The Weekends Racing – by The Sportsman Racing

Andrew Thornton on The Listener - 2005 Second favourite Laahag is trained by John Gosden who landed the race in 2009 with the unexposed Expresso Star and Laahag fits a similar profile. The big concern is heavy ground which would ruin his hopes. Classy four-year old Shamaal Nibras enjoys soft ground and Richard Hannon jnr boldly declared this week “he should go very close, he’s done plenty and is working well”. The horse must have a big chance having seen off the 114-rated Gregorian in a soft-ground conditions event last season. David O’Meara is a Northern trainer going places and his big hope for the race is Hit The Jackpot. Winner of two decent York handicaps last term he struggled with the company he was keeping in the Cambridgeshire but will find this more to his liking. Don’t be put off with the horse not having been seen on the track for the best part of a year – he’s fit and ready to go. Strictly Silver wouldn’t like the ground heavy but otherwise should run well being in good form and with useful apprentice Robert Tart on board. Belgian Bill is a lengthy colt who finished a powerful fourth to Sagramor in the Brittania Stakes at Royal Ascot and along with Eshtibaak cannot be discounted in this annual cavalry charge. In conclusion, Captain Bertie is the selection at 7-1 but it’s a very difficult conundrum to solve and stakes should be kept to a minimum. At Newbury, over the sticks, Loch Ba should be followed in Newbury’s 3.30. Mick Channon’s horse is a fast improving youngster who has won two races from four this term. Unlucky in his big test at the Festival when unseating in the JLT Speciality Chase, Loch Ba shall still be fresh hence his reappearance here. The horse is better racing left-handed, with his record – fifth, second and first and Newbury will suit.]]>