After a 10/1 winning NAP last Saturday our racing man Stefan Fellows is back with his thoughts on some high-class action this weekend.
This includes the Group 1 KING GEORGE VI AND QUEEN ELIZABETH STAKES at Ascot in which we which superstar mare Enable will be looking to complete a hat trick of victories in the race.
There’s also a fascinating card at York where Mascat goes in the 4.10 for the Ralph Beckett team and provides us with the Nap of the day.
Some nice 2-year-olds on show here none more so than the unbeaten Twaasol who was an impressive winner at Epsom recently.
He was well on top at the finish that day and the step up to 7f should not be an issue but he will have to improve again stepping up into this type of grade for the first time.
Saeiqa looks to bring the best form to the race after his solid third place finish in the G2 Coventry Stakes here at the Royal meeting. The step up to 7f looks sure to bring about more improvement again based on both run style and pedigree.
John Gosden has an excellent strike rate with his 2-year-olds at the Berkshire venue and has the assistance of Frankie Dettori in the saddle today.
The Charlie Appleby yard won this race last season and they look to have another leading contender in the shape of Naval Crown. The son of Dubawi will need to take a step forward from his debut run at Newmarket recently but he will have learnt plenty for that experience and quicker conditions could also help.
A fiercely competitive high-class handicap. Blue Mist is sure to be popular with Ryan Moore in the saddle, but he looks to have little work with from his current handicap mark based on his 2 runs this season.
The Buckingham Palace Handicap at Royal Ascot looks to be the key form line for the race as plenty of these fought out minor honours on that occasion.
The Roger Varian trained Mutamaasik finished third that day and although has posted a disappointing effort last time out at Newmarket he looks to hold strong claims if bouncing back to his previous effort under conditions we know suit.
The other who makes most appeal is Shelir, he finished fifth at Royal Ascot but he his 4lbs lower in the ratings today and can be forgiven his recent run at Haydock when probably finding a mile on soft ground to much of a test.
Selection: Shelir Each Way
Some nice progressive 3-year olds from top stables do battle here. Tsar represents the Gosden / Dettori team and the Kingman colt was an impressive winner on handicap debut recently. A 6lb rise looks fair for that effort and has to be respected with more improvement likely to come.
Johan is another who was also an impressive winner last time out on handicap debut. The 8lb rise in a stronger race might just be too much on this occasion though. Evening Sun makes his handicap debut here on the back of a comfortable victory in a novice stakes at Newmarket.
The Queen’s representative has plenty of scope for improvement still but has to defy an opening mark of 88. Dance Fever finished behind the re opposing Tell Me All at Windsor recently but did not have much luck in running on that occasion.
Unbeaten in his 3 starts prior to this he looked one to keep on the right side of and is taken to return to winning ways for a yard who won this race previously.
Selection: Dance Fever
Just the 4 runners which is a shame but with the condensed fixture list this season it’s not overly surprising we have this situation. Aidan O`Brien will be doing his best to stop the superstar mare Enable winning the event for the third occasion as he fields all 3 of her opponents.
Japan is the Ryan Moore pick of the O`Brien runners and has finished close behind Enable on 2 occasions and looks the most likely danger to her.
Enable is expected to come on for her first run of the season though and is should prove to strong once again with the step back up to 1m 4f also in her favour. Tactics could also be crucial here and it will be fascinating to see how things play out.
Mascat was thought good enough to return to action this season in the G3 Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot. He finished down the field that day but ran a promising enough race on handicap debut recently when settling better to suggest connections had plenty to build upon.
The Ralph Beckett team are in good form at the moment and do well with these lightly raced handicappers. Mankayan was good winner last time out but has to take another step forward of a 6lb higher mark in a much stronger race and there is a good chance the re opposing Power Of States could turn that form around.
Western Duke was successful in this race last season but arrives here on the back of a poor effort on his seasonal reappearance last time.
Selection: Mascat (NAP)
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Trainer George Scott and Jockey Ben Curtis have an excellent 41% strike when combining in the last year so the eye is defiantly drawn to the claims of Earth And Sky here.
The filly arrives here in good form after solid effort last time out in a handicap at Ascot but that was over a mile and the she has to prove fully effective back over this longer trip (0-4 to date).
Award Scheme has to defy an 8lb rise for his narrow victory on handicap debut recently but there was a lot to like with that effort, the front pair pulled clear that and the fourth has since come out to confirm the form.
Just the 4 starts to date she looks the type to progress with racing and William Haggas runners always warrant serious consideration here at York.
Selection: Award Scheme (NB)
This looks a good opportunity for last year’s winner Elarqam to return to winning ways. Clear top rated he was mixing it with the best 10f horses this time last year.
A below-par effort at Royal Ascot can be excused as he failed to see that trip out and returning to more favourable conditions will the Mark Johnston runner tough to beat. Last season Dante winner Telecaster heads the danger after returning to form with a victory in France recently
Orbaan is going to find this tougher than when successful here a couple of weeks with an 8lb rise in the weights for that victory. However, the David O`Meara trained runner is open to plenty more improvement still and represents a trainer who has had plenty of success in this race previously winning 4 of the last 8 renewals.
Tadleel finished third behind the selection last time, he is better treated at the weights today but looks much more exposed. Richard Fahey also runs the lightly raced Hartswood who makes just his second start in handicaps today on the back of a solid effort here last time. This looks a stronger race but is open to further improvement.
Tukhoom is taken to make it a good day for the David O`Meara yard and to follow up on his recent success here just 7 days ago.
This is an easier race based on the ratings and the 5lb rise should be within his measure and has previously held his form well in the past especially when making a quick return to action.
Autumn Flight looks to be running into some form based on his effort at Haydock recently and is another to consider along with Normandy Barriere who has now slipped to a fair looking handicap mark.
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