1m2f BetVictor London Gold Cup Heritage Handicap (Class 2) (3yo)
This race always tends to produce several Group class horses and there are plenty with fanciful future entries at the top of the market. Aiden O’Brien has a rare three-year-old handicap runner in this race in the shape of Bertinelli who has shown some useful form already in his young career. Desert Hero also looks like a classy entrant, but has shown a liking for soft ground early in his career and is quite short having not had a run this season.
The two Sheikh Hamdem Al Maktoum horses both look like they have stellar chances, but it’s hard to look away from the the formlines of EXOPLANET who finished second to current Derby favourite Military Order on his only start this season. Exoplanet is fantastically well-bred and picked up an impressive win on debut over this track during his two-year-old campaign.
That race has worked out well and although Exoplanet disappointed in the Group 3 Autumn Stakes at Newmarket on his second start, he got firmly back on track last time and should enjoy the return to a sounder surface. A mark of 97 and stall 16 may be a tall order, but he could be Group 1 class and has race fitness on his side.
With so many short priced unexposed horses trading at single digit odds, I fancy one lower in the handicap who remains with plenty of potential at bigger prices in LOYAL TOUCH. He currently lacks some of the Group 1 entries of others in here, but this 100,000 guineas purchase looked like a strong galloping type during his two-year-old season. He picked up 2 out of his 5 starts finishing the season off with a decent looking mile race in a nursery at Kempton.
Whilst that form doesn’t stand out particularly at this moment, the son of No Nay Never has plenty of middle-distance scope in his pedigree and it looks like Loyal Touch could step his form up considerably with the extra 2 furlongs here. The run off a break is an unknown, but the Johnston team know how to get one ready and he is a nice price in this wide-open affair.
1pt win Exoplanet @11/2, 15:00 Newbury, Saturday
1pt win Loyal Touch @14/1, 15:00 Newbury, Saturday