Simon Holt's free horse racing betting preview and tips

Simon Holt fancies Durston this weekend
Simon Holt fancies Durston this weekend

Racing commentator Simon Holt previews Saturday's action, with selections at Newbury and Newmarket.

Recommended bets

2pts win Durston in 2.25 Newbury at 5/1

2pts win Chatham House in 2.45 Newmarket at 6/1

The fields have cut up a bit at Newbury on Saturday, not least in the Unibet Geoffrey Freer Stakes in which my fancy DURSTON can defy the official ratings.

On the figures, David Simcock's three-year-old has a good deal to find, but he is improving fast and went up another 6lb for his narrow defeat by the equally progressive Sir Ron Priestley at Goodwood last time.

Held up towards the rear that day, it was impressive how Durston swept through the field leaving the clear impression that this is a talented horse, and he's one that will be well suited by the likely cut in the ground here having been very impressive on his previous start under such conditions at Chester.

Of course, this is a jump in grade but in a modest renewal and, with his three-year-old allowance, Jamie Spencer's mount could well emerge as a smart middle distance stayer.

Clear on the figures is Morando, despite having to concede weight all round as a result of his runaway defeat of last year's St Leger winner Kew Gardens at Chester in May on his much favoured soft surface.

This is a big drop in class compared to last month's King George, but he showed nothing at all at Ascot and a previous fourth in the Hardwicke behind Defoe has not really worked out.

Perhaps he'll be too good, but I feel he is worth taking on at the odds.

None of the other three - Sextant, Sameem or Technician - can be ruled out. Technician's early season form was decent, but a line through Themaxwecan doesn't give him that much in hand over the selection and he was a bit disappointing in the Gordon Stakes last time.

For Sextant and Sameem, both winners of their last two starts, this is also a step up (in theory) and Sextant's wins have come in some fairly uncompetitive races while Sameem's Hamilton victim Persian Moon finished seven lengths behind Durston at Goodwood subsequently - albeit conceding 12lb.

At Newmarket, CHATHAM HOUSE can strike again, after a belated first win last time, in the Unibet Grey Horse Handicap.

Richard Hannon's gelding had become a bit frustrating but travelled easily throughout before comfortably holding off Swift Tempo at Newbury over seven furlongs and his only previous run over six furlongs resulted in one of his best efforts.

With his confidence boosted by the easy Newbury win, he could well become progressive especially as this former free-goer looked much more professional that day when he was held up and got plenty of cover in the early stages.

Posted at 1915 BST on 16/08/19

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