Where to Watch Racing this Weekend
June 15, 2018
Another weekend, another truckload of horse racing action to enjoy across the country!
Make no mistake, the sport of kings is continuing to deliver considerable entertainment on a weekly basis throughout the UK, with seven flat races and two jump meeting scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.
In this article, we’ll look at the standout meetings this weekend, while appraising the key runners and riders in each one!
York, Saturday 16th June
We start with an outstanding flat meeting at York on Saturday, 16th June, which will include seven high quality and evenly-matched races.
The pick of these is the Sky Bet Grand Cup Stakes, which is a Class I race that will see eight runners compete for a first prize of £28,355. Run over a length of one mile and five furlongs, it will provide a significant test for those fortunate enough to compete.
One of the initial front-runners is John Gosden’s four-year old colt Weekender, who can currently be backed at a starting price of around 5/2. This talented runner has placed twice in his two 2018 outings to date, winning impressively at Chelmsford City on 10th May before coming third in a competitive field of eight at Sandown last time out.
His Chelmsford win came over a similar distance to the York track, so he’s well worth a flutter this time around.
Hughie Morrison’s five-year old Marmelo may also fancy his chances, however, although odds of 15/8 may not be enticing to punters. His odds will certainly have shortened after an impressive second place finish at Longchamp on 27th May, while fans may also remember that he won over a similar distance at Deauville last August.
He’s only raced once in the last eight months however, while he finished fifth in a field of eight during his last outing at York more than a year ago.
Chester, Saturday 16th June
On the same day, there’s another eye-catching flat race meeting scheduled to take place across the Pennines in Chester.
This will feature another seven races, including the standout, Class II City of London Handicap at 14:40. This race carries a first prize of £18,052, and seven select runners will compete for this impressive haul.
Mark Johnston’s Austrian School may well start as the favourite here, with his current odds of 7/2 seemingly reaffirming this. While he may have finished a disappointing fourth last time out at Doncaster, he won his previous two outings in 2018 at Chelmsford City and Chester respectively.
The win at Chester on 10th May could well prove to be telling, while there’s no doubt that this talented, three-year old colt excels over one mile, five furlongs.
Elsewhere, the William Haggas trained Istanbul Sultan could well represent a viable each-way bet. This three-year old gelding is currently priced at a tempting 3/1, while he also performs well over flat despite his relative inexperience.
He placed second in a tough field of seven last time out at Wetherby, for example, while his victory at identical odds and over a similar distance at Goodwood last October should certainly stand out in the minds of punters.
Salisbury, Sunday 17th June
Father’s Day Racing at Salisbury is sure to be a highlight on Sunday, 17th June, while it’s certainly a calendar favourite for punters in the area.
This seven-race flat meeting features several fascinating contests, including the stellar, Class I EBF Cathedral Stakes. This listed race has a total prize fund in excess of £50,000, while 13 runners will compete here over a distance of just six furlongs in what is sure to be a keenly-contested sprint.
If you’re looking to back a winner, Michael Easterby’s Perfect Pasture could well be a viable option. This eight-year old gelding certainly has an outstanding pedigree, particularly over shorter sprint distances.
As if to reaffirm this, he won superbly last time out at Doncaster over six furlongs in March, while he has also won three of his last four races dating back to October. He placed second in a field of 14 in his other outing at Doncaster during this period, so he’ll start as the clear favourite here.
Owen Burrows’ three-year old colt Shabaaby may also be worth a punt, however, particularly from an each-way perspective. He earned repute for consecutive flat race wins at Newmarket and Doncaster last summer, while he’s placed fourth and fifth in his last two outings at York and Newbury respectively.
He also made his debut at Salisbury in June of last year, so he’ll certainly have fond memories of the course.