It’s another big weekend for racing – cracking Saturday action, and the small matter of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe from Longchamp on Sunday.

First up we’ve six contests LIVE in front of the ITV cameras on Saturday, Sept 30th; Group clashes at HQ, and one each from Chester, and Haydock.

We advised ITV winners last week at 9/1, 5/1 and 6/4, so (famous last words alert) we’re in decent nick. Hope we can say the same by Saturday tea-time!

Here’s the schedule;


13:50 Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes (Group 2) (Class 1) 1m

14:25 Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes (Group 1) (Class 1) 6f

15:00 Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes (Group 1) (Colts) (Class 1) 6f

15:40 bet365 Cambridgeshire (Heritage Handicap) (Class 2) 1m1f


14:05 Watergate Cup Handicap – 2m 2+1/2f

Haydock Park

14:40 Cavani.Co.UK The Dapper Dash For Cash Handicap – 5f

ITV Racing Tips – Saturday 30th September

  • 13:50 Newmarket – Ghostwriter @ 9/2
  • 14:05 Chester – Zealandia @ 6/1
  • 14:25 Newmarket – Jasna’s Secret @ 7/2
  • 14:40 Haydock Park – Manila Scouse @ 4/1
  • 15:00 Newmarket – River Tiber @ 15/8
  • 15:40 Newmarket – Liberty Lane each-way @ 12/1

13:50 Newmarket – Ghostwriter @ 9/2

The Royal Lodge – a key Group 2 test for some of the season’s best 2-yr-old milers. Aidan runs Capulet, and Godolphin field Aablan. Both have winning form, and are dangerous.

I’m siding however with an unbeaten son of top-flight sprinter Invincible Spirit, racing in the famous Jeff Smith colours. Ghostwriter is trained in Lambourn by Clive Cox, and will be ridden by Richard Kingscote. He was on board for one of his two victories, a ready success at HQ in August. He improved to take an Ascot novice, making all, and holds a Futurity entry.

Aablan is in the Dewhurst, which looks potentially white-hot at present if we merely consider AP O’Brien’s possibles – and he’ll need to be taking this if that plan isn’t a little fanciful to say the least.

Ghostwriter is going one way at present and I’m happy to support the distinct possibility there may be even more to come on Saturday afternoon. He’s made most in his two successes so far and on advertised good to firm ground such tactics could pay dividends once again, if employed.

In any event a fantastic start to the ITV bonanza.

14:05 Chester – Zealandia @ 6/1

Bit of a mini-Chester Cup, a real test of stamina over 2m 2.5f. Looks ultra-competitive, and the selection warmed up for this by taking a Goodwood handicap on similarly soft ground very cosily.

The excellent Saffie Osborne was in the plate that day but the 6-yr-old Zealandia gets David Probert on the Roodee, and that’s never a bad thing. This is a couple of notches up from last time in terms of class but with a career-best in west Sussex and testing ground once again Ian Williams’ charge is more than entitled to take his chance.

As I write there are nine declared to face the starter, and at the price I certainly wouldn’t put anyone off considering a little each-way play as an alternative or addition to a straight win.

14:25 Newmarket – Jasna’s Secret @ 7/2

Group One Cheveley Park action for the fairer sex juveniles. An excellent home defence is being mounted for this large prize (circa £150,000), but it’s to a French raider that I’m looking in terms of a potential heroine.

Jasna’s Secret won’t have encountered going this lively before, IF the early predictions of good to firm are accurate. However, she’s been very impressive so far in her two racecourse appearances, both at Deauville, with juice in the ground.

She’s by Galiway, a son of the mighty Galileo, and both handled all types of ground. The effervescent Christophe Soumillon is on board, her regular pilot, and over the last decade or more there have been few better big-race snipers able to execute a game-plan than ‘Soumy.’

Breeding suggests that this 6f will soon be a bare minimum, and that a return for the 1000 Guineas next spring is very much in the offing if she can do the business on the Rowley Mile on Saturday. Should be a scorcher.

14:40 Haydock Park – Manila Scouse @ 4/1

I’m going for a course-and-distance scorer here in Manila Scouse, from the in-form Tim Easterby yard. A Class 2 sprint handicap for a lovely thirty-grand pot, the ability to handle soft ground and this demanding straight is a massive bonus, and ‘Manila’ ticks those boxes beautifully.

A career-high mark of 87 needs to be dealt with, but the 4-yr-old ran exceptionally well at York last time off 85 in a similar contest and he’s in excellent order. The stable has winners seemingly every week with tremendous regularity, and the omens are very positive. 8st 8lb is a lovely racing weight, too.

15:00 Newmarket – River Tiber @ 15/8

The Middle Park, another Group One, over 6f. Two-year-old colts line up for another huge prize, and the one I like is Aidan O’Brien’s River Tiber. Last seen in the Prix Morny at Deauville he was a strong-finishing 3rd to another rival today in Vandeek, trained by Simon and Ed Crisford. His three previous runs had all been wins, so France was a surrender in terms of his 100% record but a highly-creditable effort nevertheless.

The Rowley Mile features a fair old pull up to the winning post as the horses emerge from the dip, and it’s here that I feel River Tiber can assert and extend. The forecast livelier going could well help him to quicken, too. The son of Wootton Bassett looks to have a bright future and might need every yard of this trip to pop his head in front.

Fingers crossed.

15:40 Newmarket – Liberty Lane each-way @ 12/1

The Cambridgeshire. A 1m 1f cavalry charge with a mere 34 scheduled to face the starter. We’re paying SIX places each-way, so that’s definitely in my thinking.

The selection is 3-yr-old Liberty Lane, from the all-conquering Karl Burke yard. Sheikh Mohammed Obaid owns, and Cliff Lee is in the plate. He took a Donny handicap in this grade last time narrowly from Sonny Liston, who has himself been at the sharp end of some of the season’s better tests at around this trip.

‘Sonny’ has an appointment at Ascot I understand on Champions Day, Oct 21st – and if I fancy him to bag a big one before the season ends I’ve got to be all over Liberty Lane for this. And I am.

A mid-summer break preceded Doncaster, and connections were rewarded with a career-best. ‘Liberty’ has only seen the racecourse on six occasions, and has every right to be improving with experience. He’s been to HQ twice before over both this Rowley Mile and the July Course, running with credit on each occasion.

What we have to do of course to show a useful profit from a potential e/w tickle is to finish in the first 6. Hopes are high that we could manage that – and anything more would be a lovely bonus. It’s fiendishly competitive, so modest stakes are advised.

30+ runners hurtling up that famous course is quite the sight. Good luck!

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