Full preview for Saturday's TV races at Ascot, Haydock and Newmarket

It's the Shergar Cup today
It's the Shergar Cup today

Get the view from connections and Man On The Spot verdicts for Saturday's feature televised action.

1305 Ascot Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Dash

John Quinn - El Astronaute: "He ran well at Goodwood last week. The winner won nicely, but the rain they had suited the winner."

Man On The Spot verdict:

10
3
49-8OR: 95D
11/2
Last RunWatch last race

El Astronaute is a real speed merchant and he continues to run well. John Quinn’s sprinter will have the rails to help and would have finished a lot closer at Goodwood 11 days ago had he not wandered under pressure. Gracious John is also likely to be prominent but EVERGATE has been unlucky not to win this year and is still on a fair mark. He has gone close over track and trip on a couple of occasions and deserves a change of luck. Stablemate Encore d'Or also goes well here and both Tommy G and The Daley Express would be interesting if getting a run from the reserve spots.

El Astronaute wins at Chester
El Astronaute wins at Chester

1340 Ascot Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Stayers

Anthony Honeyball Jukebox Jive : We're very happy with the horse. He's in good nick. He ran well in the Chester Cup and he ran well in the Listed race at Sandown. He's high enough (in the weights). I suppose it's a stiff task to win any handicap off 100, but he's in good order and I'm happy with the jockey booking. Obviously Adam knows Ascot well.

"I think he's got a good chance. We were keen to go to Ascot because it's a much more compressed handicap than the one he was in at Goodwood. Because only 10 can run in this we knew he would not be giving away masses of weight. This is a better fit for him and he stays two miles really well. He's a straightforward horse for a race like this for a jockey who doesn't know him. We're very hopeful and it's a nice pot as well."

Man On the Spot verdict:

1
6
410-0OR: 100
7/2
Last RunWatch last race

Not many of these arrive in the peak of form but Hassle’s only recent run on the level saw him finish just ahead of last month’s Newbury second Cleonte over 2m4f here. Saunter tackles 2m for the first time but won a conditions race over 1m6f in France last month and ran a nice race in the Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes here in June. JUKEBOX JIVE has been raised a further 4lb since his third in a Listed race at Sandown. That looks harsh but he’s a thorough stayer who will be keeping on when others have cried enough and he should go close if in touch turning for home. Byron Flyer and Soldier In Action could also figure.

1415 Ascot Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Challenge

Joe Tuite - Machine Learner: "The horse is in good form and we go there very hopeful. He won very well there last time. I wanted to take him to Goodwood, but he didn't get in, and this was the next opportunity. It's great prize-money, he loves fast ground and is in superb form. Fran Berry has ridden him before. Funnily enough, Fran also rode him before he'd ever run for me and liked him.”

Jim Goldie - Nicholas T: “He ran well in the Zetland Gold Cup over a mile and two, so it will be interesting to see how he copes with a mile and a half at Ascot. He's in good form and fast ground will suit him. He should run well."

Man On The Spot verdict:

4
9
59-10OR: 92CD
6/1
Last RunWatch last race

This looks wide-open but Majeed was a surprise winner at Windsor and is possibly better over slightly shorter distances. Koeman went up 4lb after winning over course and distance two weeks ago and is now on a career-high mark as is MACHINE LEARNER, successful over 1m6f here earlier. But the latter will handle any give in the ground so is taken to land this under Fran Berry. Humble Hero is slightly better off than when third to Majeed at Windsor and may not have stayed 2m at York subsequently. Both of his wins have come over this trip and he could find a little improvement in first-time blinkers. West Coast Flyer is an all-weather specialist but Maori Bob won at Windsor and Doncaster last month and Twin Star is another with a chance on the pick of his form.

1430 Haydock Smarkets/British EBF Dick Hern Stakes

Ed Walker - Agrotera: "She is in good form. We had her in the Valiant at Ascot, but she just wasn't ready for that. She is a big girl and I backed off her after Royal Ascot and gave her time to get over that. I probably just left her alone too much, but I think she is ready to get back on track now. It is a lovely lead-up at Haydock for a filly that can get on her toes. She was great in the pre-parade at Ascot, then it all got to her a bit in the paddock. Hopefully she will be more relaxed this time."

Hugo Palmer - Unforgetable Filly: "At Ascot the last day James Doyle was kicking himself afterwards, as he felt he could have won, but I don't think it was his fault. She was only beaten a length and it was great to see her back performing at stakes level. She is a fast-ground filly and if you look at her record she has been a non-runner at least twice this season because of the ground and if it rains that could be the case again. I think the blinkers have sharpened her up and racing round a bend suits her. She is in great shape and the best she has looked all season."

Unforgetable Filly
Unforgetable Filly - best she's looked all season

Man On The Spot verdict:

7
4
38-9OR: 99D
10/11
Last RunWatch last race

Three-year-olds have won the last six renewals and AGROTERA makes most appeal of this year’s contingent. Ed Walker’s progressive filly won a decent handicap at Ascot in June and looks ready for this step up in class. Narella came up short in Listed company at Sandown on her reappearance while Shepherd Market was narrowly beaten at this level over 7f at Newbury last year. New Day Dawn could be anything having won a novices’ race here by seven lengths while La Figlia is capable at this level and Unforgetable Filly posted a better effort at Ascot recently. The latter pair make most appeal of the older horses ahead of Lincoln Rocks and Dynamic.

1450 Ascot Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Mile

Stuart Williams - Via Serendipity: "He has been in very good form and likes Ascot. Obviously he's been running on the straight track and this one is round the bend, but he's in very good form and I'd be very hopeful for a good run."

Man On The Spot verdict:

7
10
49-11OR: 97D
10/1
Last RunWatch last race

Poet's Society was the subject of a gamble in last week’s Golden Mile at Goodwood and travelled strongly in the race until outpaced close home by the winner. Mythical Madness finished fifth in that race and Mark Johnston’s four-year-old, who thrives on racing, can reverse earlier form over 7f at Goodwood with Medahim. FIRE BRIGADE (NAP) was withdrawn at the start of the Golden Mile and Michael Bell will be hoping for compensation here. His charge is one who will relish the recent rain and he’s preferred to surprise Newbury scorer Red Tea and York third Bless Him. Shady Mccoy usually runs well in races of this type, however, and Via Serendipity should also be in the firing-line. Zwayyan would be interesting if getting a run.

1505 Haydock Smarkets Betting Exchange Rose Of Lancaster Stakes

Owen Burrows - Elwazir: "I'm not sure he deserves to be favourite, but we are looking forward to running him and he has done nothing wrong this season. I'd like to think he is up to this class, but he has still got to go there and do the job. He wants a nice, galloping track and this looks a nice opportunity for him. There is a chance of a shower and if they do get one it would just take the sting out of the ground for him."

Hugo Palmer - Fajjaj: "We are lucky that he is fairly versatile regarding ground, as he has run well on quick ground and won on good to soft ground. We sent him to Ayr two runs back to try to get some confidence into him and it really helped him, as he ran a career-best at Newbury. He has got the cheekpieces on again. Ben Curtis, who rides on Saturday, thought that when he went back up in class after he won on him at Ayr it would sharpen him up a bit, and they certainly did at Newbury. Hopefully they will have the same effect."

Mark Johnston - Communique: "He's been a revelation this season. Obviously he needs to raise his game, as this will be his first run outside of handicap company and on ratings he's got a little bit to find, but we hope that he can do. The ground shouldn't make any difference to him."

Communique skips clear to win at Goodwood
Communique skips clear to win at Goodwood

Man On The Spot verdict:

6
3
38-11OR: 109D
11/1
Last RunWatch last race

Mark Johnston sent out last year’s winner but Communique has a tough task confirming last month’s handicap form at Newmarket with the runner-up Zaaki re-opposing on much better terms. The latter should go close and the unexposed Elwazir will likely prove popular having won a handicap at Ascot last month. But FAJJAJ (NAP) finished second in the German 2000 Guineas back in May and found only a couple of higher rated rivals too good in a Listed contest at Newbury last time. Hugo Palmer’s colt gets another chance today with Brorocco preferred of the older horses on his recent good effort in a Group 2 at York.

1545 Newmarket german-thoroughbred.com Sweet Solera Stakes

Charlie Johnston - Main Edition: "She has come out of the Duchess of Cambridge fine and we don't envisage the step up to seven furlongs being an issue, although the Lowther is still an option going forward. She was in the process of running below-par before getting badly hampered last time out and she got a bit upset beforehand down at the start that day so hopefully we have ironed that out since. If she bounces back to her Ascot form giving weight away shouldn't be a problem and we feel she will be hard to beat."

Charlie Appleby - La Pelosa: "La Pelosa has been a consistent filly this year. She broke her maiden first time out and she was second in the Albany and placed last time out. She will appreciate this cut in the ground. If she brings the Albany form to the table and finds a bit of improvement on the ground she should go close. It was disappointing that she got beat at odds-on last time at Sandown but the ground was probably quick enough. She has been wanting a bit of cut in the ground and this is the first chance she is going to get it."

Tom Marquand - Ajrar: "She impressed us first time out. A lot of what she had done had pleased us at home and we thought she would run quite well. The plan was always to step her up after her debut run and that is why we were so impressed that she won over six furlongs as she was always going to want further. She ran extremely well in a Listed race last time and took that form from her first run forward and going into the race it all points in the right direction. She is a good-moving horse and I don't think the ground will be a problem for her unless they get lots more rain."

Richard Spencer - California Love: "She stepped up on her debut and won well last time out over course and distance. It is a step up in class again but she is in good form at home. She deserves a chance in a race like this so hopefully she will run a nice race. She has not worked on any ground like this so we won't know whether she handles it or not until after she has run."

Man On The Spot verdict:

1
3
29-3OR: 106
7/4
Last RunWatch last race

Ajrar had to force her way through when second in a Listed race at Sandown last time and, being less exposed, may well confirm that form with third La Pelosa. The latter ran MAIN EDITION to a neck in the Albany Stakes at Ascot but Mark Johnston’s filly will almost certainly appreciate this extra furlong after finishing behind her old rival in the Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes, when she was badly hampered. Impulsion was well beaten in this grade at Deauville after an earlier third here in Listed company but Pennywhistle should not be underestimated as she had plenty in hand here last month.

1600 Ascot Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Sprint

John Quinn – Shaheen: "He's in very good form. He won nicely at Windsor the other day. He's come out of the race in good shape and I would hope he'll run well."

Man On The Sport verdict:

4
9
39-6OR: 92
5/1
Last RunWatch last race

Shaheen looks progressive and has already had a good season, winning three times. He beat Consequences a length-and-a-quarter at Doncaster in June but the latter is now 7lb better off. George Of Hearts has been running well in tough handicaps and drops back to his winning distance but ROUNDHAY PARK should get much closer to Shaheen than he did at Pontefract earlier this summer as he is 12lb better off and he was a good third at Newmarket, well ahead of Helvetian, after winning at Ripon. Bungee Jump should run his usual game race and Tangled is worth a market check as a return to sprint distances might suit.

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