Saturday Racing Preview: Top Tips From Newbury And Newmarket

Betfred's Matt Hulmes gives us his best tips ahead of Saturday's horse-racing action
16:01, 19 May 2023

After a brilliant three days on the Knavesmire at York, the ITV cameras focus on action at Newbury and Newmarket this Saturday which is where our search for winners starts.


Noble Style’s sixth place finish in the 2000 Guineas undoubtedly sets the standard in this listed contest. Last year’s Gimcrack winner returns to a more suitable six furlong trip, but as such a short price, he can be taken on. 

Aidan O’Brien’s Aesop’s Fable is next best on the figures but was truly put in his place on seasonal reappearance and hasn’t won on his last four starts. 

Shaquille has only tasted defeat on one occasion and is worth his chance progressing from handicaps. But the selection is Charles Hills’ RABBAH. He has won easily on two occasions on the all-weather this year and still holds a Commonwealth Cup entry. He is totally unexposed on the return to turf and at a double figure price is worthy of an interest for an in-form team.


The London Gold Cup is arguably the hottest 3yo handicap of the entire season with its recent roll of honour backing up that claim. 

Last year's winner Israr runs in group company on Saturday afternoon while 2021 hero Bay Bridge won last year's Champion Stakes. Headman in 2019 won a brace of Group 2s while Cannock Chase and Defoe are also subsequent Group 1 winners in the last decade. 

Bertinelli was expected to take up an engagement in last week's Lingfield Derby Trial so perhaps a mark of 99 may be lenient for the O’Brien team and they decided to come here instead. Desert Hero for The King won two of his three starts as a juvenile but both with significant ease in the ground, and a chance is taken on EXOPLANET for Roger Varian who won this with the aforementioned Defoe in the same silks in 2017. 

EXOPLANET had to give second best to front running Military Order here over this trip on soft ground four weeks ago, but he has gone onto to Lingfield Derby Trial glory subsequently and is joint favourite for the Betfred Derby itself. The third home that day, Chesspiece, won a decent York handicap off a mark of 96 on Thursday, so EXOPLANET, off a mark of 97, certainly looks favourably treated for this assignment.


The first all older horse Group 1 of the season is the Lockinge Stakes although there looks to be a lack of an outstanding miler this year. Mutasaabeq made all in the diverted bet365 Mile at Newmarket last time and has good claims, as does Godolphin’s Modern Games whose recent wins came stateside but was second in the QEII at Ascot on Champions Day last year. 

Just behind him that day was JADOOMI who was nabbed on the line for second but did return lame on that occasion. He signed off his 2yo career with a Group 1 third in France and only saw the racecourse once as a 3yo. Last year though, he was excellent. Three wins on the spin, concluding at Leopardstown on Irish Champions weekend was followed by that close third at Ascot on the big day in October and he had excuses for fading in the closing stages. 

He is a lightly raced 4yo and the Crisford team have had a great week with a couple of winners at York. In a wide open division, he has the potential to sit towards the top of the milers' tree.


I am giving another chance to ATRIUM to prove he can win off this mark of 99 at Newbury this afternoon. That is just 3lb higher than when winning at Doncaster last September, an effort that I thought gave him leading claims in the Lincoln in March. He never got competitive in that contest but was much better when fifth at Newbury last month. 

Despite being beaten by six lengths, that doesn’t tell the whole story as he made his challenge on the stands side of the track, which appeared the wrong part of the course throughout that meeting and has been dropped 1lb subsequently. Ryan Moore is an eye-catching booking, and he can return to winning ways for Charlie Fellowes whose horses have started to hit the mark in the last fortnight.

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