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Saturday’s ITV Racing tips - Four overpriced contenders worth backing at Newbury and Newmarket

Jonathan Vine 17 May 2019
I Can Fly (left) comes close to upsetting Roaring Lion in last season's QEII.

Our expert takes a look through all of Saturday’s televised races and highlights four outsiders for punters to keep an eye on at Newbury and Newmarket on Saturday 18th May.

The Group One Lockinge Stakes headlines a tremendous afternoon of racing across two famous courses on Saturday. Along with the Lockinge, racegoers at Newbury will take in races like the Shalaa Carnarvon Stakes and the London Gold Cup, with attendees at Newmarket also being treated to a couple of strong Listed races.

Our expert has taken a closer look at four of Saturday’s major races and highlighted four outsiders he feels have been significantly overlooked.

1:50pm Newbury Shalaa Carnarvon Stakes (Listed Race) 6f

Moyassar and Khaadem are the two talking horses heading into this Listed race and both are worth tracking during the rest of the season. Great Prospector was the 25/1 outsider of the bunch when he won this race 12 months ago, so it’s certainly worth looking down the betting for some extra value and the name that sticks out, for me, is KONCHEK.

As a two-year-old, Clive Cox’s colt was very competitive in some high-quality races without managing to get his nose ahead of the competition. Konchek finished second in the National Stakes and a two-length runner-up to Advertise in the July Stakes at Newmarket. Results tailed off a little towards the back-end of the year, but there was still plenty of encouraging signs for connections moving forwards and Cox decided wind surgery would help his charge improve heading into the new season.

Konchek made his reappearance in the Pavilion Stakes at Newmarket last month. Calyx was simply far too good for his rivals that day, with Konchek passing the post third as the other seven runners stumbled over the line in a heap. This represents a decent drop in quality compared to that Group Three and a wide draw shouldn’t really hinder Konchek's chances.

3:00pm Newbury Al Zubarah London Gold Cup Handicap (Class 2) 1m2f

Last year’s renewal of the London Gold Cup turned out to be a very good contest, with the winner, Communique reaching a level of 114 recently after winning this handicap off 84. While there are plenty of potentially quality operators near the head of the market, RIVIERA NIGHTS is a horse I want to keep onside this season and he has the ability to run well beyond his odds.

Richard Hannon’s mount finished third behind Middle Park runner-up, Jash over six furlongs last season, before sauntering to a couple of convincing victories. On his first start of the new season, Riviera Nights belayed odds of 12/1 to finish third in a hot Conditions Stakes at Kempton - with the two horses who finished ahead of him going on to take part in the British and French 2000 Guineas respectively.

By Kingman, there’s plenty in Riviera Nights breeding to suggest his progression is only going to continue over the coming months. There’s enough pace drawn around Riviera Nights to allow Jim Crowley’s mount to find a prominent position early on and, if he gets the trip, he could be tough to pass in the closing stages.

3:15pm Newmarket Betway Handicap (Class 2) 6f

 In a similar contest earlier this month, Moyassar ran out a convincing winner. Third behind Saturday’s Shalaa Carnarvon Stakes favourite that day was JAMES WATT and first-time blinkers could help Michael Bell’s handicapper build on that encouraging display.

James Watt ran in several big juvenile handicaps during 2018, placing in the Knights Nursery Handicap at Ascot and in Redcar’s Two-Year-Old Trophy. Hayley Turner's mount has settled down since a gelding operation during the winter and relished the drop back to six-furlongs on his most recent appearance.

These sprint handicaps can be somewhat of a lottery, with the draw often playing a deciding factor. The fast-starting Top Breeze, drawn on his immediate inside, should give James Watt a lovely toe into the contest and a repeat of his run two weeks ago should see James Watt go close.

3:40pm Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series) 1m

While this renewal of the Lockinge is certainly intriguing, there’s a lack of star quality in the mile division, with Laurens the only proven Group One performer in the field. Aidan O’Brien won this race with filly, Rhododendron last season and it’s a surprise to see another Ballydoyle filly, I CAN FLY sitting so far down the betting - considering the form of her yard and the display she put in behind Roaring Lion on Champions Day last season.

All eyes were on John Gosden’s charge that day, with few predicting the favourite would suffer defeat in the QEII. Just when the Roaring Lion camp thought their charge had done enough, I Can Fly came surging down the inside rail and came within a neck of spoiling the Qatar Racing party.

Since then, I Can Fly has demolished a modest field at Dundalk and finished a long way behind Almond Eye in the Dubai Turf, where a slow start put an early end to her chances. She's well drawn, goes on the ground and certainly won’t be making the pace for Le Brivido. I see no reason why I Can Fly can’t mount a winning challenge.

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Saturday’s ITV Racing tips - Four overpriced contenders worth backing at Newbury and Newmarket

Our expert takes a look through all of Saturday’s televised races and highlights four outsiders for punters to keep an eye on at Newbury and Newmarket on Saturday 18th May.

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