than her rating but maybe needs to have her sights lowered slightly as this is another competitive affair.

Whispering Bell
By Galileo but with plenty of speed on the dam’s side, Gosden is great with these types and William Buick (not today’s jockey) once said that if Gosden steps a filly up like this then take note.  Ran to around 90 last time after running freely to post and taking a keen hold.  That was also just her second start so a big improvement can be expected here and she in fact has a proper chance.

Given the mitigating circumstances, the rating of 89 given to WHISPERING BELL for her run at Windsor probably underestimated her no end and with the significant improvement expected from her she can elevate herself above all of these in one bound.  Nathra, also of John Gosden’s yard is probably the best of these as we speak but may or may not need this run while Mittens and On Her Toes cannot be discounted either in what is a competitive heat. 

3.55 Ascot – 1m4f Handicap

A Mark Johnston recruit with a good strike-rate, he’s been given a little bit of time off now and if resuming improvement may be just a pound or two ahead of the assessor.

He may have had his problems, but this is one beautifully bred 5yo who is still getting better and could even be a group horse by the end of the year.  If improving at a normal rate, which is entirely possible, he may still have 5 or 6lbs in hand.

King Bolete
Second string for the owner but one not without a chance.  Won nicely at Windsor last time and conditions shouldn’t present a problem.

Red Galileo
Likes a sound surface and the track and trip won’t present a problem, running well in defeat this season but needs to dig out a little more.

David O’Meara can farm races in Yorkshire so him bringing this one to Ascot must be being done under the impression he can win the cash.  Conditions seem fine and he’s been going OK of late, though from the outside looking in he looks handicapped just OK.

A Sir Michael Stoute four-year-old, we all know what happens next!  Improvement is guaranteed over the next few weeks.  His best performances have come on fast ground at Doncaster, but breeding would heavily suggest an easier surface would be beneficial.  Must go well.

Sennockian Star
Never discount a Johnston horse in such races and although he hasn’t been at his best this season he is slipping down the weights and can make a bold bid.

The Stoute horse, FIDAAWY, has plenty in his favour and it’s easy to see major improvements coming over the next few races.  Appeared looks to still be going the right way and can fill a place.

 7.30 York – Lyric Fillies’ Stakes, 1m2f Listed Race

Ajman Princess
Has done her best work over 1m4f to date, but probably wouldn’t mind the step back and was a close up third in the Lancashire Oaks last time out.

Aim To Please
Making her debut for Karl Burke having left France, a return to her best would see her run a decent race here.

Playful Sound
Had a nice break since it went wrong at Nottingham in May, though she was a short priced favourite for that Listed contest and had won a nice handicap at Newmarket on only her fifth start.

Not too much improvement coming out of her to be honest and her rating of 102 looks about right.

11 starts already but only a 4yo and ran her best race last time out.  Could improve again but probably not enough to win this.

Very Dashing
Running well without winning but does keep getting better and can’t be discounted here.

It’s close on all known evidence, but AJMAN PRINCESS just gets the vote for me ahead of Aim To Please. 

8.10 Newmarket – 1m4f 3yo Handicap

Pouvoir Magique
Given how easy it was, I have no idea what he achieved at Ayr last time but he did run very nicely on debut at Sandown before that.  Given his irregular first run he’s probably better than he’s been assessed and is fancied as a Group horse.  Hard to beat.

The Grand Visir
May want it a bit faster than this but can go well nonetheless.

Sable Island
Lightly raced, inexperienced and probably much better next year.  That said, he might like these conditions and may show up well.

Improved markedly on second AW run, unsure of ability on turf.  Well bred though and can show himself to be pretty well handicapped over his next couple of runs.

Although it seems too good to be true, I’d say POUVOIR MAGIQUE has simply tons in hand of the handicapper right now and cannot lose this race on all known evidence.  The trouble is, that evidence is thin on the ground with inexperienced three-year-olds but he really should win this if he is to line up in such races as the Great Voltigeur or even the St Leger.  Petitioner and Sable Island may also be well handicapped.