Simon Holt's Saturday Newbury and Ripon selections

Last Updated August 19 2017, 14:30Racing
Librisa Breeze can win at Newbury
Librisa Breeze can win at Newbury

Racing commentator Simon Holt is backing Librisa Breeze in Saturday's Hungerford Stakes at Newbury.

Recommended bets: Simon Holt

2pts Librisa Breeze 3.35 Newbury at best morning price

2pts win Robero 3.15 Ripon at best morning price

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LIBRISA BREEZE, who saw about as much daylight as a badger when unplaced at Goodwood last time, can bounce back in Saturday's Group Two Hungerford Stakes at Newbury, and prove himself the best seven-furlong horse in the country in the process.

The popular grey has developed into a fine, strapping beast and, after a hugely successful 2016 campaign, looked ready to pick up where he left off when returning with a strong-finishing fourth behind The Tin Man in the six furlong Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.

Drawn wide at Goodwood on his sole start since, regular partner Robert Winston dropped Librisa Breeze in and rode for luck which proved elusive whereas Breton Rock (now 3lb worse off) produced a 50/1 upset having been kept wide.

The latter, successful in this race in 2014, is not to be dismissed on a course he enjoys but there can be little doubt that he was the beneficiary of a clean run that day whereas, with a clearer passage, I have little doubt that the selection would have gone very close.

The tables can be turned this time.

In fact, a bigger danger to Librisa Breeze could be John Gosden's three-year-old filly Daban, who was having just her fourth career start when sixth in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Off since, the daughter of Acclamation's two career victories, including in the Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket in April, have come when fresh and her third to Winter in the 1000 Guineas in May suggests that she warrants plenty of respect.

Dabana (left) is a danger
Dabana (left) is a danger

At Ripon, the draw can be an important factor in the course's featured William Hill Great St Wilfrid Handicap but, from stall 11 of the 20 runners, Tom Queally should have options aboard the progressive ROBERO.

Mick Easterby's five-year-old has gone up 20lb in the official ratings this season, winning impressively over this six-furlong trip at Ascot and Pontefract having hitherto been campaigned over slightly longer distances.

Robero ran as if not quite so effective over seven when fifth under a penalty in the Bunbury Cup last time and looks capable of further improvement in races like this where a fast pace is almost guaranteed.

As usual, the Stewards Cup form features strongly in the Great St Wilfrid line-up; at Goodwood, the now top-weighted Growl was beaten about a length into fourth by Lancelot Du Lac with Shanghai Glory running a very good race in fifth despite meeting trouble in running.

Still quite lightly raced for a sprint handicapper, the latter could go well here in the hands of Jamie Spencer, though it remains to be seen if he is well drawn in stall 15.

Amongst the low numbers is six-time course winner Pipers Note, who can be expected to perform a bit better than when fourth at last Saturday's Shergar Cup now returned to his favourite course.

Posted at 1050 BST on 18/08/17

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