Talking Horses: Saturday’s best bets plus the latest racing news

Horse racing Talking Horses Talking Horses: Saturday's best bets plus the latest racing news

Thikriyaat’s form makes him the one to back in Goodwood’s Celebration Mile, while Bryan Smart’s Alpha Delphini arrives at Beverley on an upwards curve

Saturday’s TV races

A pair of progressive three-year-olds line up for Goodwood’s Celebration Mile on Saturday for what ought to be a thrilling contest, despite the small field. But, while Zonderland and Thikriyaat (4.30) appear closely matched on the face of it, stable form suggests the latter is the one to be with this time.

Clive Cox has had an excellent season but his horses have been scoring at only a 4% strike-rate in the fortnight since Zonderland put up a career-best effort at Salisbury. While a good few of his runners have been unfancied, there were three unplaced favourites in the mix, which is offputting before a race in which another step forward will be required from his chestnut.

Thikriyaat’s only defeat has been to Ribchester, who has since proved top class. He produced a strong finish to score after a troubled run through at the Glorious meeting here and should get a clearer sight of these four rivals.

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The older horses are useful and this counts as a drop in class for Lightning Spear but he has not built on a promising first run of the year.

2.45 Goodwood The filly Grecian Light was having only her second start when runner-up to a much more experienced rival in the Sweet Solera, the best piece of form on offer.

3.00 Newmarket Fresher than these rivals after recently returning to action, Shawaahid should have more to offer.

3.10 Beverley This is a significant step up on the handicaps Alpha Delphini has been winning but Bryan Smart’s gelding is on a strong upward curve this year. Kingsgate Native is easily good enough but is trying to win consecutive races for the first time at the age of 11.

3.20 Goodwood In the closing stages of the Betfred Mile Can’t Change It was one of the eye-catchers of all time for those prepared to look at the back of the field, when he was repeatedly denied a run and finished full of running. He has a much more helpful draw this time.

3.35 Newmarket The four-year-old Walpole is making gradual progress and the step up in trip will surely help.

3.55 Goodwood This looks a good chance for the front-running Mr Singh, who will get the fast ground he loves.

4.10 Newmarket The colt Raucous has put up terrific efforts to be third in much hotter races on his last two starts.

Read More at The Guardian

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