Mr Mccann and Jane Elliott
Mr McCann in action

Catching Pigeons gossip column: Weekend best bets

Our top tipping column is back and there's a feeling Mr McCann is worth another chance in handicap company at Haydock.

Mottisfont - 3.40 Newmarket

Mottisfont looks worth an each-way interest in the Group 3 Sweet Solera Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday.

Hughie Morrison is not famed for his number of pattern-race winning juveniles, but it is no real surprise to see him hunting the black type after this half-sister to his 2020 1000 Guineas fifth Romsey made a winning debut at Ffos Las last month.

She picked up really well in the closing stages to land a cosy success, and she has derived plenty of benefit from the outing. This does not look the classiest Group 3, and a big run is anticipated.

Anmaat - 3.00 Haydock

Owen Burrows has enjoyed a very good season so far and Anmaat can land his second valuable prize of the campaign in the Group 3 Betfred Rose Of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock.

A winner of three of his six starts and placed in his other three, the lightly-raced son of Awtaad produced a great effort to land the John Smith's Cup on his belated return to action and thoroughly deserves the step up to pattern level.

Grocer Jack will be a short price to deliver another success after his easy win at Newbury last time, but Anmaat looks expected to progress further, and could prove the value bet to surprise him.

Let's Fly Again - 1.50 Haydock

Clive Cox's Let's Fly Again grabbed a deserved first win when scoring at Bath a month ago and this relatively unexposed three-year-old is fancied to follow up in the Betfred Nifty Fifty Handicap.

The runner-up, Laguna Veneta, has won nicely at Newmarket since, and a hike of 4lbs in his rating may not be enough to prevent the follow up.


Mr McCann - 2.25 Haydock

It may pay to take a chance with Mr McCann in the Betfred Handicap. This marks the three-year-old's first run since a below par effort in the Britannia at Royal Ascot, but his previous performances, when fourth in the German 2000 Guineas and third in the Dee Stakes at Chester, suggest he has what it takes to add to his three wins as a juvenile.

If he can recapture his best form, this looks a winnable race, especially as the handicapper has dropped him to a mark of 99.

Amanzoe - 1.00 Ascot

Amanzoe has taken a hefty step up the ratings with her two comfortable wins at Hamilton and Sandown on her last two starts, but William Haggas looks to have found a good opportunity for her to kick off what looks a potentially lucrative afternoon for the Newmarket maestro at Ascot in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Curtain Raiser Classified Stakes.

The step up to this trip at the Esher course seemed to suit her, and she should get plenty of assistance from Joanna Mason in the saddle.


Montassib - 3.55 Ascot

Montassib, a stablemate of Amanzoe, has just come up short in the Buckingham Palace here at the Royal meeting and in the Bunbury Cup at Newmarket last time, but looks worth persevering with now he steps up a furlong in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Mile.

This is a far less competitive event than either of those big-field handicaps and, with Daniel Tudhope on board, he looks the one they all have to beat.

Pride Of Priory - 3.20 Ascot

Haggas' three remaining runners at the Shergar Cup, the first-time blinkered Hurricane Ivor in the Dash, Hamaki in the Classic and Pride Of Priory in the Challenge, all have chances, but the tentative pick of the trio is the latter, who did well to follow up his first win of the campaign at Kempton with a narrow win over the very well fancied Thundering at Newcastle two weeks ago.

He is another on an upward trajectory.

American Flag - 5.15 Haydock, Sunday

Haydock sticks around again on Sunday to make a weekend of it and an interesting entry here is the Ed Walker-trained American Flag in the Sky Bet Sunday Series Middle Distance Handicap.

The son of Sea The Stars carries the colours of Mr Stradivarius Bjorn Neilsen, and produced his best effort so far when third to Asassi at Salisbury back in the mid-Summer.

He has been gelded since and looks nicely weighted for his handicap debut.

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