Catching Pigeons: Gossip and tips from the gallops

Racing
All the latest rumours and whispers from the gallops...
All the latest rumours and whispers from the gallops...

Reconnaissance is backed to give in-form trainer Andrew Balding another winner this weekend - we round up the hot tips from the major training centres.

Saturday's best bets

3.15 Chester - Foxy Bingo Fast And Fabulous Chester Stakes

2
4
69-3OR: 114C
4/5
Last RunWatch last race

Duretto has a good record around the twists and turns of the Roodee and looks to have a good chance of notching his second course success in the Listed Fast And Fabulous Chester Stakes.

One of the stalwarts of the Andrew Balding stable over the past few seasons, Duretto has improved steadily since his three-year-old career and has continued on his upward curve this term. His best effort came at the Newmarket July meeting, where he went down by only three quarters of a length to Best Solution in the Group Two Princess Of Wales’s Stakes. Muntahaa, the Impressive winner of the Ebor last weekend at York, was behind him that day and a repeat of that effort should see him home in this lower grade.

3.00 Sandown - 188Bet Casino Atalanta Stakes

6
6
38-10OR: 109BFD
12/1
Last RunWatch last race

The Group Three Atalanta Stakes is no penalty-kick for Veracious despite her strong top-level form. She should be made to work by Laugh Aloud who is ready for her return, but Godolphin also have a very worthy second-string in the shape of Saeed bin Suroor's Winter Lightning and she's given the vote on value ground.

She was beaten at 1/5 in the UAE Oaks at Meydan when last seen but she'd won two on the fast dirt track prior to that third and she was second to Veracious at Newmarket on debut last October. There's some hope within the camp that she's improved enough to give the favourite a race on her belated return to action.

4.25 Chester - Ideal Recruit Handicap

8
3
58-11OR: 86D
11/2
Last RunWatch last race

Dark Shot looks worth taking a chance with in the Ideal Recruit Handicap. Although A very talented and consistent sprinter, he does come up short on occasions at the business end of the race, and the fitting of cheek pieces for the first time is a worthwhile move. He has dropped to a very workable mark and the twists and turns of this unique course, coupled with the new headgear, could well spark a return to the winner’s enclosure.

2.25 Sandown - Best Odds Guaranteed At 188Bet Handicap

11
12
38-10OR: 92C
7/2
Last RunWatch last race

History Writer can take advantage of his lightweight in the Best Odds at 188Bet Handicap at Sandown. This looks a tough all-aged handicap, but David Menusier’s charge would appear to have more scope for improvement than most of his rivals and he has produced two of his very best performances on this course. He has given the impression he will be suite by this step up to a mile and a quarter, and he should more than hold his own on his first appearance in a handicap at this level.

4.10 Sandown - 188Bet Supports The NSPCC Nursery

6
5
28-13OR: 75
9/2
Last RunWatch last race

Reconnaissance, a stablemate of Duretto, can make a winning handicap debut in the 188Bet Supports The NSPCC Nursery. Balding has his team in great form and this son of Lope de Vega gave the impression that a first win may not be too far away when fourth in what looked a good class Novice at Nottingham on his latest start. He looks sure to progress further on this step up to seven furlongs.

2.45 Beverley - William Hill Beverley Bullet Sprint Stakes

9
7
38-11OR: 100CD
7/1
Last RunWatch last race

Kevin Ryan's Elnadim Star won twice on this course as a two year old, and could prove the each-way value in the Listed William Hill Beverley Bullet Sprint Stakes at Beverley. It often pays to follow a fresh horse now the autumn is almost with us, and Elnadim Star is making her first appearance for 10 weeks. She won her latest effort, her first attempt at Listed level at Ayr, in great style, and she deserves to tackle this more exalted company. She has been in good form at home after her break and she has a decent draw.

2.10 Beverley - CMS Law Novice Stakes

2
3
39-2OR: -
10/1

Carry On has shown enough at home to suggest he can also go close for Ryan in the Cms Law Novice Stakes.The son of Footstepsinthesand has been working nicely in preparation for this debut and connections appear to have found a relatively weak race.

8.15 Chelmsford - totepool Nursery

2
4
29-6OR: 86CD
9/2
Last RunWatch last race

Buckingham has already turned into a course specialist at Chelmsford and he can see off likely favourite Mathaba Millar in the totepool Nursery at the Essex course. Eve Johnson Houghton has placed him to win three from three so far, and has him in great nick for what could prove to be his toughest test so far.

7.15 Chelmsford - Betfred Conditions Stakes

5
1
29-2OR: -
4/1
Last RunWatch last race

Aquanura fell foul of the experience of the highly rated Khaadem on his debut at Newmarket two weeks ago and should now be able to see off some smart opponents in the Betfred Conditions Stakes. He gets weight from the remainder of the field, and the step up to seven furlongs should suit.

7.30 Lingfield - 188Bet Live Casino Handicap

3
3
39-4OR: 71BF
7/2
Last RunWatch last race

Dance To Paris looks nicely weighted and she looks worth an interest on her belated reappearance in the 188Bet Handicap at Lingfield. Lucy Wadham's filly showed a decent level of form as a juvenile, and has been fitted with cheek pieces for this reappearance so is clearly fit enough after her lengthy absence. One of her better performances during her first season came on her debut so she runs well fresh, and she has also run well on this surface.


Gossip from the gallops

Enable continues to be the talk of Newmarket ahead of her eagerly-awaited return to action at Kempton a week on Saturday.

John Gosden has previous with the September Stakes, having brought Jack Hobbs back from a layoff to win at a short prices three years ago, though the trainer isn't giving much away at the moment when it comes to his star filly's progress.

She looks sublime as ever striding up the all-weather Al Bahathri strip and it is hoped she retains as much zest when put under some pressure in the heat of battle.

There are rumblings that stablemate Cracksman will head straight for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe ahead of another tilt at the QIPCO Champion Stakes at Ascot, while the recent drop of rain has been music to the ears of Roger Varian, whose high-class grey Defoe goes in search of Group One honours in Germany this Sunday.

More names to note from the Gosden ranks include two-year-olds Beatboxeter - a likely candidate for the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster's Leger Festival whose form received another boost at Sandown on Friday - as well as the Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned Almashriq.

The latter, a colt by War Front, has been shaping up nicely in his preparatory worked ahead of an intended debut at Salisbury. He also has the option of Haydock on the same day.

Sir Michael Stoute has opted for a wind operation for Gabr after his form took a big dip at Pontefract last time. The same trainer is preparing a lovely-looking juvenile called London Eye who looks one for the future and could be seen in action before long.

Quorto wins under William Buick
Quorto wins under William Buick on the July Course

Charlie Appleby is having a season to remember and Shellbrook is fancied to go well in the Chandlers BMW & Mini 68 Plate Novice Stakes at Brighton on Sunday.

The trainer has a lot to look forward to this autumn and Superlative Stakes winner Quorto is being suggested as one of the most exciting prospects at Moulton Paddocks.

Hawkbill is a more established star at the yard and his work has been encouraging since he was fourth to Roaring Lion in the Coral-Eclipse. He could be the forgotten horse in the Arc.

Ghaiyyath is also working back towards a return to action after missing all of the season so far and it's worth recalling he was among Appleby's main Derby hopes heading into last winter.

Away from the spotlight slightly, Ed Vaughan is looking forward to unleashing a few nice juveniles this autumn including a nice-moving Dubawi colt and a chestnut son of Scat Daddy who is in the ownership of Phoenix Thoroughbreds.


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Dave Ord is all over an Andrew Balding-trained horse for the Sporting Life Daily Nap on Sunday while he has two other selections as well.

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