The Weekends Racing – By The Sportsman Racing

The weekend witnesses a hiatus of top-class racing following last week’s Derby meeting and the beauty of Royal Ascot to come. Not a Listed contest in sight this weekend across nine UK cards. Nevertheless the pursuit of winners goes on and below I detail a few horses who can boost the betting banks.

Kicking off at the headquarters of racing in the 3.30 at Newmarket Luca Cumani’s Spifer can finish with a customary late burst of acceleration to win the Class 2 handicap. Far from bomb-proof with his quirky character the four-year old son of Motivator was disappointing when out of the frame on his seasonal reappearance at York. However, Spifer had proven progressive in 2011 culminating with a short head second to Barbican in the Ladbrokes Mobile Handicap at Asot and deserves a second chance to prove his worth.
In Doncaster’s opener at 2.05 I expect Grey Mirage to run a big race. Marco Botti’s youngster is well regarded in the yard though admittedly wouldn’t like the ground on the fast side. Having arrived from Italy last season he ran too green on his first two outings to do himself justice. Grey Mirage has strengthened up as a three-year old with success on Kempton’s polytrack followed by a win in the Class 2 Esher Cup at Sandown where he was lengthening away from useful opponents at the post, proving his improvement.
At Chester in the 3.10 Area Fifty One is a front runner capable of landing the £30k Class 2 handicap prize if granted a reasonable draw. It’s a competitive affair over 1m 2f but Richard Fahey’s horse made a promising seasonal return at York before tiring at the business end of the race. Area Fifty One will strip fitter for this race and a recent gelding operation should aid his cause.
Before the sun sets , Shantaram can shed his maiden tag in Newcastle’s 8.45. A brother to 2000 Guineas third Gan Ambras and with his dam being a half-sister to smart United Arab Emirates performer Parole Board this three-year old can get any losing punters out of jail on the day. Shantaram was a highly encouraging second on debut at Sandown, running green before finishing strongly when the penny dropped as to why he was on a racecourse. Shantaram has had more seconds than Billy Bunter subsequently with a total of three runners-up prizes from three career races. His last outing however was his best showing yet with a 3/4 length defeat to Main Sequence who was beaten only by the superlative Camelot in the dandified company of the Derby.
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