Betting expert Dave Nevison shares his best bets for York, Ascot and Newmarket on Saturday.
2.05 York: Soul Seeker at a general 12-1
Won this race last year and hinted he was back in similar form last time for a trainer back in good nick after a brief cold spell.
Soul Seeker is 8lb lower than winning last year after some modest recent efforts and David O’Meara is equipping him with a tongue-strap for the first time, which looks a positive move.
There is no issue at all with Soul Seeker’s attitude in a finish and he will have a very strong pace to aim at here, which is ideal for him. Sean Bowen’s main task will be to get him out of the stalls in good shape. As long as he does, the combination will have a live chance in a massive field.
2.40 York: Silver Samurai at a general 5-1
On a recovery mission after failing to make much impact in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot last month.
I had formed the opinion after his two previous wins that the grey may be heading to Listed or even Group-class sprints.
The application of a hood might well have been the catalyst for his improvement but his win at Haydock sticks in the memory and the way he travelled must have been a joy for those who watched the race while walking ever closer to the pay-out queue.
This sprinter has certainly not finished climbing the ranks and it is easy to forgive a big-field handicapper for one poor effort.
Enjoy a day at the races on us! Find out more about Racing TV Club Days.
3.00 Ascot: Dark Shift at a general 11-2
It’s no surprise I am sticking with Dark Shift as I was with him when he landed the Royal Hunt Cup. However, it is not only blind loyalty that makes me think he can follow up here.
The Royal Ascot race is proving exceptionally strong form with plenty of winners coming from those close behind him. It might well have been boosted even further had Intellogent, the runner-up, got a clear run in the John Smith’s Cup at York.
A 6lb rise is lenient for winning the hottest sprint handicap so far this year, and Dark Shift is clearly ideally suited by a big-field Ascot handicap.
Crack Aussie jockey James MacDonald is not here for the ride this time but his loss is the gain of William Buick, who was on board when he won at Nottingham on his penultimate start.
Dark Shift is versatile regards the ground so if the heavy rain that is forecast around the country happens to hit Ascot he should not be inconvenienced.