It’s another competitive weekend of Group race action with Newbury and Newmarket taking centre stage on Saturday.
So with all the big races on the box, our man in the know takes a detailed look at the feature races and makes his picks.
An interesting 2-year-old race and with 4 winning debutants in the field this looks a tricky puzzle to solve. Dhabi is a well-bred Frankel colt who overcame inexperience to win at Newmarket on debut. The Charlie Appleby trained runner is sure to have more to come and looks to hold leading claims once more.
Francesco Guardi is another Frankel representative and also made a winning start to his career. More improvement is likely but that form does not look as strong on the limited evidence we have.
Jumby was well supported when making his winning debut suggesting the Eve Johnson Houghton runner is well regarded and has more to offer. Guru was a CD winner on debut and the Kingman colt looked to know his job well on that occasion.
He looks an exciting prospect and with the form being franked since he is taken to give trainer John Gosden another victory in this event. Saint Lawrence and William Bligh both have solid form to their names but with 4 starts each look vulnerable to others with greater potential.
Afaak looks the one to beat here if the blinkers work second time around. He looked to be back to his best when finishing third in a competitive event at Glorious Goodwood and with Jim Crowley back in the saddle a big run is expected.
The main opposition to the selection could come from the other Al Maktoum owned runner Jahbath. He had issues early in the race last time out at Haydock before running on late but this is tougher and jockey booking would suggest he is the second string.
The lightly raced Roger Charlton 4-year-old Tempus should have plenty more to offer after just the 4 starts and any rain could potential be to this Kingman colt`s liking.
The inform stable of Charlie Fellows runs King Carney who steps into handicap company for the first time after being highly tried this season. A listed winner at 2 he has a chance on that form and could out run his odds if getting an easy time of things from the front.
Morando is rock solid at this level and finished 2nd in this race last season. Outclassed at Royal Ascot this is more his level and any further rain will improve his chances. Preference however is for the more lightly raced Alignak.
A typical late developing type for the Stoute team he showed more improvement again last time when just touched off in a listed event at Haydock. That was just his sixth career start so should have more to offer especially with the step up another furlong also likely to eke out some more progression.
Communique needs to bounce back from a poor effort at Goodwood so more likely dangers come in the shape of the lightly raced Royal Ascot winner Hukum and previous course winner Tritonic, who should be suited by stepping up to this trip.
Likely favourite Dream Of Dreams looks to have strong claims. He put in a solid effort when 2nd in the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot on his seasonal return and we know he has no issues with conditions after previously finishing 2nd in this race in the past. Last year’s winner Glorious Journey is expected to come on for his poor effort on his first start this season but faces a tough task under 9-9 this time around.
3-year-old Threat receives weight from both his main rivals and makes plenty of appeal dropping back to this level after 2 starts this season. The Richard Hannon trained runner had possible excuses on both occasions and the step back to 7f combined with this drop down in grade is expected to see a return to the form shown when winning a couple of group 2 races last season.
History Writer was a listed winner in France last season but has struggled so far this season in a couple of starts. He has plenty to find but Jamie Spencer looks an interesting booking and could pick up place money late on.
Selection: Threat (Next Best)
Both Zuba and Knowing both arrive here in good heart after posting solid efforts in handicaps recently. Both however are vulnerable to progressive types and this looks likely to be fought out by the 3-year-old in the line-up.
The John Gosden pair of To Nathaniel and Indigo Lake both have to bounce back from poor efforts last time but the latter makes most appeal to do that under first time blinkers.
Night Bear has looked progressive and should have more to come still but ready preference on this occasion is for Boss Power. The Stoute runner showed improved form for the switch into handicap company when winning under similar under foot conditions at Yarmouth 24 days ago.
Not much actually went right for the Frankel colt that day which only made the run more impressive. The 5th and 6th placed horses have already come out to win on their next start suggesting that’s a solid race for the grade and like much his form to date, it gives the impression that a mark of 78 still underestimates this horse’s ability.
Listed hurdles winner Midnights’ Gift has the potential to outrun her odds if able to translate that jumps form back to the level.
Selection: Boss Power (NAP)
A competitive looking handicap with plenty looking to have decent claims. Karibana was a CD winner here last time and the 6lb rise might not be enough to stop him securing the hattrick today.
Broughtons Gold is another progressive type and won in good fashion last time out 6f. The step back to 7f should be fine but has shown his best form under softer conditions. Another who may find the likely firm going a bit too sharp is Black Caspian however he still warrants respect given the excellent form that both trainer Kevin Ryan and jockey Kevin Stott are in currently (35% strike rate last 30 days).
Dashing Roger showed a good attitude when winning at Yarmouth recently on very quick ground. He looks quietly progressive and although stepping up in grade today he could be the one most suited by conditions with the drop back 7f likely to be no problem. The useful claiming jockey Marco Ghiani again comes in for the ride.
Selection: Dashing Roger (Each Way)
A race that can sometimes be seen as a target for some of these being restricted to horses just of Grey in colour.
Last year’s winner Case Key looks the obvious place to start and arrives here in good heart with a 1st and 2nd place finish in his last 2 runs. He won this race last year off 66 and with Angus Villiers able to claim 5lb he looks on a fair weight yet again.
Conditions look ideal and should go close in his bid for a hattrick of success in the race. Clareyblue ran well last time at York and is respected on that effort but his best form is over the minimum trip.
At likely larger odds, a good run can be expected from Rock Boy Grey. Very fast ground is an unknown but he was progressive on the a/w this spring and this looks an easier race than a couple he has contested recently.
Selection: Rock Boy Grey
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