|Sat||1:50 Doncaster - A Momentofmadness||12/1||Coral|
|Sat||2:05 Chester - Manuela De Vega||5/1||888 Sport|
|Sat||4:15 Leopardstown - Magical||7/4||Bethard|
Last weekend ante-post tipster Steve Ryder wasn't far off the mark with 10/1 tips Ripp Orf and Reshoun, who finished third in uber competitive handicaps at Ascot and Haydock. Today he is back with three Saturday tips, including in Doncaster's 22-runner Portland Handicap at 12/1.
Tip 1 - 1:50 Doncaster - Portland Handicap - A Momentofmadness
The Portland Handicap is a 5.5f race which horses aged older than three have won every year since 2000. There have been two multiple winners of the race and A Momentofmadness will be hoping to to become the third.
The gelded son of Elnadim won the race last season when rated 99 and sent off an unfancied 25/1 shot. He was ridden by William Buick, who rides again this weekend, and made all to win by ¾ length.
The six-year-old has been out of form since, but ran his best race for a while last time at York, finishing sixth over 5.5f. That was his first run over further than 5f since he won last year's Portland, and the handicapper has left his rating unchanged at 95.
Dangers would include the unbeaten Bielsa, but a 6lbs rise for a head victory ast time seems harsh, Justanotherbottle, who finished third in 2017 rated 6lbs lower, and 2014 winner Muthmir, who is now down to his Portland winning mark of 100 again. However, with a 4lbs swing in the ratings, and five places available each way antepost, A Momentofmadness looks a strong contender at 12/1.
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Tip 2 - 2:05 Chester - Stand Cup Stakes - Manuela De Vega
In the 13 renewals of the Listed Stand Cup Stakes over 1m4f, there has never been a field size over eight runners (8556787676666) and that doesn't look about to change.
Manuela De Vega won both of her starts aged two, and was a leading contender for the Oaks over the winter. Her reappearance came at Chester in the Cheshire Oaks over 1m3f, where she finished second tp impressive winner Mehdaayih - who has since won a Group 2 in France. A length behind her that day was Fanny Logan, who has also boosted that form with two wins in Listed races and taking her rating to 106.
Manuela De Vega went on to be fourth in the Oaks, despite being hampered late on, then took fifth in the Irish Oaks on her next start. She was second and third at Goodwood on her next two starts, in Group 2 and Group 3 company, so she is entitled to hold strong claims now dropped back to Listed class.
Ben Vrackie and Barsanti head the betting for the race, but have shown their best form at galloping tracks with long straights, so with good form at Chester, and in receipt of a sex and age allowance, Manuela De Vega is a confident selection at 5/1 for the Stand Cup Stakes.
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Tip 3 - 4:15 Leopardstown - Irish Champion Stakes - Magical
With the defections of Crystal Ocean and Japan, the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes over 1m2f looks a weak renewal. Headman is an improving colt, but has only won two French Group 2 races this season. Elarqam won a Group 2 at York, before a good third in the Juddmonte International, but still needs to prove that wasn’t a one off, and Madhmoon has only won a Group 3 this season.
The form pick therefore has to be the dual Group 1 winner Magical, who has form figures of 12111222 since defeat in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe last season. She won the Group 1 Fillies & Mares Stakes at Ascot on Champions Day last season over 1m4f, but has been campaigned as the star Ballydoyle 1m2f performer this season, with victories in the Alleged and Mooresbridge Stakes and the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup - all run over 1m2f.
She was beaten in soft ground behind Crystal Ocean at Royal Ascot, before finishing second to Enable on her last two starts, but even a repeat of those efforts would be enough for her to win this.
Trainer Aidan O’Brien stated before the Yorkshire Oaks that Magical had a small break and would improve for her run that day, so this race and the Arc will have been her target since Royal Ascot. She is top-rated in the field at 122 and will prove extremely hard to beat at 7/4, helped by her fillies weight.
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