There is a Betfred sponsored card at our local track Haydock on Saturday afternoon where the feature contest is the Betfred Rose of Lancaster Stakes – a Group Three affair over 1 mile 2 furlongs.
The betting is likely to be headed by Scottish, who was an impressive winner at Newbury last time and can continue his improvement under William Buick who bounced back from a 30 day suspension with a double at Nottingham in the week. The main dangers appear to be Foundation and Arab Spring.
Foundation was highly thought of last year and was impressive in two course victories, but he has not been seen since finishing last in the French Derby two months ago, and the blinkers are applied for the first time. Arab Spring has been off the track since May 2015, but represents in form Sir Michael Stoute and he was very progressive when last seen in action.
The main supporting race is the Betfred TV Dick Hern Fillies’ Stakes which can go the way of Golden Stunner who is seeking a four timer for Ralph Beckett. She has excellent maiden form and has not looked back since landing her first victory and can take the step up in grade in her stride.
Red Box seeking a hat-trick for Sir Mark Prescott can be a threat, as can Martyn Meade’s Wilamina who is still lightly raced and progressive.
The Shergar Cup takes centre stage at Ascot on Saturday, the only team competition in horse racing where four teams of GB & IRE, Europe, Rest of the Word and the Girls team all strive for points to earn victory and bragging rights, with the leading jockey taking the Silver Saddle award.
The best bet on the card appears to be Two Jabs under Frankie Dettori in the Shergar Cup Stayers’ at 1.45pm. He was a decent second in a good contest at York on his latest run, stepped up to two miles, and has been consistent all season. It can be rewarded with victory here.
The Games in Brazil will also see plenty of betting interest over the next fortnight, with Great Britain looking to beat their record haul from four years ago where they landed 65 medals in total, of which 29 were gold. Betfred have priced them up at 12/1 to land 30 or more golds and 8/1 to win 66 or more total medals.
The most interesting event in the athletes for Great Britain could see Jessica Ennis-Hill going for more gold, when her sternest challenge may well come from fellow brit Katarina Johnson-Thompson. Ennis-Hill is available at 6/4 with Johnson-Thompson 2/1.