Dave Nevison's top tips for Saturday: Stylehunter has polished look

By Dave Nevison
Fri 12 Jul 2019

There is fantastic racing on the channel again this Saturday with Cape Byron trying to make the massive jump from top handicap company to Group One in the Darley July Cup at Newmarket.

He could well do it but has enough genuine contenders against him that I will be watching his attempt rather than backing him to do so.

3.30 Newmarket: Solar Gold each-way at 9-1 with BetVictor (who offer five places)

William Haggas has a good filly on his hands here and I expect he would be pleased to win this pot before he switches her to graded races against her own sex.

She improved a lot in the second half of last season ending up with a good placed effort in Listed company.

She has placed twice in similar company from two efforts this season and was denied a clear run behind last year’s 1000 Guineas winner Billesdon Brook last time out, looking very much as though she is still improving.

A stiffer 7f and competitive race such as this looks ideal. She is drawn in the middle but close to the pace horses, who would appear to be drawn high to my reading.

Surprisingly, for a race of this value, there are few who seem to have secrets from the handicapper and this looks a good opportunity for Solar Gold to win a quality handicap.

Saturday update: Kynren, who was favourite, is now among three non-runners in the race.

3.50 York: Stylehunter each-way at 6-1 with Sky Bet (who offer six places)

The John Smith's Diamond Jubilee Cup Handicap, or Magnet Cup as I still remember it, is always a massive favourite of mine.

I will never forget Franny Norton, then a 5lb claimer, hitting the front two out on lowly weighted Halkopous for Mark Tompkins and landing me a massive touch in 1991.

Sadly that loot is long spent and I could definitely do with another.

I was on Stylehunter for the Royal Hunt Cup at big odds and he ran a cracker behind Afaak having missed the break (as usual) and then not getting the best of runs.

He went straight into my notebook for the Cambridgeshire but there is no reason why he cannot pick this big handicap up along the way.

The handicapper has been generous in dropping him 1lb for running fourth in the best mile handicap of the year and he is drawn in the middle, which should enable him to sit where he wants at the back without getting trapped on the rail.

Rab Havlin knows him well and Stylehunter can turn the tables on Afaak, who has a 5lb penalty, over the extra two furlongs.

7.35 Hamilton: Zealous each-way at 20-1 with William Hill (who offer four places)

Is a highly speculative selection from a yard that has been struggling for winners for months but I believe a case can be made.

Poor recent runs mean Zealous is able to run in weak 0-60 company and he also gets the benefit at the other end of the weights with several rivals carrying more than their long handicap mark.

Trainer Alistair Whillans has not had a winner since January but the signs have been encouraging recently with his horses showing up well.

The ground will suit Zealous and he will not be carrying a lot of lead as Jack Garrity is booked for the ride and he doesn’t often ride less than 9st.

Hopefully, a couple of books will offer an extra place for this 15 runner-handicap. Whatever, Zealous is not one for major money.

8.05 Hamilton: Juniors Fantasy at 5-1 with Sky Bet

Is beginning to owe his backers a few quid. Thankfully I am only once bitten but definitely felt robbed last time out over course and distance.

Even though the winner won by seven lengths I don’t think it impossible that given a clear run Juniors Fantasy might have finished in front.

He got stuck behind everything for four furlongs and by the time the flotsam cleared Fentiman had rightly given up the ghost. Being beaten almost nine lengths in no way reflects what should have been.

The company on Saturday evening is no better, the stable is in good form and a tongue strap is tried for the first time.

I think he should win but at least I will find out whether I am throwing good money after bad as 0-60 horses do not get many chances.

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