The ITV cameras will be on hand for the first of three days top quality racing action with the highlight on Friday being the Group 1 Coronation Cup at Newmarket.
Meanwhile, over at Lingfield, it’s a case of notebooks at the ready for their Oaks and Derby trials.
We take a look at all seven televised races for Friday to try to point you in the direction of a winner or two.
The Race Five Handicap Stakes
6f | Class 2
There looked a significant bias on Thursday to any horse who could grab the near side rail and hold its position, so it will be interesting to see how tactics play out here.
Trainer David O’Meara always has to be respected in these types of handicaps and he is doubly represented in the shape of Gulliver and Summerghand, the latter who has form figures here at Newmarket of 1-2-2 also has strong form returning from a break including a couple of wins.
He looks to have conditions to suit and is expected to go close. His form ties in with Flavius Titus when the pair finished 1-2 in a handicap here last April. Then trained by Roger Varian he has since moved to the Jedd O`Keeffe stable over the winter and his new trainer has previous on freshening these types of horses up.
Returning now back down to a rating of 97 plus with Megan Nicholls taking off a handy 3lb, he looks on a competitive mark. His form figures here at Newmarket read 1-3-1 and first time up should be no issue with winning form in the past after similar layoffs.
The race should be run to suit this prominent runner which could just make the difference.
Selection: Flavius Titus
The Abernant Stakes (Group 3)
6f | Class 1
Dual winner of this race, Brando, looks the one to beat. He has an excellent record fresh (4 wins from 5 starts after a 60 day or more break) and comes out significantly clear on official ratings.
Last season’s winner Keystroke also makes the line-up, he sprung somewhat of a shock in this race last season and will certainly not be those fancy odds this time around.
His form tailed off towards the end of the season but these conditions should see an improved performance. Oxted looked a progressive 3-year-old last season and signed off his season with a good success in the Portland handicap at Doncaster, a winner first time up last season he is another who warrants respect.
A Gimcrack winner at 2, things didn’t really go to plan for Emaraaty Ana last season including when a well-beaten 18 of 19 in the 2000 Guineas, more disappointing efforts followed before he was able to win a small conditions event on his final start when under a positive ride.
He will have to be back to his best 2-year-old form to be taking this but there is a good chance he just be able to get into a nice rhythm on the front end. If Andrea Atzeni is able to dictate matters, he may well be hard to peg back.
Selection: Emaraaty Ana
The Paradise Stakes (Listed)
1m | Class 1
Sir Micheal Stoute had success in this race last season and he looks to hold leading claims again this time around. Sangarius comes out best on official ratings and with Ryan Moore in the saddle is sure to be popular.
His trainer does exceptionally well with these late maturing types and the drop back to 8f should be seen as no issue especially first time up this season.
The once raced Lord Tennyson falls into the could be anything category. A comfortable winner of a novice event, he will have to step-up significantly to be involved here but represents high profile connections who would not be running here if they did not feel he was up to this grade.
Godolphin are also represented with Mythical Magic. The Charlie Appleby runner has solid form in group races and has to be respected. Similar comments apply to Century Dream who has run more than respectably in group 1 races in the past however he looks vulnerable to a more progressive rival unless a recent win operation brings out something extra.
The Coronation Cup Stakes (Group 1)
1m 4f | Class 1
An excellent renewal of the race with what looks to be four leading fancies. Last year’s Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck represents the Aiden O`Brien yard. Though his form tailed off somewhat after that success last June, so does have question marks to answer today.
He did win first time up last season though and this proven Group 1 performer has the ability to go close if back to anywhere near his best.
Defoe was successful in this race last season when run at Epsom and with him also being a course and distance winner here ticks lots of boxes, he looks sure to go close while potentially remaining vulnerable at the highest level.
Overall tactics could be crucial here with Stradivarius ideally better suited over further. The top-class cup horse will have bigger targets than this on his agenda later in the season and will need a strong test over this test. Whilst not short of pace he takes on some specialists over this kind of trip and is opposed on this occasion.
Likely favourite Ghaiyyath comes out top on official ratings, arrives here on the back of an excellent and effort at Meydan last time out and is proven under these conditions, of the market principals he looks the one to side with today.
Selection: Anthony Van Dyck
Lingfield Park: 2.05
The East Grinstead Handicap Stakes
7f | Class 3 | Paying 1 extra place 1/5 1-2-3-4
An extremely competitive looking 3-year-old handicap in which you would expect a good few of these to improve significantly past their opening handicap ratings this season.
Verboten represents high profile connections and with just the 2 starts to date is open to plenty of improvement still. Corvair is another to consider, a winner of his last 3 starts this progressive type looks to have more to come still.
Huboor is another winner last time out. She looked a filly to keep on side that day when winning a strong handicap at Newmarket with that form having a solid feel to it.
At larger odds, Mr Kiki looks to represent some each-way value. A winner on his second of 3 starts he finished the season with a disappointing effort in the Mill Reef at Newbury.
Things did not go to plan for him though that day and this well-regarded type is worth another chance on seasonal reappearance today. Gelded over the winter his trainer Michael Bell seems to have his string well forward with a winner and some solid placed efforts already this week.
Selection: Mr Kiki (Each Way)
Lingfield Park: 2:40
The Oaks Trial Fillies’ Stakes (Listed)
1m 31/2f | Class 1
John Gosden runs three here in his bid to win to keep up his excellent recent record in the race. The pick looks to be Miss Yoda and she is a confident selection to make a winning return this season.
A winner on her first two starts she ended the season with a solid effort in a Group 3 at Newmarket which comfortably looks the best form on offer. Ralph Beckett also has a good record in this race and his Heart Reef looks the main danger to the selection.
This debut winning Australia filly will need to show more than when comfortably beaten in a listed event on her second start but had excuses that day and a better run should be expected.
Selection: Miss Yoda (NAP)
Lingfield Park: 3:15
The Derby Trial Stakes (Listed)
1m 31/2f | Class 1
A tight looking Derby trial with a few looking to hold serious form credentials whilst not at this stage looking to hold serious Derby aspirations. The Andrew Balding yard have been amongst the winners already this week and Berkshire Rocco is expected to add to that tally.
Progressive in his four starts last season he finished the season with a third-place finish in the same group 3 at Newmarket that Miss Yoda ran in. This Colt by Sir Percy is expected to improve for the step-up in distance today and shaped as looks the type to improve again at 3.
Selection: Berkshire Rocco (NB)
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