Saturday’s racing tips – 3/1 NAP to prove himself superior at Haydock
Our expert takes a look through all of Saturday’s televised races and highlights a classy performer in the Superior Mile at Haydock as his NAP of the day with Coral.
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2:25pm Haydock Bet In Play On The Betfair Exchange Superior Mile Stakes (Group Three) 1m
While soft ground lovers like Miss O’Connor and Here Comes When have to be considered, I’d be disappointed if SHARJA BRIDGE (NAP) didn’t score as he drops down in class and his current price of 3/1 is simply too good to pass up.
Roger Varian’s five-year-old produced a career-best display to win the Balmoral Handicap on his final start of last season, powering home to pip Escobar to the post after being stuck behind a wall of rivals for much of the race. Sharja Bridge then cruised to an expected victory on his reappearance in the Listed Doncaster Mile, earning himself a crack at the bet365 Mile at Sandown the following month.
Andrea Atzeni’s mount was backed into favouritism on the day and ran another excellent race, losing out to the ill-fated Beat The Bank by just a neck. Two outings in Group Ones have followed, but Varian’s charge lost comfortably in both the Lockinge and the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot.
Following that defeat, Varian decided to put Sharja Bridge through a gelding operation and his five-year-old hasn’t been seen since. Varian is extremely good at extracting improvement out of older horses, Defoe being the prime example, who went on to win the Coronation Cup and the Hardwicke following a gelding operation of his own earlier in the campaign.
Sharja Bridge showed a superb turn of foot on the soft Ascot ground to win the Balmoral, so I doubt Saturday’s going will knock Varian’s confidence. He should be a little too classy for his rivals in this year’s Superior Stakes.