Ben Linfoot free horse racing tips for Coral-Eclipse Sandown card and Haydock on ITV Racing Saturday July 6

Our form expert has five selections for Saturday's ITV Racing at Sandown and Haydock including in the bet365 Old Newton Cup.

The Verdict: Saturday, July 6

2pts win Desperate Hero in 1.50 Sandown at 5/1 (William Hill)

1pt win Games People Play in 2.05 Haydock at 14/1 (General)

1pt win Dual Identity in 2.25 Sandown at 17/2 (William Hill)

1pt win Sea Theme in 2.40 Haydock at 7/1 (bet365)

1pt e.w. Sheer Rocks in 3.15 Haydock at 14/1 (General 1/5 1,2,3,4,5)

Sky Bet odds | Paddy Power | Betfair Sportsbook

Everybody needs a Hero

City Of Troy is the star attraction in the Group 1 Coral-Eclipse at Sandown on Saturday and with White Birch ruled out earlier in the week it looks a fantastic opportunity to get a 10-furlong top-level race on his C.V.

He bounced back from 2000 Guineas disappointment in style in the Derby at Epsom and it’s exciting that Aidan O’Brien keeps on mentioning the Breeders’ Cup Classic for him, the son of Justify looking likely to be given the chance to prove himself on dirt if all goes well on turf in Europe in the second half of the campaign.

Stablemate Hans Andersen is in there to give him a true gallop to aim at and while he’s a different type to O’Brien’s last two winners of this race, St Mark’s Basilica and Paddington, you would think his class and stamina will be drawn out sufficiently to justify the short odds.

If you’re thinking about the straight-forecast I’d strongly consider Jayarebe to fill the runner-up position, as I’m a little worried about Ghostwriter’s draw in one and Brian Meehan’s horse might well have the beating of him anyway on a line through French Derby runner-up First Look.

Still, it’s a no-bet race for me, but I will be backing DESPERATE HERO to win the Coral Charge earlier on the card for Jack Channon.

Live In The Dream is the one to beat here but he hasn’t been at his best this season and I’m not convinced the Sandown sprint track is ideal for him anyway. He could be vulnerable from a wide draw on this course even if he gets away more smoothly than he did at Haydock last time.

Desperate Hero looks to have improved significantly from three to four, his wins at Goodwood and Hamilton in very different conditions marking him out as a sprinter on a serious upward curve and I’m betting on his devastating handicap performance last time being no fluke.

He absolutely bolted up off 91 and the form couldn’t have worked out much better with six individual subsequent winners left trailing in his wake.

It was a performance that simply highlighted him as potential Group-class and it's with hope he can seamlessly step up from handicap company on Saturday afternoon.

The Verdict: Back DESPERATE HERO in the 1.50 Sandown

Identity up for the Challenge

Also at Sandown I’ve got to side with course specialist DUAL IDENTITY in the Coral Challenge with his trainer William Knight in such red-hot form.

Knight has won seven from 18 at 39% in the last fortnight and his Dual Identity not only loves Sandown, but he seems to get better as the season goes on so he has plenty in his favour at a decent price.

I’m not sure I’d back him to win off a mark of 98 at any other track, but he went close to winning here off 97 last time out where his momentum was checked as he waited for a gap deep into the contest.

He wasn’t the only unlucky one in that race as Classic didn’t get a clean run through from the back either, but there was only a head between them and Richard Hannon’s horse looks likely to challenge from further adrift once again.

Dual Identity could get first run on him and in a smaller field at a bigger price it’s the Knight horse I’ll be backing to record a fourth course win.

The Verdict: Back DUAL IDENTITY in the 2.25 Sandown

Dual Identity is away and clear
Dual Identity is away and clear at his beloved Sandown

Sheer class in the Old Newton Cup

It’s not all about Sandown as there are bets to be had on a good card at Haydock including SHEER ROCKS for Eve Johnson Houghton in the bet365 Old Newton Cup.

The five-year-old was sent off 6/1 off a 2lb higher mark in this race last year when he ran well in fifth despite wanting a stronger gallop and he could well get that 12 months on with more early pace in the field.

He’s clearly had his issues as he was off the track from last year’s Old Newton Cup until last month’s Royal Ascot, where he reappeared with an encouraging 10th in the Duke Of Edinburgh Handicap.

Beaten just over nine lengths at the line, he did well considering he was rusty, rearing at the start and getting outpaced before he finished well, and an improved showing is expected at Haydock.

The Duke Of Edinburgh has been the springboard for seven Old Newton Cup winners this century – and eight runners-up for good measure – and while Ascot second Epic Poet has obvious claims he’s been well found in the market.

This looks likely to have been the target for Sheer Rocks from some way out and he looks overpriced at 14s.

The Verdict: Back SHEER ROCKS in the 3.15 Haydock

Sea The Stars fillies need backing

Finally, I like the look of two Sea The Stars fillies for two bang in-form yards and both GAMES PEOPLE PLAY and SEA THEME need backing at Haydock.

The bet365 Handicap over 1m6f at 2.05 is a terrific race but Games People Play makes plenty of appeal for Ralph Beckett now she steps up markedly in trip.

Sent off 3/1 favourite over 10 furlongs on handicap debut at Sandown, she was outpaced but the potential remains now she tackles a mile and three quarters considering she is closely related to 1m6f winner Vivid Diamond.

In the Group 2 bet365 Lancashire Oaks Tiffany is potentially vulnerable off a quick turnaround from Newcastle while I’m not convinced Queen Of The Pride will confirm course and distance form with William Haggas’ Sea Theme.

She was keen and then poorly positioned after not getting the clearest of runs on her first run for 253 days last time out, but she finished well and significant improvement is expected here.

I don’t think either will mind the forecast rain and that goes for all of Saturday’s selections with mixed weather expected around the country at various points.

The Verdict: Back GAMES PEOPLE PLAY (2.05) and SEA THEME (2.40) at Haydock

Preview posted at 1515 BST on 05/07/24

Click here for full Ben Linfoot tipping record

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