Newbury hosts a fantastic seven-race card on Saturday, running from 13:30 to 17:00, that features a couple of Group races – namely the World Trophy Stakes and Mill Reef Stakes.

Conditions are desperate, so it’s mudlarks to the fore…

Newbury Tips

  • 13:30 – Raasel @ 3/1
  • 15:15 – Red Zone Hero e/w @ 15/2

13:30 – Raasel @ 3/1

First and foremost, I have to oppose William Haggas’ Sense Of Duty for the G3 World Trophy Stakes.

While clearly very talented, she’s returning from 455 days on the sidelines and races over the minimum trip for the first time, on heavy ground, in Group 3 company. Surely she’s going to need the run and this is just a prep for bigger and better targets.

The one that gets my vote is Raasel for Michael Appleby.

She’s the only runner in the field that’s proven at the level, consistently holds her form on deep ground and is a specialist at the trip.

Nymphadora is probably her main danger, but at current prices I make the selection an outstanding proposition under the brilliant James Doyle.

15:15 – Red Zone Hero e/w @ 15/2

The feature race at Newbury on Saturday is the Mill Reef Stakes, which at least to my eye doesn’t look a great renewal.

Of the eight hopefuls, it’s Seven Questions, Haatem and Array that set the standard – while Eve Johnson Houghton’s exciting Mister Sketch is the unknown quantity. I’m not sure any of them are proper Group 2 horses, to be frank.

Michael Bell’s Red Zone Hero likely isn’t either, to be fair, but as already mentioned this looks a weak one and he is improving – and, crucially, he acts on rain-softened ground.

His effort in such conditions at the Betfred St Leger Festival at Doncaster last week was a career-best and he’s worth chancing each-way, with three places on offer at the time of writing, for the feature.

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