Saturday ITV7 Preview: Australis catches the eye

There's televised action at Ascot, Haydock and Newmarket on Saturday.
There's televised action at Ascot, Haydock and Newmarket on Saturday.

Nick Seddon takes a look at Saturday's televised action at Ascot, Haydock and Newmarket, and tries to crack the fabled ITV7 permutation...

Ascot 14:25 - Shergar Cup Celebration Handicap 

It would have been Shergar Cup day at Ascot on Saturday, though due to the current restrictions around travel during this pandemic, we instead have to settle for a handicap named in its honour (an option which some would undoubtedly prefer). The one-mile event in question is an open-looking 10-runner affair, and it's interesting to see Shelir sit prominently in the market at the time of writing. He's shaped well in two starts over seven furlongs here, either side of a good run at Haydock, and is respected with his mark sliding further, while Game Player would be a threat if fit after a 372-day absence.

Kasbaan ought to go well for his shrewd connections after shaping well in the International Stakes here last time, but it's Jalaad who makes the most appeal. He built on his two opening runs this campaign and the addition of first-time cheekpieces to return to winning ways in a competitive event over this trip at York last month, showing a willing attitude in the closing stages. There's reason to think that there could be more to come from this reasonably lightly-raced five-year-old yet, and provided the equipment can have the same effect here, he can defy a 5 lb rise and follow up.

Tip

Ascot 14:25
Jalaad silk

Jalaad

lost

Haydock 14:40 - Rose Of Lancaster Stakes 

We have Group 3 action to look forward to at Haydock, and it's difficult to look past Global Giant. He's been in good form since switching to John Gosden from Ed Dunlop, building on a solid reappearance when returning to winning ways in listed company over this trip at Newbury last month. He sets the standard on the back of that, and can take this at the expense of Zaaki - with the booking of Frankie Dettori an obvious positive. 

Tip

Haydock 14:40
Global Giant silk

Global Giant

lost

Newmarket 14:50 - Betway Nursery 

The third televised race is a nursery over seven furlongs, and it's no surprise to see Aesthete prove popular in the markets at the time of writing. He's a half-brother to the talented stayer Big Orange, and shaped well to finish third on his second career start at Newbury last month. He should take another step forward here, though he may find Magisterium too tough a nut to crack.

She's shown some fairly useful form in her three starts to date, and picked up the second win of her career in good style at Newcastle last time, doing well to win in the circumstances. There's likely to be more to come from her yet, and she's fancied to defy her opening mark of 81 in this trappy looking affair - while last time out winner High Peak isn't passed over lightly. 

Tip

Newmarket 14:50
Magisterium silk

Magisterium

placed

Ascot 15:00 - Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire Handicap 

An interesting staying handicap, in which the progressive Australis can return to winning ways. He ran a stormer when second in the Northumberland Plate in June, just being out-battled by a similarly progressive type in the closing stages.

He faces a 6 lb rise for that effort here, but there should be plenty more to come from him on just his second try over this trip, and he's a confident selection to take this. Kaloor is one who appeals as though he's building up to something and is respected. 

Tip

Ascot 15:00
Australis silk

Australis

lost

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Haydock 15:15 - Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire Handicap 

It will be interesting to see how Sansevero fares on his first start for James Tate, having made a winning debut in good style for Archie Watson in February. He's proving very popular in the early stages of the market and is respected, but with that in mind, it could be worth taking him on at the prices - in what looks an interesting 12-runner heat. The newcomers Ajyaall and Fierospeed are runners to note on debut if strong in the market for powerful yards, while Al Tarmaah is bred to be better than he could show on debut at Doncaster last month. 

The percentage call, though, is King Fan - who represents the Mark Johnston team. He makes plenty of appeal on paper being a song of Kingman and a half-brother to four winners, and he showed plenty to work on when fifth on debut over six furlongs at Carlisle last August. Admittedly, we haven't seen him since, but he's in capable hands and it would be no surprise to see him ready to go on the back of absence. With that experience under his belt, he's fancied to take a notable step forward here by taking this. 

Tip

Haydock 15:15
King Fan silk

King Fan

lost

Newmarket 15:20 - Sweet Solera Stakes 

This Group 3 contest has been dominated by Mark Johnston and Richard Hannon of late, with both trainers having two winners each in the last four years. The latter struck in 2016 and 2017, and is fancied to take this once again with Fly Miss Helen. A first foal of a useful dam and a €75,000 purchase as a yearling, she created a really taking impression when winning on debut over six furlongs at Newbury last month, quickly bursting clear inside the final furlong and landing a gamble in the process. There should be more to come from her yet, with the extra furlong likely to suit, and she can prove herself a smart prospect by taking the step up into Group company in her stride. 

Tip

Newmarket 15:20
Fly Miss Helen silk

Fly Miss Helen

Ascot 15:35 - Thames Hospice Handicap 

We close with a 12-runner handicap over a mile and a half, which features a familiar name at the head of the market. Indeed, Caradoc was a progressive type last year, and should take a step forward from his first two starts so far this campaign now eased 1 lb in the weights by the handicapper. Omnivega is unbeaten in three starts this year since a gelding operation and is respected, though all of those wins came on the all-weather and he'll need to translate that from to turf off a career high mark.

Fox Vardy is a straightforward type - much like his footballing namesake - and should give this a good go, but the verdict goes the way of Look Closely. He built on his reappearance run when returning to winning ways in good style over course and distance last month, and although he's up 8 lb here, there should be more to come from this lightly-raced type yet and he's the percentage call to take this. 

Tip

Ascot 15:35
Look Closely silk

Look Closely

won
York Ebor Festival

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