ITV Races

Alan Dudman Antepost Tips: Three handicap tips at 16/1, 14/1 and 25/1 for Saturday

Newmarket Racecourse
The July Cup is the headline race this Saturday at Newmarket

Alan Dudman takes an early look at the markets for Saturday's action at Newmarket and York...

Inisherin tops the antepost book for July Cup

Last week's Antepost Column revolved around City Of Troy and the options to take him on, fast forward a week and this weekend is a bit more like it. We'll deal with the July Cup on Saturday plus two for the handicappers - or one from the top and two from the bottom - with the Bunbury and John Smith's.

Weather watch for Newmarket - mixed. Rain is forecast a couple of days this week, plus on the Saturday more is predicted, so it will be foolish to ignore a horse with softer going capabilities.

Inisherin won the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot, and by dint of that, plus being a three-year-old in receipt of weight, he's in as the 7/42.75 favourite for the July Cup. That price doesn't interest me, nor does the Commonwealth Cup form as it looked a poor renewal, and far from worthy of a Group 1.

The two that interest me the most are Regional and Kinross, and both are priced 6s.

Regional was second in the King Charles III Stakes at the Royal meeting, and the 5f looked on the sharp side with the way he stayed on behind Aussie mare Asfoora. But my antipodean friends tell me Asfoora would barely make the top 10 in Oz against their 'A Grade" sprinters. However, that's where we are with the state of play in the sprint division - it isn't great.

The only fear with Regional is most of his form, and indeed most of his racing has been away from anything with soft in the description.

Kinross is the one that comes from a different angle, and he just about shades it for me in terms of a bet at this stage.

In terms of ratings he'd be bang there, and his third in the July Cup won by Shaquille last year gives him a massive shot of going two places better.

He won't mind rain at all - in fact more the merrier with his form and ability to stay over further, and it was plain to see that he needed his run in the Chipchase last time out at Newcastle.

Hector Crouch said of that Newcastle effort: "He hit the front and then just got tired in the last half-furlong. We've been run down by a race-fit rival, who's no slouch, and Kinross is right where we want him to be. He's going to step forward and he's got bigger targets."

We're banking on the weather too with him, and remember, he was effortless in winning the Sprint on Champions Day in 2022, a day the rains came for him and he travelled super smooth.

Rebel with a cause for Bunbury Cup

Rewind 35 minutes, and at 16:00 on Saturday is the Bunbury Cup and we've got four places on the Sportsbook at this early stage of the week to ponder over with a couple of bigger priced ideas.

One such is Rebel Territory at 16/117.00 - a cracking each-way bet for me here if there's some juice in the going for Saturday.

He could turn out to be a real 7f specialist, as he has only raced twice over the distance and won both of them, and both were last year in a light campaign.

Rebel Territory won on his reappearance on the Newmarket Rowley Mile last April, and backed it up with another win in the Victoria Cup, and boy that was some win too by 4L and he slammed Biggles (last year's Bunbury Cup winner) by a big margin into second.

Now, the lay-off of 427 is a massive worry, but the fact he won "off the shelf" last year encourages me, and the key to him has been the drop down in distance to 7f.

My digging unearthed nothing in terms of his well-being, but he can sit on the pace, and there'll be plenty of it on Saturday.

Wait and see if Cogitate gets in for Saturday

Another at an even bigger price is the Charles Hills-trained Cogitate, and he's at 25/126.00.

I was quite interested in him at Royal Ascot in the Britannia, and for his first run in a handicap, that would have been a real culture to shock to ambling around in small fields.

His appearance at the Royal meeting saw him off 93, which on the face of it could be quite stiff, but he'd had a go in Group 3 company in the Acomb as a juvenile at York and subsequently ran into Night Raider at Southwell.

On those two runs, he was still learning as he hung at Southwell and was too headstrong at York. He needs to iron out those tendencies if he is to live up to the promise of his debut win at Newbury last term. And that was a good effort as he beat Boiling Point in that comprehensively by 2L, and Boiling Point is now rated in the high 100s.

On that run he could be well treated on 93.

He was 53 on the list at the time of writing on Monday, so it's a bet to be struck in the hope that plenty come out, but with the change in weather, there is a chance.

Cogitate's run at Ascot saw him race over the far side and was fifth of 10 in his group, where as the action down the centre in the split of three proved to be the place to be.

Hills said of his charge, or tearaway from last year: "He's a beautiful looking horse, he has the size and scope and looks to have a big future ahead of him. He qualifies now for the Acomb and that could be a good step. We've won that a couple of times before with Dutch Connection and Phoenix Of Spain so that might be the route he takes."

I think there's a good horse in there, and he's by Churchill. I only found out recently that Winston saw in the day every morning with a glass of Pol Roger Champagne - and if he wins at 25s, we might be able to afford at least a thimble of the good stuff.

Bolster the bank for Saturday with John Smith's pick

The weather could be even wetter for York on Saturday and the John Smith's Cup is always a great punting race on a busy Saturday.

We're 6/17.00 "the field" for this year's renewal and La Yakel has to be of interest for William Haggas who has three wins in the race since 2011 - all four year-olds incidentally.

He was an intended runner at Haydock on Saturday before they had bend problems, and there could be an argument to say the weather might play to his strengths even more with the changeable forecast. He's a runner that must need some give in the ground.

Priced at 14/115.00, he is one I'd like to keep onside and there isn't a problem with him over 1m2f or 1m4f.

Bolster is one who certainly wants cut, and at 14s too, I want to back him. He is double-entered as he has an entry in the Summer Mile at Ascot on the same day, but his trainer Karl Burke might be able to chisel out a handicap win from 106 before another try in Group company.

I backed him at the Curragh last time in the Group 3 International Stakes, and I had no issue with the ground as it was officially soft to yielding, but Jan Brueghel looked a smart stayer in winning and there were no excuses in terms of class. The only frustration was that he didn't lead.

It will be hard to dominate Saturday in terms of making the pace, but if it goes soft, I think 14s is far too big considering Burke thought he was a Group 3 horse.

Now read more tips from Betfair's writers for this week

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