Sun Chariot Stakes Tips: Laurel to down Beach in Newmarket thriller

Read our Sun Chariot Stakes preview here.
Read our Sun Chariot Stakes preview here.

There's Group 1 action at Newmarket on Saturday afternoon with the Sun Chariot Stakes taking centre stage and Saffron Beach will be a red-hot favourite to retain the crown she won emphatically last season, but our man Steve Chambers is taking on the reigning champion with an unbeaten filly that can sparkle at Flat HQ...

An emphatic three-length winner over Mother Earth last season, Saffron Beach produced a stunning performance to down the Ballydoyle hotpot and Jane Chapple-Hyam's four-year-old is the red-hot 13/8 favourite to lift the crown again, and it's hard to not see her play a notable role again. A proven top-class miler, Saffron Beach showed her class at Royal Ascot when bounding to a dominant victory in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot, while she followed that with a Group 1 win in the Prix Rothschild in France. 

However, she suffered a shock defeat at the hands of outsider Pearls Galore in the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown last time out, so Chapple-Hyam's stable starlet will need to bounce back to winning ways here, and she will face some strong rivals. A proven performer at Newmarket, she will enjoy the return to British shores and she's going to be tough to beat, but there's some class acts that could ruffle a few feathers here and she could be worth taking on at the prices.

Sent off favourite for the abovementioned Matron Stakes, Homeless Songs failed to fire as the Dermot Weld-trained three-year-old could only finish fourth, but the Irish 1000 Guineas winner showed her class when claiming Classic glory earlier in the season, so she has to be respected at 2/1. A stunning five-and-a-half length winner of the Curragh Group 1 two starts ago, she failed to perform in the same fashion in the Matron and she was beaten by Saffron Beach that day, so she will need to put up a career best to land this prize.

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John Gosden saddled Nazeef to victory in this race two years ago and the master trainer will saddle a fascinating runner in the 2022 renewal in the shape of LAUREL, who has been supplemented for this contest and is a 6/1 shot to maintain her 100% record here. An impressive three-length winner on debut at Newmarket back at the end of July, the daughter of Kingman then impressed further on her second start as she bounded to a two-length win at Kempton Park, and having given the team such positive signs she was supplemented for this event.

There's no doubting this is a gargantuan step up in class as she takes on proven Group 1 performers, but what she lacks in experience she makes up for in potential, and with some of her rivals having already had tough seasons competing at the highest level she comes into the event fresh as a daisy and if she can continue on an upward curve then she could be worth taking a chance with in a race where she's the value play.

Second in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket at the start of the season, Prosperous Yoyage then got her moment in the limelight when shocking Inspiral in the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket, and the Ralph Beckett-trained filly is back at Flat HQ for more Group 1 action and is next in the betting at 15/2. Sixth of nine and well beaten by Inspiral in the Prix Jacques Le Marois last time out she will relish the return to British shores, but she may have to hope a couple disappoint for her to get her head in front.

Of the others, Lights On (25/1) has failed to kick on from her bet365 Mile win earlier in the season and will struggle, while Grand Dame (20/1) is another for Team Gosden that lines up here, but she failed to win in Group 3 company last time out, so this could be a bridge too far.

Sun Chariot Stakes
Laurel silk


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