Varian’s three-year-old is unbeaten this season and was last seen winning the Listed Glasgow Stakes and he looks sure to relish this step up in distance at Newbury
DEFOE looks to bolster his St Leger claims in Saturday’s Betfred Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury.
Roger Varian’s colt is unbeaten this season and has looked highly progressive.
Varian said: “He’s in good shape. He’s been progressive all year and we’re looking forward to running him up in distance again.
“He’s a very likeable horse. He’s a good goer and he has a good attitude. He seems to be getting better and better.
“We’ve always thought he’d stay well. The race he won last time at Hamilton, the further he went the better he looked – he needed the whole of that trip to wear down Frankuus.
“He looks like he’ll get better when he runs over further. We’ve got the St Leger very much at the back of our minds but he’s got to improve a fair bit still.”
Standing in his way is Charlie Appleby’s Frontiersman, who has some classy form to his name.
Appleby said: “If he repeats either of his last two runs he’s sure to go close.
“He’s given me every indication that he’s in the same sort of form. In fact, I’ve never had him better. His work has been good and the ground will be fine for him.
? Templegate’s Treble ?
- NAP 6.50 Newmarket – Salt Whistle Bay: ‘Won easy at Lingfield last month and looks to be on the up’ (add to your betslip)
- NEXT BEST 5.20 Newmarket – La Diva: ‘Decent debut behind Capla Temptress and the form looks smart’ (add to your betslip)
- TREBLE 5.25 Newbury – Paradise Cove: ‘Easy winner at Ayr in June and this trip will help’ (add to your betslip)
“I’m struggling to think of a negative, to be honest. He’s won at Newbury before and if he brings his A-game then he’s got to have a serious chance.”
Hugo Palmer runs both Crimean Tatar and Wall Of Fire but both horses are on something of a retrieval mission.
HAVE A DABBLE
Templegate’s tips for ITV’s races at Newbury, Newmarket and Ripon on Saturday, August 19
Matt Chapman’s tips for ITV’s racing from Newbury, Newmarket and Ripon on Saturday, August 19
RACECARDS AND RESULTS
Don’t miss out on all the latest odds and tips for today’s meeting at Newmarket
CHANGE OF MIND
Mark Johnston confirms Nyaleti will run in Sunday’s Prix Morny and not in the Lowther
Conor McGregor arrives in style at Aintree for the Grand National after getting a private jet AND a Rolls Royce
Palmer told At The Races: “Crimean Tatar hated the bottomless ground at York and came back sick, so I think he’s still very much a blank canvas, having run well in the John Porter.
“He hasn’t run since May but he’s been training great and I’m very happy with him.
“Wall Of Fire got an awful ride in Belmont and then went a bit flat when he came back so we left him alone.
“He’s owned by Australians and his target is the Caulfield Cup and/or Mellbourne Cup so a third-place finish would be really important to help qualify.”
Irish interests are served by The Tartan Spartan, winner of a Listed race at Down Royal last time out for trainer Pat Shanahan.
The Brian Meehan-trained Agent Murphy won this race two years ago but must return from a lengthy absence.
John Gosden’s To Eternity, the Mick Channon-trained Harlequeen and Horseplay from Andrew Balding’s yard complete the field.