This Saturday looks set to be a cracker with action from Newbury, Market Rasen and the Curragh.

Here are the selections from our racing ambassador Nick Luck.


MAJESTIC DAWN is worth strong consideration as an each way bet in the TV opener at Newbury on Saturday (1.50). This is a pretty spicy race, with the runaway Hunt Cup winner Real World and still promising three-year-olds Derab and Movin Time in attendance. Last year’s Cambridgeshire winner will therefore be a pretty big price and is habitually an underrated horse who could easily dictate this from the front. He took a big step forward from his seasonal debut last season and is a live one here if he does the same this time.

RODRIGO DIAZ can take another step up the ladder in the staying handicap (2.25). There are few progressive horses in the race, but this one remains on the upgrade, having thrashed July meeting winner Duke of Condicote before finding the test too sharp at Kempton last time. He’s stayed one step ahead of the handicapper by racing over shorter, but his pedigree strongly suggests this extended distance will bring even more. Sleeping Lion got no sort of run at Royal Ascot and is worth considering at a price.

TABDEED produced a career best in the Hackwood (3.00) last year and can repeat those heroics. This isn’t a bad race, but he’s a borderline Group One horse when he gets it together and has everything set up for a big run, including a perfectly sound comeback run in the Chipchase at Newcastle. The trainer’s horses were a little slow to come to hand but seem to be thriving at present.

SIENNA BONNIE (3.40) is worth a small interest in the Super Sprint. There’s no doubt Chipotle and Vintage Clarets have the most compelling credentials here, but – given the conditions of the race (weight determined by purchase price) – there is some mileage in my selection off bottom weight, particularly with Hollie Doyle booked. Jonathan Portman has enjoyed some success in this race and this filly arguably gets her most suitable test since romping away with a minor event at Bath in a very good time earlier in the season. She has bright early pace and can stretch it deep enough into this race to at least pick up a slice of the action.

Market Rasen

HANG IN THERE remains too big a price in the Summer Hurdle at Market Rasen (2.05). This may be because he’s carrying topweight, or perhaps more likely that the stable jockey is riding Voice of Calm. Either way, Joe Anderson more than offsets the penalty for the impressive Stratford win with his ten-pound claim. This horse has always had a stack of ability, as his speed figure from his Cheltenham win in November 2019 told you, but he’s got his act together on decent ground last time and has seemed to enjoy forcing tactics the last twice. He’ll take some catching again, even against classier rivals.

SOLOMON GREY looks the answer to a typically competitive Summer Plate (2.40). He’s shown more than once that he shouldn’t be frightened of his current mark and would surely have been closely involved but for a late departure at Uttoxeter last time. He loves a bit of decent ground and travels strongly enough that a big field and strong pace should be right up his street. I’m happier with him over this intermediate trip than over further. His biggest threat may come from Darling Maltaix, who’s done it all in small fields and has been called a few names but looked a different ballgame at Newton Abbot on his reappearance and must be taken seriously.

BALLYELLIS is the pick in a tricky looking handicap hurdle that has also found its way in front of the ITV cameras (3.10). I think he might finally have found a race that’s just right for him: not too short, not too long, no extremes of ground, and plenty of pace to aim at. He generally runs with credit, but this looks one of his more suitable tests and he should at least hit the frame.


DIVINELY is an each way bet in the Irish Oaks (3.25) on the basis that eight stand their ground and that Snowfall could bounce to the moon on the back of her eyeballs out performance at Epsom. In all honesty, I don’t expect Snowfall to be beaten, but it must be significant that there was good money for stablemate Divinely (bred on very similar lines) in the build up to the Oaks. This sounder surface should suit her better – as should the track – and she gets a big mark-up for her Ascot run, where she ended up a long way back off a tempo-led affair for the Ribblesdale.

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