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Saturday horse racing preview and tips: Four best bets from Beverley and Haydock


Racing pundit and writer Jake Russell has picked out his best four bets from Saturday's racing at Beverley and Haydock

By @ Jake Russell

2.05pm Beverley - Hilary Needler Trophy EBF Fillies Conditions Stakes

This is a really nice contest at Beverley, where we have quite a few fillies who could go on to become anything, with two in here only having the one run which resulted in a victory, and although I am siding with one who won last time, she has had the two runs already. 

With the experience under her belt and a win to her name so far, I very much like the look of Over Spiced for Tom Clover and Joanna Mason, who you could argue is slightly "more exposed" than a few of these, given that she is coming up against horses who have only run once, but the manner of her win was quite pleasing to the eye. 

She made her debut at Brighton, where she unseated the rider on the way to the start and was very green during the race on a course that is most certainly not the place to run like that. However, she still ran well to claim 4th spot in the end, only beaten by three lengths or so, which was a brilliant effort given the fact she weakened in the closing stages. 

The daughter of Adaay soon put that experience to good use when winning a Windsor maiden next time out, and although she was hanging right on quite a few occasions, she kept on well and was a comfortable winner in the end by half a length.

 I expect her to come on for that run once more, given the fact she was still quite green last time. But she still got her head in front and won better than the winning margin does suggest, so she can land back to back wins for Tom Clover.  

  • Selection - Over Spiced (11/1 Each Way)

2.40pm Beverley - Two Year Old Trophy Conditions Stakes

The Wathnan Racing runners are certainly ones to keep an eye on this season, especially their expensive Breeze Up purchase as they seemingly have an eye of picking up very nice types. In the last 14 days they have had five two- year-olds win first time out and one or two of them were very impressive performances, especially Aesterius at Bath and Leovanni at Nottingham, who was also trained by Karl Burke who as we all know does exceptionally well with his younger horses. 

Shareholder has been pitched into a very decent contest on his debut, and was purchased by current connections for 460,000 euros as a two-year-old, so will no doubt catch the eye at Beverley on Saturday. 

There is not much to go on for this race and there are two first-time-out winners lining up, but they have to carry a penalty and give Shareholder a fair chunk of weight. The Wathnan purchases seem to be very forward at the moment, so with that in mind I think we could be seeing a potential weapon at Beverley on Saturday. An exciting debut for the racegoers who are there this weekend. 

  • Selection - Shareholder (15/8 Win)    

3.00pm Haydock - Group 3 Betfred Nifty 50 Lester Piggott Fillies Stakes  

This looks to be a pretty good renewal of the Group 3 contest, and although she is yet to have a run this season, I am all over Sea Theme for William Haggas and Tom Marquand. The combination do so well with these types, and she did look to be a very progressive sort last season when only racing on four occasions, winning twice which includes a Listed event at York. 

That was obviously a career-best performance for the daughter of Sea The Stars, where she was sent off the 5/2 favourite in the end, and just did enough to win by a head. Next time out she was not so brilliant, as she took a step up in class to Group 3 company, where she sweated up very badly before the race, which seemingly did take its toll on her as she finished tailed off in the end, placing 9th and beaten by over 13 lengths. 

I would put a line through that run as she clearly was not herself that day, and she is definitely well worth another go in this sort of company, especially up against her own gender. If she is turned out in the sort of form that she won her novice race at Doncaster or the Listed contest at York, then she is the one they all need to beat even though she is coming off the back of a 253-day break here. 

She is the sort to improve the older she gets, and the fact that she has been pitched into this company on her first start as a four-year-old would suggest connections think she is more than capable. William Haggas does very well with this type, and I am excited to see her out once again this season.

  • Selection - Sea Theme (6/1 Win)    

3.35pm Haydock - Group 3 Betfred John Of Gaunt Stakes 

Looking at the ratings of each runner in this race on Saturday, it does look like pretty much all of the field could actually win it. Noble Dynasty was a very nice winner of a Newmarket handicap just 36 days ago, and the lightly-raced relative to Barney Roy could still have improvement to come although a six-year-old now, and I think Witch Hunter arrives into this race with the best form to boot. 

He was a huge-priced winner of the Buckingham Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot back last year, landing the contest by three quarters of a length, before going on to land the Group 2 Hungerford Stakes at Newbury last August by a length, with yard favourite Chindit in behind that day, so there is a bit of substance to that form. 

Now arguably his best run to date came last time out when making his first start of the season, coming 3rd in the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes, with the likes of Inspiral and Big Rock in behind, who are both proper Group 1 performers, and although he was beaten by 8 lengths or so, he still ran very well in the end to claim 3rd spot and get some Group 1 black type to his name. 

Ultimately that was a really muddling race, as the eventual winner Audience was virtually a runaway winner in the end, bursting clear and making all to win pretty comfortably in the end, not giving the main protagonists of Inspiral and Big Rock a chance to land a glove on him. 

So the fact Richard Hannon's runner plugged on to claim 3rd spot could have flattered him slightly, but given the fact he is a big handicap winner, as well as Group 2 performer he should be taking the step down to Group 3 company right in his stride here on Saturday. 

I think he will build on that run last time now with the fitness under his belt, and the fact he is the 2nd-highest rated in the field will speak volumes for how he will get on this weekend. As mentioned, he has the best form in the race, and clearly has the talent to win a race of this nature. 

  • Selection - Witch Hunter (11/2 Each Way)

All prices are from Planet Sport Bet and are subject to change

 All previews and tips provided by @ Jake Russell

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