Saturday Selections

1pt win Vale Of Kent in the 2.40 at Newmarket at 5/1

1pt win Smart Champion in the 3.35 at Newcastle at 15/2

1pt win Sherpa in the 7.15 at Curragh at 9/1


VALE OF KENT has already run two fine races over a mile this month and he may be able to make his fitness count back over 7f tomorrow.

Mark Johnston’s tough-as-teak five-year-old landed the Banbury Cup at HQ last July, and five of his seven career victories have come over 7f.

Fourth in the Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot 10 days ago, Vale Of Kent looks well worth trying in this grade and will enjoy ideal ground conditions. Therefore, with a fitness advantage over favourite Limato, he could go very close indeed.

Those who read my Royal Ascot blogs may remember that I suggested backing SMART CHAMPION in the Ascot Stakes, where he ran a fine race to place fourth at 22/1.

Anchored in last place upon turning for home, they simply didn’t go quick enough to put a real emphasis on stamina, and it was too his credit that he managed to run on and hit the frame in such circumstances.

David Simcock’s charge will run off a 2lbs higher mark tomorrow. However, he will return to the scene of his course and distance win in a competitive handicap during February, where he had the re-opposing Carnwennan back in second.

Relatively lightly raced with just 10 starts to his name, I remain convinced that there is more improvement to come and, should they go a good gallop tomorrow, I am confident that he will be finishing well.

SHERPA ran a fine race to place third behind Crossfirehurricane in the Group 3 Gallinule Stakes at the Curragh two weeks ago, and he should prove even better over this further trip.

The chestnut son of Zoffany stayed on well in the closing stages and may even have snatched second but for some minor interference in the final furlong.

That effort suggested that there is further improvement to come and he is obviously entitled to strip fitter for the outing. Therefore he could easily get involved if granted a clear passage.

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