Saturday’s racing may not quite have the excitement that we’ve experienced over the past few days at the Chester May Meeting but there is still plenty to get stuck into at tracks such as Ascot, Lingfield and Haydock.
The big betting heat of the day with the bookmakers will be the Victoria Cup, a 7f cavalry charge at Ascot. Picking the winner of this sort of contest is never easy, especially with the draw bias often changing from meeting to meeting, but that is reflected in the prices on offer and in this type of race at Ascot it usually pays to go with proven big field Ascot form.
Lightning Cloud certainly fits that bill and connections will be hoping that high draws are favoured as he’s been drawn in stall 22. He’s well handicapped having only been beaten into third narrowly last time out having missed the break by several lengths. He also loves it here at Ascot, most of his runs here in recent seasons have come on ground softer than ideal but he’s still finished 1st and 2nd at the course before and he’ll love the ground on Saturday having two wins and a fourth on the only occasions he’s met genuinely fast ground. At around 14/1 he looks one of the best each way punts from the day’s betting tips.
There is a listed contest over 7f at Haydock at 4.05 and this is a race in which Pastoral Player will take all the beating despite a disappointing run last time out. Pastoral Player was well beaten on his seasonal reappearance but he played up at the start on that occasion and should come on for the run. He won a group 3 over this course and distance last year and his main form rival Gregorian surely wants softer ground which means that Emell, representing the classic generation, could be the one to follow him home having finished second in four of his last five starts.
Over at Lingfield it is Derby and Oaks Trial day but those can often be poor betting contests unless you have a free bet and the best rewards of the day could come from solving the 10f handicap at 3.25. There may only be 6 runners but all have serious chances and Tepmokea might end up a little overlooked here as the most exposed horse in the field. He got beaten only by Universal last time and that horse has since won a group 3 and a group 2 so that’s hardly bad form and he’s worth a punt in this race.