ITV7 Racing Tips: Take a Shot in the Dark at Haydock

The Cambridgeshire Handicap is one of the most competitive races of the season.
The Cambridgeshire Handicap is one of the most competitive races of the season.

Nick Seddon takes a look at Saturday's televised action at Newmarket, Haydock and the Curragh - which includes the ultra-competitive Cambridgeshire Handicap - and tries to crack the fabled ITV7 permutation...

Newmarket 13:50 - Royal Lodge Stakes 

The first of three consecutive Group races for juveniles on the card at Newmarket, and five head to a post for a race which has been won by the likes of Frankel (2010) and Roaring Lion (2017) in recent memory. Aidan O'Brien has won each of the last two renewals and is represented by Ontario, who built on a maiden success to finish a good third on his first try at this level at the Curragh this time. He, along with recent listed scorer Cobh are worthy of serious consideration, but at the prices it could be worth siding with the unbeaten Gear Up. He's two-from-two so far, and built on a maiden success at York in July by winning the Group 3 Acomb Stakes at the same track a month later. Admittedly, that Acomb form has rather fallen apart in behind him since, though that still looked a smart effort on his part, and bearing in mind he's shown a good attitude so far, he can make use of the extra furlong by going in again. 


Royal Lodge Stakes
Gear Up silk

Gear Up


Haydock 14:05 - Close Brothers Handicap 

Tricky stuff at Haydock. The upwardly-mobile Danyah arrives here on the back of some solid efforts, and there could still be some room for manoeuvre off his current mark having run with credit to place the last twice. Key To Victory is interesting on the form he showed to win a competitive event at Meydan in January, but he faces a tough task off top weight on the back of an absence, and it could be worth chancing Milltown Star at a slightly bigger price. He signed off with a listed success at Chantilly last November, and has shown plenty in his two starts so far this campaign, boxing on well at Doncaster last time. The return to a mile could play into his hands in these conditions, and it would be no surprise to see him go close. 


Haydock 14:05
Milltown Star silk

Milltown Star


Newmarket 14:25 - Cheveley Park Stakes 

It looks worth keeping the faith with Dandalla, who's won each of her three starts to date for Karl Burke and Nick Bradley Racing. She was made to work hard to extend hear unbeaten start to three in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes over this trip on the July Course two months ago, but that was a smart performance, and she showed a good attitude to hold on in the closing stages. That form has a particularly solid look to it, with the runner-up winning a Group 2 in France subsequently, and Dandalla is fancied to go in again at the expense of Miss Amulet, another with Group 2-winning form under her belt.


Cheveley Park Stakes
Dandalla silk



Haydock 14:40 - Close Brothers Motor Finance Handicap 

Another tricky puzzle to solve, but Dark Shot makes plenty of appeal at the foot of the weights. He's been in really good heart of late, winning two of his last three starts, including in good style at Leicester earlier this week. The 4 lb penalty he carries for that looks within reach, and provided he isn't fazed by the quick turnaround, this prominently-ridden type could be a tough nut to crack in his current mood. 


Haydock 14:40
Dark Shot silk

Dark Shot


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Newmarket 15:00 - Middle Park Stakes 

An open-looking renewal of the Middle Park Stakes, in which it looks worth siding with Supremacy. It was difficult not to be impressed with his relentless all-the-way success in the Group 2 Richmond Stakes at Goodwood in July, and he'll be very difficult to peg back if in the same mood here. Several of these have some smart form under their belts, though, including the unbeaten Method, from whom there should be more to come yet with Frankie Dettori booked to ride, while the Gimcrack winner Minzaal should also be on the premises. 


Middle Park Stakes
Supremacy silk



Curragh 15:15 - Beresford Stakes 

It's a shame that we won't be seeing High Definition at Newmarket this weekend, but he looks the one they all have to beat in the Group 2 Beresford Stakes. He has an excellent pedigree as a son of Galileo and a full-brother to the Group 3 winner Innisfree, and there was plenty to like about his effort to win on debut over a mile at the Curragh last month. Indeed, he did plenty wrong that day, taking a good while to get the hang of things, but it was difficult not to be taken with the way he made a sweeping move from last to first in the closing stages of the race, and there should be plenty more to come from this colt yet. 


Beresford Stakes
High Definition silk

High Definition


Newmarket 15:35 - Cambridgeshire Handicap 

This is a typically competitive race, though Tempus is proving popular bearing in mind that he arrives with an upwardly-mobile profile that's similar to the last two winners of this, Lord North and Wissahickon. He's one to seriously consider under a 4 lb rise, though Ilaraab appeals as a good each-way bet at the 10/1 mark. He's another upwardly-mobile type, who arrives here on the back of four straight victories. He defeated a smart field when bursting to the front in a competitive handicap at Newbury last week, and still looks to be on a good mark raised just 4 lb. Cieren Fallon is booked, and it would be no surprise to see Ilaraab hit the frame at the very least.

At a bigger price, it also looks worth siding with Data Protection each-way. He's been in good heart this season, winning handicaps at both Sandown and July Course under this rider, and while he was down the field off a revised mark at Doncaster last time, there were mitigating circumstances bearing in mind he was handed a particularly aggressive ride. This mark may be within in his remit, though, and prominent tactics could serve him well from a good-looking draw in stall 21. The star of the William Muir yard is undoubtedly Pyledriver, but in this wide-open affair, there's worse bets than siding with Data Protection to run into a place at around the 33/1 mark. 


Cambridgeshire Handicap
Ilaraab silk

Ilaraab (EW)



Cambridgeshire Handicap
Data Protection silk

Data Protection (EW)

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