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The Mandarin’s Saturday Selections for 18th May 2024

The Mandarin’s Newbury Racecard for Saturday 18th May

Sky Sports Racing Aston Park Stakes (Group 3) 1.50
Desert Hero (nap)
It’s hard to look past the St Leger third, Desert Hero for Saturday’s opener. This Sea The Stars gelding had a fine campaign last year, scoring in the red-hot King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot, before doubling the tally in the Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood. He was good value for third in the final Classic of the season, and can only come on for the seasonal reappearance at Sandown Park last month. Middle Earth and Salt Bay are both decent rivals, but William Haggas holds the ace in the pack with Desert Hero

Highclere Castle Gin Carnarvon Stakes (Listed) 2.25
Relief Rally
William Haggas’s Kodiac filly had a cracking Juvenile campaign, only relegated to second once in five starts. She fetched a pretty penny when bought from Simon Munir & Isaac Souede in a nice bit of business for that notable pair, and put in a decent enough shift in the Fred Darling here last month, just failing to see out the trip. Back to 6 furlongs, and sure to go very close with Tom Marquand up top adding to the appeal

Trade Nation London Gold Cup Handicap (Heritage Handicap) 3.00
King’s Gambit
The chance is taken on Harry Charlton’s King’s Gambit for this hot Handicap. This Saxon Warrior colt is a course winner; in fact all of his three starts have been here, latterly to the smart Bracken’s Laugh back in September. Last year’s winning yard send out Chantilly who is fresh from a win at Leopardstown, but might want more cut in the ground, while Persica from Richard Hannon’s stable looks an interesting each-way angle stepped up in trip. King’s Gambit to land a second win at Newbury Park for Harry Charlton

Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes (Group 1) 3.35
Inspiral (nb)
A cracking Group 1 where there’s plenty of depth to this field, but the high-class Inspiral looks the one to follow. She has an impressive CV that includes successive wins in the Jacques le Marois at Deauville, a Sun Chariot at Newmarket, and a Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita back in November. French raider Big Rock couldn’t hold her back when they last clashed in France, despite a game effort from the front, but has moved out of Christopher Head’s yard and has it all to prove, so Roger Varian’s Charyn and Simon & Ed Crisford’s Poker Face are the ones to give Inpiral the most bother. Inspiral to score for the in-form team of John & Thady Gosden, with the front-running Big Rock setting up the race nicely for Kieran Shoemark

HKJC World Pool Handicap 4.10
Jack Channon could have the answer to this valuable Handicap with the hat-trick seeking Ferrous. This Dark Angel grey has had two spins on the all-weather this year, and has plenty of experience at this level on turf in the book, including a win at Newmarket, so should be in the mix. William Haggas’s Wiltshire rates a big danger, while James Fanshawe’s Willem Twee is a fascinating each-way angle returned to Handicap company with Oisin Murphy booked

OCS Handicap 4.45
Recent Newbury runner-up Godwinson is worth keeping on side for this Handicap on the straight course. Unexposed in this company, this Saxon Warrior gelding was given plenty of cover by Tom Marquand in that run last month, and is taken to go one better here. The hat-trick seeking Two Tempting and John & Thady Gosden’s Slipofthepen are also in the mix, but William Haggas can land this with Godwinson

Haras De Bouquetot Fillies’ Trial Stakes (Listed) 5.15
Roger Varian’s Frankel filly gets the nod for the closer, with that supersire often getting his fillies to develop earlier than the colts. She could not have been more impressive than when bolting home 6 lengths clear at Kempton Park at the end of last season, and if she’s trained on, could be a big player in the upcoming Classics this summer. With John & Thady Gosden’s well-bred Siyola and Charlie Appleby’s Shamardal filly Diamond Rain in the mix, an intriguing contest is well worth staying around for

The Mandarin

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