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Horse racing Look out for an absolute Korker this weekend

Racing with Farringdon

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THE recent wet weather is naturally going to have a massive effect on racing this weekend and although Haydock is set for a drying 24 hours up to this afternoon’s action, the ground will still be on the testing side.

That kind of set-up is sure to suit Vadream in the Group Two, Betfred Temple Stakes at 1.50, but her price has been well and truly taken since Tuesday and the value call against her is surely another mare, MARAKOVA.


Ed Walker’s charge made great progress last season when running well in a series of group two and one events after landing the Listed Land O’Burns Fillies’ Stakes at Ayr. A cracking running on second to Ponntos in the Prix de saint Georges at Longchamp two weeks ago, she looks way too big at a top price of 25/1 and looks worthy of a solid each-way play.


I was hoping to back Racingbreaks Ryder in the Betfred Hat-Trick Heaven Handicap at 3.00, but Charlie Hills ran him on Friday at Goodwood and this fair prize has surprisingly only attracted a small field of seven after 20 plus were originally entered.


I am happy to forgive the recent Chester run of METABOLT and he looks the play here off bottom weight equating to a mark of just 82. A winner over the course and distance, he had the excuse of losing a shoe last time out and as long as there is some kind of pace in the race I expect the son of Night of Thunder to revel in the conditions and take care of the likes of mudlark Zip from the in from Richard Fahey yard and likely favourite English Oak.


The two-mile Betfred Nifty Fifty Hell Nook Handicap at 3.30 is going to be a real test of stamina over the two miles and right down at the foot of the weights course and distance winner ZIMMERMAN has outstanding claims. All this five-year-old does is lengthen and stay and he is much better off at the weights with Cinnodin on that success. Of his other rivals, I have the most respect for outsider Greyful Storm, Darryll Holland tries cheek pieces on his charge for the first time and if that does the trick there is little doubt that he looks very well handicapped.


The other race that interested me at the Merseyside course was the was the Group Two Betfred Supports Jack Berry House Sandy Lane Stakes at 2.25. The unbeaten Vandeek makes the market here at a shade of odds-on so with the dead eight in the field this surely requires an each-way play and I think that ORNE fits that bill.


John Gosden’s charge has been racing over a lot further, but has always travelled strongly through his races and the anticipated soft ground certainly won’t prove a problem. Worth noting he has never run over six furlongs in his career, but this set-up could see him run well at a big price.


There are some very challenging handicaps on the card at York, none more so than the opening 22-runner William Hill Keep Your Raceday Positive Handicap over six furlongs at 1.35.


Veterans Gulliver and Roundhay Park are the two course and distance winners in the field and the recent rain will have aided both their chances, but I really like the look of recent Windsor winner TIRIAC. He pulled way too hard on his previous run, but settled nicely at the Berkshire track and saw his race out well. A 6lbs penalty looks fair enough, but the fast pace here should help him get into a lovely rhythm and he gets the vote to beat his senior rivals here.


Over the minimum trip, we go up to class two level for the William Hill Extra Place Races Daily Handicap at 2.45 and I fancy the classy KORKER to give weight away all round.


The five-year-old came from some way back when a never nearer fourth of 17 behind Clarendon House over the course and distance a week ago and gets the chance to run off the same mark again. I shall also be having a saver on the very well weighted LETHAL NYMPH who looks very well treated. He was racing off a high off 96 this time last year and with Aiden Brookes taking 5lbs off here the each-way play is now set to race off 77.


Later on, SAFETY CATCH (3.20) looks a solid each-way play in the William Hill Bronte Stakes, a Group Three over a mile-and-three-quarters and DECEIVER in the closing seven-furlong event in a huge field at 5.05.


The latter selection pulled way too hard at Nottingham on May 11, but Jim Crowley should be able to settle him in midfield here with a likely fast pace on his 17-box draw probably dictating that he needs to slot in behind runners. Of the remainder in this huge field, Oso Rapido should go well from a single slot draw, while should the track receive much more rain then the mudlark Broken Spear would also come into the equation.


That Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas (Curragh, 3.40) has plenty of questions to answer. I am of the opinion that Newmarket runner-up Rosallion needs to relax more in his races to get the tough mile here, while in complete contrast Aiden O’Brien’s River Tiber looks more of a pure sprinter in my eyes and could be a Commonwealth Cup horse at Royal Ascot. That has led me to having an each-way play here in the form of HAATEM, third behind his stable-mate at headquarters. He will relish this climb home and can land this classic before being stepped up to a mile-and-a-quarter in due course.


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