It's Super Saturday, aka bat**** crazy Saturday, and big field handicaps left, right and centre mean this could go 2 ways. Off we go…First up at Ascot in the sprint handicap is Desert Law who showed he still retains all his zest for racing last time at the Curragh. He’s a course and distance winner and looks well treated on peak form. He could just be well drawn too given he’s next to Stepper Point and expect him to charge up the stands side rail. The stalls are next to the stands today too and for all we saw at the Royal meeting a slight preference for low numbers, I think that may change today. Softer ground often seems to favour far side but when it’s quicker it seems to be best to stay high. I could be making that up but have a feeling there’s something in it. He could end up very well drawn and is handicapped to go close.
Miracle Of Medinah looks to be crying out for a mile and he gets that at York this afternoon. He’s back to 1lb lower than when a fast finishing 2nd behind Sound Advice at Chester, strong form, and put in a similar display last time when again a little further back than ideal. He does go well at that track but equally it probably doesn’t suit his style of racing ideally and this mile could bring out the best in him. He’s well treated and a massive price with conditions in his favour.
Chancing Fire Fighting in the John Smith’s Cup. He’s fairly treated on peak form, 6lb lower than when beaten 6 lengths in this last year, and is 1 from 1 with today’s jockey on top. He does get going late, often too late, and much of that can be down to a sluggish start. However, he’s drawn well enough to not get too far back and not have to do a great deal early and hopefully he gets the required luck late on. Azraff is another that will need luck given he’s drawn widest of all. He’s a big price for a horse who shaped for further in the Hunt Cup last time though and this trip should really suit. A 4lb rise for his win 2 starts ago, form which has worked out, looked fair too and there should be more to come from him over the furthest he's been.
It’s a super renewal of the July Cup and I fancy the trio of 4 year olds towards the top of the market will be very tough to beat. Limato is very tempting, or at least he was towards the start of the week before Candy’s comments meant his price shortened. The overpriced one in the race has to be Jungle Cat, another 4 year old who couldn’t mix it with the best of them last year but is a much improved horse this. His best effort since returning form 6 months off came over 6 on reappearance and he’s yet to win since. His run behind Profitable at Newmarket was full of promise though, when racing a little on his own over the minimum, and on that form he’s no 20/1 shot. The ground would have been a touch on the easy side in the King’s Stand but moreover I think this is a 6 furlong horse and, if so, he could spring a bit of a surprise here. He’s well drawn to get a good tow through behind Mongolian Saturday too.
Could put up 5 for the Bunbury Cup but will stick with the one I fancy most at the prices in the form of Squats. He was said to have been short of work and in need of the run on reappearance so hopefully will be fully revved up and ready to go here because he must have a great chance right down at the bottom of the weights. His 2 year old form with Profitable, when twice giving the King's Stand winner weight and a beating, makes him look a very well treated horse. He has shaped for this step up to 7 a few times too, though we didn’t really get to see that promise in the Victoria Cup for aforementioned reasons. I fancy it will suit, he ran well here behind Magical Memory over 6 last year and should go well off the same mark, certainly better than 25/1 would suggest.