Early Bird – 30th June

12:20 Newcastle – Shanghai Glory

Early start for us on Saturday with a class 2 sprint on the a/w at Newcastle. A good betting opportunity though with Shanghai Glory likely to put up a bold showing. Still only a 5yo though seems to have been about a long while. Showed some good form the last couple of years, the highlight when winning a Curragh listed race as a 3yo. That saw its handicap mark penalised for its 4yo campaign and into the 100s. Fifth in the Stewards Cup was a great effort though whilst it followed up with 3rd in the Great St Wilfred, though winning the race on its side. a couple of disappointing runs at the backend of last season saw it star the year of a mark of 99 which quickly dropped to 97 after a poor showing. However, it has shown in the past that it often needs a run to get it fit and put that behind it when 3rd at Epsom last time out despite not getting a run in the final two furlongs until about 50 yards from home where it ran on too late. This mark definitely looks winnable considering what it did last year and still has plenty of time on its side as a 5yo. Also, if they have plans on another tilt at the Stewards Cup, one of the most valuable handicaps in this country, let alone over 6f then it may well need a big run to get in. Last year only five horses ran whose official rating was less than 100, so three digits looks to be the requirement to guarantee a spot.

1pt win Shanghai Glory @ 7/1 Bet365, Coral and Boylesport

1:45 Newmarket – Larchmont Lad

Finished ahead of two of the opposition last time when given a good ride, sitting in behind the leader before kicking on. Saw it out all the way to the line but just got run out of it by the unexposed D’Bai. Has a good chance to repeat that performance here and at a track in which it can be very hard to peg horses back it should take some beating. Does need the cheekpieces to repeat the improved performance from last time but no reason to think it won’t.This can be another winner for this relentless yard.

1.5pt win Larchmont Lad @ 9/2 Ladbrokes and Coral

8:00 Doncaster – King Robert

Been running some solid if not spectacular races so far this season. Always thereabouts without looking like winning. However, has the ability to win, especially off its mark which has slipped a little and given some leeway. It was only last year it was 2nd best of those on its side in the Gt St Wilfred consolation race off 5lb higher. Hopefully the hood and visor both on will help the horse keep its mind on the job while the jockey booking is interesting. Usual jockey may not seem significant but he is riding at Newcastle, before going on to York for the Jump Jockey Derby, before then coming on for his only ride of the evening at Doncaster. Not sure he would be doing that if it wan;t without a chance.

1pt e/w King Robert @ 10/1 widely available