Megan Nicholls Racing Tips - Ascot, Newmarket & Redcar

I’m delighted to have joined BetMGM as horse racing ambassador.

Each week, I’ll be sharing my tips for all the best action and giving you a little bit of insight you won’t find anywhere else.

I can’t wait for Saturday’s racing – there’s such exciting action across Ascot, Redcar and Newmarket, and I have pored over the race cards to deliver my thoughts and views on the action.

Ascot 2.25 – Cumberland Lodge Stakes

This is a small, select-but-competitive field. It’s interesting that Jim Crowley had the option of two Shadwell runners in Al Aasy and Israr and has chosen the former.

I can understand why – he’s a worthy favourite. He was unlucky in Leopardstown last time but he’s been back to form in the last couple of runs. He has a tricky running style – he’s held up and requires some luck, and Jim tends to hold onto him for as long as possible, but he is in outstanding form.

Al Qareem is a horse that bounced back at Chester last time out in testing conditions and he really enjoys the mud. With the warm weather and drying ground I’m not sure the conditions will be in his favour.

Of the bigger prices, Postileo at 9/1 is one I’m interested in. He was back to form at Hamilton last time, a track he enjoys, but he was really impressive in winning and he has a load of ability if things fall right for him.

Megan’s Tip: Al Aasy WIN, Postileo E/W

Redcar 2.45 – Two Year Old Trophy

Kylian being a non-runner changes the dynamic of this race slightly, leaving Dragon Leader as a deserved short-priced favourite at 4/9.

It’s amazing how well he’s done – winning a sales race at York and finishing second in another at Doncaster is a huge effort by the team. He’s really consistent, winning three from four and returning to good ground will suit him.

He’ll be ridden positively which will suit him and ultimately will take some beating, especially at the weights. He’s only carrying 8-8 and the official ratings have him well in, in that regard.

The trick here is to work out the forecast. With the ground drying out, I’d be looking at Action Point at 10/1. He’s got some form at the Group Two, Group Three level and he’s a listed winner at Newbury on good ground.

He’ll be ridden forward as well, so providing they don’t take each other on too much Dragon Leader and Action Point look good for the forecast.

Megan’s Tip: Dragon Leader 1st, Action Point 2nd (Forecast)

Newmarket 3.15 – Sun Chariot Stakes

Inspiral is an extremely talented mare. She’s already won at the top level, including over course and distance in the Fillies’ Mile as a two-year-old.

That was a couple of years ago but it’s always an advantage – especially at Newmarket. The only disappointing run this year came at Goodwood in atrocious conditions but she bounced straight back to win at Deauville pretty nicely. She beat Big Rock that day, whose form has tied in nicely with the Arc winner Ace Impact.

So the form from Deauville is pretty solid and Inspiral is returning to her favourable quick ground. It would be mad to look too far past her.

There’s only one pound difference between her and Mqse De Sevigne and if the ground had been testing, I’d be looking at it differently. The quick ground put this into Inspiral’s favour.

Heredia has been in good form but ultimately has to improve quite a lot and it remains to be seen whether she can reach that Group One level.

Meditate was a top-level two-year-old and, although she hasn’t lived up to expectation as much as we’d hoped this year, she’s running at a decent level and keeps bumping into Tahiyra – the best Irish miler at the moment.

She had first-time blinkers on at Leopardstown last time, finishing fourth behind Tahiyra, and ran on nicely enough.

Megan’s Tip: Inspiral WIN, Meditate E/W

Ascot 3.35 – Howden Challenge Cup

Drying ground could be the difference here. Baradar has won his last two but the more it dries out the more I’d go against him. He’s raised in the handicap, which makes his task harder.

Hickory for James Fanshawe and Benoit De La Sayette has run two crackers over course and distance the last two times out.

He was narrowly behind Baradar in the first of those at a big price and backed that up with a third on good to firm ground behind Quinault and Popmaster, who also go here.

However, I think Hickory has had this planned out. Popmaster has run since and Quinault has raised in the weights.

Pace and draw are massive here – there’s a large bunch of low-drawn runners who are prominent in the market so it looks like the far side is the place to be.

Because of that, I also like the chances of Maywake at 14/1, who is most effective over this trip. He’s been ultra-consistent this year but the way he bolted up at Sandown last time suggests there’s still more to come.

A stiff track at Sandown didn’t affect him last time and a stiff track at Ascot – albeit different types – will suit him too. He’s got a great attitude.

Megan’s Tip: Hickory WIN, Maywake E/W

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Odds correct at time of publication but subject to fluctuation

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