Hierarchy can uphold form with Ehraz
The Listed Carnarvon Stakes for three-year-olds over 6f at 13:35 is a wide-open contest with the top eight in the betting rated within 8lb of each other. I think the highest rated of the runners, Hierarchy looks overpriced at 6.511/2. Hugo Palmer has had a cracking start to life at his new base of Manor House Stables with both new recruits and his previous inmates that he's taken up to Cheshire with him.
Hierarchy is one who has followed Hugo Palmer north after each of his six career starts have come under his trainership. He was a winner of his first two outings before continuing his progression in Group company. He finished third in the Group 3 Sirenia Stakes at Kempton before going on to be a head second in the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes.
His sixth-place finish in the Grade 2 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint was another brilliant effort on his final two-year-old outing.
He reappeared with a solid second behind Go Bears Go in the Group 3 Commonwealth Cup Trial Stakes over Ascot's 6f trip. He held the reopposing Ehraz by nearly two-lengths behind in third which is form likely to be upheld.
Hierarchy's career best performance came over this course and distance last season and this son of Mehmas is a solid contender back here with the best form on offer in the race.
River can make all to win
There are just 10 runners in Newmarket's 0-105 Handicap for three-year-olds over 6f at 14:25 which is an intriguing contest. I ran the trends on this race which, on initial assessment, barely helped me to narrow down a selection. Instead, I was left with four runners- which of course, is no help to anyone in a 10-runner contest... However, on further inspection I homed in on certain factors worth siding with which left me on one.
In terms of the trends to look at for this race, it pays to firstly, side with a horse rated as close to 95 as possible. This trend shows that this a weaker renewal than usual with the top-rated running off a mark of 94 who is the current outsider of the field in Romantic Time.
Prominent racers have a good record in the contest which begged questions of the likes of Romantic Time, Harry Three and Ernie's Valentine straight away. The draw hasn't proven a significant factor in recent renewals and again, isn't likely to have a major baring on Saturday with the small size field.
Coming into the race on the back of one start in the season is another plus and ideally, that latest outing came over this course and distance. It's worth siding with a horse who placed last time out with that run coming two weeks to one month ago.
Even with these variables, it was difficult to find one horse who fitted all the trends. Therefore, I weighed up which factors would likely prove most pivotal. I'm expecting a good recent outing and the most suitable running style to be the most important.
Therefore, with a whole host of hold up performers, I'm hoping the race will work out perfectly for River Pride to make all. Richard Hannon's filly is a fair price considering her chances at 10.09/1 with Betfair's Money Back Special, as she bids to continue her upward trajectory of improvement.
River Pride gained her first career success on her penultimate start at Chelmsford in November when a surprise winner at 33/1 of a Nursery Handicap. However, the filly by Oasis Dream proved that was no fluke by improving on her reappearance start to post a career best effort to win at Salisbury.
She made all in both of her victories and I'm expecting her to implement similar tactics again here. The Guineas meeting showed us that pace was key with plenty of winners making most of the running.
If that bias transpires into this meeting, that should see River Pride there with a huge chance.
Chance two in London Gold Cup
Newbury's London Gold Cup Handicap for three-year-olds over 1m2f at 14:45 has one of the bigger fields on Saturday. This race has been won by plenty of likeable types down the years who spring boarded their three-year-old campaigns with success in this handicap.
This race has previously gone to horses such as, Headman, Defoe, Time Test and Al Kazeem to name just a few. This is certainly a race to follow for the season and the line-up looks as competitive as ever.
Once again, I have assessed the trends for this race where it pays to side with a horse rated 85-90, who has had one run this season with that start coming three to five weeks ago. There is no real running style that lends itself to this race and the draw also, hasn't played a significant factor in recent renewals.
When looking at what a horse achieved on their latest start, it's interesting that finishing first in a novice or a maiden last time out is a positive. If failing that, placing in a handicap or running in a higher-class race is also worth assessing.
These factors have landed me on two runners, the first being Israr who is having his second start in a handicap for John and Thady Gosden. This son of Muhaarar has three career starts where he's improved with each outing. He comes here on the back of one run this season when making his handicap debut where he finished third of seven on his first try at this trip at Newmarket.
He was beaten by the smart Educator who is now rated 90 and High Fibre in second who has a mark of 89. Israr is able to remain on the same rating of 89 here but looks capable of more progression on this step up in grade.
He showed plenty of signs of greenness on that latest outing when not handling the undulations at Newmarket. He should be far happier at Newbury and is a horse to keep on side.
My second selection for the race is a bigger price at 10.09/1 but has a very similar profile to Israr. That horse being Inverness who also, has just three career starts to his name. Unlike Israr, he is making his handicap debut here but is running off the same mark of 89.
The similarities continue with the fact that Inverness also has had just the sole start this season with that run coming three and a half weeks ago.
Inverness faced a much sterner test on his reappearance however, as he was thrown into the Listed Blue Riband Trial which is one of the Derby trials. That race was won by the likeable Nahanni who is a 25/1 shot for the Epsom Classic. Inverness was sent off at 22/1 for that race and was never able to feature after being ridden in rear. He didn't look to handle the test of the track that day but still showed a good attitude to respond to pressure well.
He is finally facing a more conventional track for the first time in his career which should suit him much more. His opening mark looks a very fair one and there should be far more to come from him over this trip.