Newbury, Ayr, Thirsk, Bangor, Nottingham and Wolverhampton all come under the spotlight as Steve Mullen tries to find a host of winners on a busy Saturday
HAVE a sweet bet on Sugar in the Scottish Grand National at Ayr (3.55).
SUGAR BARON is crying out for this marathon trip after relishing every yard of the 3m2f Kim Muir Chase at Cheltenham last time out.
He hit a flat spot in the middle of that race before getting his second wind and coming home strongly. To be beaten just seven lengths was an excellent effort and he gave the strong impression that he could have gone round again.
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That’s a positive with an extra three-quarters of a mile to tackle here. It’s also worth remembering that his Festival run came after three months off and he usually needs a run to hit full fitness.
Trainer Nicky Henderson reaches for the cheekpieces here and that might help him avoid the flat spot that hampered his chances at Cheltenham.
He has also had a little help from the handicapper who has dropped him 1lb despite that encouraging Kim Muir run.
As the betting suggests, this is an open renewal and last year’s winner Vicente is among the biggest dangers.
It’s unusual that he comes back on exactly the same mark as his success 12 months ago and that must give him a chance of following up.
He was well backed going into the Grand National two weeks ago but got no further than the first fence. It’s true that he is capable of making mistakes but that didn’t stop him around here last year and he’ll have no problem with the decent ground.
Henri Parry Morgan has led us up the garden path a couple of times already this season. That’s because there is obviously plenty of talent there, getting him to deliver it has been the issue.
Paul Moloney has announced his retirement from the saddle after 20 years as a jockey
John Gosden’s Dabyah to have her Classic credentials tested in the Fred Darling Stakes
BACK ON TRACK
Midterm is looking to make up for lost time in the Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Stakes
Harbour Law looks very likely to be rewarded with a year’s holiday as reward for making history with trainer Laura Morgan
Racing Tips – Templegate’s racing tips for all of ITV’s races on Wednesday, April 19
Matt Chapman’s racing tips for ITV’s racing from Newmarket and Cheltenham this Wednesday
At the post
Fancy going to Royal Ascot? Here’s all the information you need ahead of the world famous race meeting
The weights for the 2017 Grand National have been released with Gordon Elliott having ELEVEN horses guaranteed a run
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Racing Tips – Templegate’s racing tips for all of ITV’s races on Thursday, April 20
SPARKS CAN FLY
Brian Meehan expects Spark Plug to be fit enough for Wednesday’s Earl Of Sefton Stakes
He was sixth in good company at Aintree last time out and stays long distances well. He has been given more help by the handicapper and he’ll pop up at a big price one day — and this could be it!
Away from Ayr, there’s plenty of top-class Flat action at Newbury to get stuck into.
DREAM CASTLE was massively impressive when storming away with his maiden at Doncaster three weeks ago.
He steps up in class for the Group 3 Greenham at 3.05 but should be capable of taking it in his stride.
The son of Frankel showed plenty of the family speed when picking up strongly and quickly putting the race to bed. Despite not being fully pushed out he still clocked a decent time and should improve plenty on that debut.
Fellow Godolphin runner Barney Boy also created a good impression when winning at Haydock on his first outing in September. He’s been put away since then but Richard Hannon has a strong record in the race and should have him fit and ready.
The writing’s on the wall for bookies in the Spring Cup (3.40) thanks to BANKSEA.
Luca Cumani’s four-year-old is a rock solid handicapper who more than held his own in hot races like this last season.
Forget his closing run in the Cambridgeshire where he met trouble in running half a dozen times, giving him no chance.
He earned his place in that company with a pair of big efforts at Doncaster and York. The run on the Knavesmire was particularly good as he managed to finish a close second in an arguably stronger contest than this.
That was another time when traffic problems proved costly and there’s a chance that could happen again. Plenty of punters call Jamie Spencer names but he’s a past master at picking his way through a big field and can put his skills to good use here.
This is a tough race and Donncha could be the pick of the dangers. He is fit from an excellent comeback run at Doncaster last time where he was beaten less than half a length in the Lincoln.
That bodes well for another big effort here, with a 1lb rise in the weights more than fair.
1.40 Final Nudge
2.10 Flying Angel
2.45 L’Ami Serge
3.55 Sugar Baron
4.30 Hollies Pearl
5.05 Touch Kick
2.30 Queen Kindly
3.05 Dream Castle
5.20 Face The Facts
1.50 Storm Trooper
2.20 More Beau
2.55 Noah Amor
3.30 Custom Cut
4.05 Blue Suede
5.15 Made Of Honour
5.50 Hab Reeh
2.00 Front At The Last
2.35 Beneficial Joe
3.10 Golden Investment
3.45 Prince Khurram
4.20 Without Frontier
4.55 Box Office
5.30 Roy’s Legacy
6.00 Choice Encounter
6.30 Crystal Ocean
7.00 King’s Coinage
7.30 Thundering Blue
5.45 Pushkin Museum
6.15 Spirit of Zebedee
6.45 Powerful Dream
7.45 Know Your Name
8.15 Al Zaman