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Saturday Racing - York John Smith's Cup

The John Smith's Cup is the first of three cups being run on Saturday afternoon, and they set off at York at 16:15. It's a big field, so we've looked at the runners and riders to pick out our selections for you.

The two current favourites are Arthenus and Tawdeea, and of the two we would lean towards Arthenus. While Tawdeea looks to have the stronger form, he has taken to running longer distances than this and last time he dropped back to 1m 2f he didn't impress. Arthenus has looked like a solid improver, especially since taking on cheekpieces at Royal Ascot. Rain would be a boost to either horse, but we think Arthenus is the pick of the two and the best place to back him is Coral, at a very reasonable 7/1.

A little further down the listings, we also fancy Revolutionist to do well. His run in the Wolferton Handicap at Royal Ascot was impressive - he finished third, but he was stuck out wide and did well to make his move early despite the fast pace. He can run at the front too, and the good ground should suit him given he won two handicaps over this distance on good-firm in May.

The best place to pick him up is at ToteSport, priced at 14/1.

If you fancy another longer odds bet, Oasis Fantasy might be worth a look each way. He tends to run 1m 4f to 2m these days, but his most recent race was a 1m 4f on this track and he manged a very credible second place. He likes to come from off the pace but we can't see any reason why he shouldn't be able to cope with this distance, and if he can cope with the distance then he's going to feature heavily at the end of the race.

The best place we've found to back him is at BoyleSports, who will give you a very decent 14/1.

Saturday Racing - Sandown

Having looked at Saturday's feature race, the 15:45 Sandown Coral Eclipse, in another post, we're now going to cast our eye over the other races from Sandown that are being broadcast on Channel 4 Racing on Saturday afternoon.

The first live race is the 14:00 Coral Charge, and we're torn between two horses here. On the one hand you have the favourite, Brando, who has looked superb in his five and six furlong handicaps this year and did much to impress at Royal Ascot. On the other hand you have Willytheconqueror, who has improved greatly over five furlongs this year and who showed very well to finish second over course and distance in his latest, listed, race.

We can't choose between them, so the best place to back Brando for the win is at Coral, who have priced him at 9/4. If you fancy a longer odds punt, though, you can pick up Willytheconqueror at 12/1 over at BetFred, and he may well be worth taking each way.

The next Sandown race up is the 14:35 Coral Challenge, and Best Of Times looks likely to be strong after a drop back to 1m. We're not tipping the favourite here though - we think second favourite Mutamakkin is a slightly better bet. After missing most of 2015 he's come back stronger than expected, and he won over course and distance just three weeks ago. That was on harder ground, but he's shown previously that he can perform on slower ground too, and he's been improving all year.

The best place to back Mutamakkin is at StanJames, at a very decent 5/1.

The final live race from Sandown prior to the Eclipse is the 15:10 Coral Distaff, and again the favourite has strong claims to the win. Snow Moon has shown plenty of improvement throughout the year, but once again we're looking past the favourite to another horse who has come along nicely in recent months, Sharaakah. She was a progressive juvenile, and her third place in the Sandringham Handicap at Royal Ascot was a cracking run that showed she has what it takes to make the most of softer ground - beating Make Fast and Light Up Our World as she did so.

We think she's worth backing for this one, and the best place to pick her up is at Ladbrokes at a very nice 9/2.

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