Simon Holt best bets for Saturday

Racing
Check out the latest tips from Simon Holt
Check out the latest tips from Simon Holt

Top commentator Simon Holt has been in good form this week and he's back with two best bets for Super Saturday.

Recommended Bets: Saturday

2pts win US Navy Flag in 2.15 Newmarket at 13/2

2pts win Appeared in 3.40 York at 11/1

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US NAVY FLAG, one of the hardest-working horses trained by Aidan O'Brien, can gain further reward for his industry dropped to six furlongs in Saturday's Darley July Cup at Newmarket.

Last year's Middle Park and Dewhurst Stakes winner (both races on the Rowley Mile course), hasn't been able to get his head in front in four starts so far this season but, when fifth in the French Guineas and second in the Irish Guineas, it was clear that a mile was just beyond him.

US Navy Flag had another tough task at that trip last time in the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot and I thought he showed a striking amount of pace under a very aggressive ride from Ryan Moore.

He was still in front just over a furlong from home before fading somewhat predictably, and sprinting could well be the right option now. Indeed, I was slightly surprised that O'Brien wasn't tempted by the Commonwealth Cup at the Royal meeting.

Kings Stand (5f) winner Blue Point is the likely favourite but, while all his other victories have come at six furlongs, there have been other occasions when he hasn't quite got home and last month's performance certainly advertised his speed.

While very smart, I suspect that William Buick's mount could just be a shade vulnerable in the (uphill) closing stages.

Limato and Brando, second and third respectively behind Harry Angel in this race last year, could well be involved again even though the former (and 2016 winner) hasn't really fired so far this season even accounting for running over a mile which probably stretches him.

An on-song Limato would be a major threat to all on his favoured fast surface but Brando has been running a bit better, beating Sir Dancealot in the Abernant Stakes on the Rowley Mile course in April before chasing home Harry Angel at York.

Kevin Ryan's stable-star looked a touch flat behind Merchant Navy at The Curragh on his latest start at the end of May, and his subsequent seven-week absence should have freshened him up.

For me, this could be too much of a step up in class at this stage for the lightly-raced Wokingham runner-up Dreamfield (rated 13lb inferior to Blue Point) while there is little between Eqtidaar and Sands Of Mali, first and second in the Commonwealth Cup.

Aussie raider Redkirk Warrior showed little sparkle when unplaced (along with Sir Dancealot and Spirit Of Valor) in the Diamond Jubilee.

14
12
39-0OR: 113D
8/1
Last RunWatch last race

At York, APPEARED looks another very interesting contender dropped in trip in the 59th John Smith's Cup.

This very useful six-year-old has run well in the last two runnings of the Duke Of Edinburgh Handicap at Royal Ascot over a mile and a half and was just in front over a furlong out last month having travelled smoothly only to be outstayed, losing two places in the final furlong, behind the re-opposing Dash Of Spice (Sir Chauvelin second, Thundering Blue 11th) on his first outing for ten months.

Dash Of Spice will be well fancied to follow up here, but may have to be ridden quite aggressively dropping back in trip whereas, for the selection (on 5lb better terms), this could be ideal.

Appeared should have no problems with this course either having scored here in 2016 (1m4f) when striking the front well over a furlong out, and in one or two other races at that longer trip he has finished a little tamely.

Although a bit disappointing last time, Thundering Blue was a convincing winner over this course and distance in May and, while 7lb higher this time, is likely to run much better providing he gets a clear run.

Meanwhile, this trip definitely looks on the sharp side for Ascot runner-up Sir Chauvelin and, in contrast, Royal Hunt Cup (1m) runner-up Afaak needs to prove he can stay.

4
20
69-7OR: 103BFC
9/1
Last RunWatch last race

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