Kevin Blake

Saturday Racing Tips: Kevin Blake goes for Passion and Glory at Newbury

Horse racing tipster Kevin Blake
Kevin is backing two at Newbury

Expert tipster Kevin Blake tips up two value bets on the flat at Newbury this Saturday...

  • Kevin's tips for Newbury
  • Ralph Beckett's slow burner's time has come
  • Saeed Bin Suroor runner to challenge Hamish

This weekend plays host to one of the last big clashes of the Flat and National Hunt worlds as we transition from one code to the other. The final Group 1 of the British Flat season takes place at Doncaster just as Cheltenham returns to our screens. Something for everyone, as the cliché goes!

My own analysis will continue to focus on the Flat for as long as possible, as while the Flat form book can get turned on its head by softening ground and horses losing form at the end of a long season, I would consider that the lesser of the two difficulties compared with guessing on fitness levels and form of returning National Hunt horses.

Beckett's slow burner to strike

The first race of interest is the Virgin Bet Horris Hill Stakes at Newbury (13:50) and it could well be a race that is shaped by the prevailing conditions. At the time of writing the ground at Newbury is already soft and they are due more heavy showers, so this could end up being a right slog for these two-year-olds.

There are some lovely once and twice-raced prospects in the race, but their inexperience is a negative in what will be testing conditions, so my preference is for a much more hardened option in the Ralph Beckett-trained Grey's Monument.

The son of Territories has been a slow burner to say the least, being beaten in his first four starts and only coming good when first-time blinkers were applied in a nursery off a mark of 76 at Haydock on his penultimate start.

However, the application of blinkers seems to have had a transformative effect on him, as he has improved an astonishing 20lb in his last two starts, bolting up that day at Haydock and following up in even better style in a valuable nursery at York.

He stays further than this, is likely to relish the testing ground and will be given a straightforward positive ride. All the experience that he has acquired in his six starts will stand to him and it wouldn't be a surprise if he outstays all of his opposition.

Back Grey's Monument 13:50 Newbury @

7.4

Passion and Glory can upset short-priced favourite

The other race of interest is also at Newbury, the Virgin Bet St Simon Stakes (14:25). Hamish will clearly be tough to beat on what are his favoured ground conditions, but his price is plenty short and I prefer the Saeed Bin Suroor-trained Passion And Glory at a much bigger price.

There is only 5lb between them on official ratings and Passion And Glory receives 3lb from Hamish, so the task he faces isn't as stiff as their differential in price suggests.

Back Passion and Glory win and place 14:25 Newbury @

6.5

As well as that, Passion And Glory has an excellent record on ground softer than good and won on heavy ground earlier in his career. He comes into this off the back of a solid run at Newmarket and with him being a straightforward positive ride, he might well make Hamish work very hard to catch him.

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