RACING AHEAD: Saturday will be a great day

Racing Ahead with Tony McCormick
Racing Ahead with Tony McCormick

Our racing pundit Tony McCormick from has recently been signed up by, the world’s largest independent horse racing website, to share his daily, each-way Double-Dutch selections.

This week Tony looks at this weekend’s meeting at York and forward to the sixth Handicap at Beverley this coming Tuesday.

It’s a fine day’s racing in store on Saturday. Ascot, Chester, Newmarket and York all host seven race cards and even better, all screened by Racing UK.

Newmarket’s Group Two Superlative Stakes and the Group One July Cup take centre stage.

The latter looks to be one of the best renewals in recent times. The Henry Candy-trained Limato (6/1), Diamond Jubilee fourth Magical Memory (5/1), winner of that race at Royal Ascot, Twilight Son (5/1) and Commonwealth Cup winner, the Karl Burke-trained Quiet Reflection (8/1) go head-to-head.

The race also features outsiders, Jungle Cat and Danzeno.

Keep an eye on the price of the Richard Fahey-trained Birchwood on Saturday at Chester in the City Plate as the trainer has won the race on three occasions in the last five years, while back at Newmarket the Musley Hill maestro has won the Group Two Superlative Stakes in 2013 and 2015.

York stages the 56th running of the John Smiths Cup on Saturday, the longest running commercial sponsorship in flat racing.

Known as The Magnet Cup until 1998, the race is run over one mile and two and half furlongs.

Here are five sharp angles for the race. The last eight winners were, running within 45 days, carried the same or more weight than their last run, no more than five starts in the season and finished in the first three in one of their last three starts, while seven of the last eight winners were aged four or five.

Please remember though, the trends lead us in a general, rather than specific direction.

It’s important not to be handcuffed to them, such that we ignore horses with strong form claims who may fail to tick a couple of boxes.

Tuesday will be a very special day for friends and family as I sponsor the sixth Handicap.

Matt Bisogno from, Ben Aitken from Narrowing-The-field, a couple of guys from Racing UK, Sally, George, Frankie and ‘Our Gud’ will be present to enjoy the day, with the watering holes of Beverley to be sampled in the evening.

It’s been an interesting journey since first sponsoring the race in 2011, solidifying friendships and business acquaintances, as well as working with the fantastic team at Beverley Racecourse.

Jockey Kieren Fallon announced his retirement on Monday with respected Irish medical officer Dr Adrian McGoldrick saying the six times champion jockey was suffering from severe depression.

He will certainly be remembered as one of racing’s most colourful characters.

He secured three Epsom Derby wins, five 2,000 Guineas, four 1,000 Guineas in a haul of 16 British classic wins and a total of 2,466 career victories.