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Horse racing preview and tips: Four best bets for Lingfield and Ascot on Saturday


Racing expert Jake Russell has picked out his best bets from four big races from Saturday's meetings at Lingfield and Ascot

By @ Jake Russell

2.25pm Lingfield - Listed William Hill Oaks Trial Fillies Stakes

Ralph Beckett is very good with these sort of lightly-raced Oaks-type fillies, as illustrated by Forest Fairy, who won the Listed Cheshire Oaks at Chester the other day on just her second ever run after a novice victory at Wolverhampton. 

With that in mind, although Treasure has to come off the back of a 206-day break heading into Lingfield this weekend, I do not think that will be an issue, although she does go up against race-fit rivals here. 

Ralph likes to send some of his nice two-year-olds to have their debuts, with quite a few over the years going on to become decent types, and this daughter of Mastercraftsman could be the next nice runner for His Majesty the King. 

She was a well-fancied 2/1 favourite for her debut at Nottingham on heavy going last October, proving that day that she was a typical Ralph Beckett late 2yo, and that patience might have paid off for connections as she lines up in this Listed contest this weekend. 

She has completely different ground conditions to deal with from her debut, but we have seen plenty of Beckett horses improve from 2 to 3 and on better going, so I very much think that will be the case for Treasure this weekend. No doubt the Gosden filly will be a short price after her very impressive Wetherby win last time, but I feel the 13-day turnaround might catch up with her and the Gosden horses aren't exactly firing on all cylinders at the moment. 

The Ralph Beckett filly is open to plenty of improvement now stepping up in trip, so I can see much more to come from her going forward. It looks like they are heading for this race instead of the Group 3 Musidora Stakes at York next week.  

2.40pm Ascot - Victoria Cup (Heritage Handicap) 

This is an very competitive contest as always, and looking at the previous winners (apart from Rebel Territory who won coming out of stall 2 last year) all the way up until 2013 most, if not all of the winners have been drawn stall 10 or higher.

Therefore, it might pay to side with a runner who is coming out of a high number stall, which is why I am siding with David O'Meara's Pearle d'Or, who was in good form last season and has already had the pipe opener ready for this contest on Saturday. 

Silvestre De Sousa takes the ride, a jockey who has been riding very well this season, won his first Classic last weekend and for a few has an outside chance of landing the jockeys’ championship this season, his first full season since coming back from riding in Hong Kong. He is a very good jockey booking for this horse, as Silvestre is riding on the crest of a wave after his big win last weekend in the 1000 Guineas. 

Pearle d'Or had nine runs last season, winning on two occasions at Ascot and Newbury, as well as placed efforts at Ascot (twice), Chepstow and Yarmouth. He was in real good form last season, and did win off the mark of 84 which took him up to his current of 90. 

Like last year, he did come on for his first run of the season where he finished down the field at Doncaster before coming runner-up in a handicap contest at Yarmouth, so with that in mind, and him looking like the type to improve with age, I can see him running well here out of stall 14. 

3.00pm Lingfield - Listed William Hill Lingfield Derby Trial Stakes 

I don't think this contest is as strong as the fillies’ version, and we probably won't see the eventual Derby winner come out of this race. However, it is a Listed affair, so there is the prospect of some nice black type for a few of these that could go a long way in terms of stallion prospects, although stranger things have happened in racing so you never know, the Derby winner might by in this field. 

Aidan O'Brien won this with a horse who has a similar profile to Illinois back in 2022, when United Nations won on debut, then stepped up in class and ran well before getting put away for the winter, to then come out and run once before the Derby Trial at Lingfield as a 3yo. 

United Nations (who won this race back in 2022) does have a similar profile to that of Illinois (United Nations form was 17-4 and Illinois is 13-3) who runs for Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore this year, who was an impressive winner at the Curragh on debut, then ran an almighty race in a Group 1 at Saint-Cloud to finish 3rd, only beaten by a length in the end, keeping on very well in the closing stages. 

One slight concern is that the son of Galileo did put in a pretty disappointing run last time when sent off the odds-on favourite, but that was a race won by a 50/1 shot, so seemingly fell apart and Aidan's horses were not firing on all cylinders then. 

With Capulet winning the Derby Trial at Chester this week and Point Lonsdale winning yesterday, it looks as if his horses are starting to find their feet now, so it should come to no surprise if we see the best of Illinois this weekend.

I think the further this horse goes in the trip, the better he will become, and although a 33/1 shot for the Derby at Epsom next month, I think he might just be too good for the rest of these in this Derby Trial at Lingfield on Saturday.

If he can replicate that 3rd at Saint-Cloud on just his second ever run, then he will be incredibly hard to beat on Saturday. Aidan O'Brien has won this race six times since 2004, so he clearly knows what it takes to have a horse to land this contest. 

3.35pm Lingfield - Group 3 William Hill Chartwell Fillies Stakes 

I think ultimately this contest revolves around one horse, and that is Remarquee for Ralph Beckett and James Doyle who is down to ride her. It is nice to see her continue running as a 4yo this season, which is something we are starting to see more of. These mares are tending to be run for a good few seasons, exemplified by Inspiral and Emily Upjohn for the Gosden's. 

With that in mind, if Remarquee were to retain the ability that she showed last year when winning the Group 3 Fred Darling and putting in second-placed efforts in the Coronation and Falmouth, then she is definitely the one they all have to beat here on Saturday. 

Although she has to carry a little more weight than a few of these, she is by far at the top of the pile in terms of ratings - she is rated 110 while her closest rival in terms of ratings is Great Generation for Marco Botti. Although she does have a 286-day break and a wind op to overcome here, I think her class will get her through this, and ultimately she should only need to be 80% tuned up to land a race of this nature. 

That is no disrespect to the rest of the field, but on ratings and previous form, she should be winning this comfortably before going onto bigger and better things as the season progresses. She doesn't really have any flashy entries as yet, just the odd Group 2 entered here and there, so it will be interesting to see where she will go as the season progresses. 


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

 All previews and tips provided by @ Jake Russell

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