ITV Racing tips: Atalis Bay to back up recent form in Sandown Scurry?
The calm before the storm. A rather low key Saturday of racing beckons before five days of pageantry at Royal Ascot.
Again it won’t look like a normal royal meeting but with 12,000 admitted each day it will be more like a traditional fixture.
Until then ITV is packing in the racing with eight races scheduled on its weekend line-up which straddles Chester, York and Sandown.
The highlights are two Listed races, the Scurry Stakes at Sandown, and the Grand Cup at York, where a 17-runner heritage handicap climaxes the coverage.
If you can tear yourself away from the Euros, it all unfolds from 13:25pm on ITV and we have previewed the three most significant races of the day in our ITV Racing tips.
Four years ago the little known Battaash announced himself as a sprinter of note with an impressive victory in this Listed prize. Whether there is anything of similar potential among this year’s field remains to be seen.
The 5f dash has enticed Steel Bull, last year’s Molecomb Stakes winner, and Queens Carriage, winner of her last three races, across the Irish Sea.
On this occasion the home team can prevail. Atalis Bay showed he was a sprinter on the up when taking second place behind Winter Power at York last time. The winner is a leading hope for the King’s Stand Stakes and the Marco Botti runner, who finished five lengths clear of the third, should be up to giving that form a boost.
A really disappointing field for this staying prize. It rarely attracts a big line-up but four is feeble. The quartet are pretty well matched with Frankie Dettori riding last year’s winner Red Verdon. The eight-year-old has been pretty busy already this year and this will be his sixth start.
This will probably be tactical but Makawee nearly pulled off a victory from the front in a four-runner fillies Listed prize at Goodwood in April and could be best equipped to get the job done here.
As the betting suggests, with bookmakers going 6/1 the field, this looks a wide open handicap. There are any number of potential improvers including a couple from the same stable, the Charlie Hills-trained Dark Shift and Jadwal.
Dark Shift, a relative to G1 winners Ulysses and Shiva, got off the mark for the year with a comfortable victory at Nottingham and still looks well handicapped. Internationaldream could represent each-way value, dropping back down in class after tackling Listed company last time, with claimer Connor Murtagh taking 3lb off.
ITV Racing Schedule, Saturday, 12th June
13:40 Chester – 5f handicap
14:00 York – Queen Mother’s Cup
14:15 Sandown – Scurry Stakes
14:35 York – 7f handicap
14:50 Sandown – 1m handicap
15:05 York – Grand Cup
15:20 Chester – 1m4½f handicap
15:40 York – 6f handicap
All odds and markets are correct as of the date of publishing.