All eyes will clearly be on US Army Ranger in the Chester Vase (3.10) as he bids to establish himself at the head of the derby pecking order at Ballydoyle. The manner of his maiden victory, combined with his reputation, mean he’s going to be a tough nut to crack, but he’s going to have to be good to beat his own stable companion and there is some mileage in siding with Port Douglas at the likely odds.

He is a very tough horse, as he demonstrated several times as a juvenile, he’s already a pattern winner and he will keep rolling in front. He is from an extremely sound and tough German family, many of whom achieved Timeform ratings in excess of 110 and, for all that he has to concede 4lb to his stablemate, he still rates the value bet.

My selection in the Huxley Stakes (2.40) may raise a few eyebrows but I’ve got a feeling today could be the day for Gabrial, who is the only course winner in the race and is a very reliable proposition these days, for all that he hardly ever wins. This looks an excellent opportunity, however, as he gets 7lb from Cannock Chase and Western Hymn looked a really awkward ride at Sandown, and it’s worth remembering that he had a nasty bout of illness last summer which may have just taken the edge off him. Trip, track and ground are all ideal for Gabrial and he is actually a pretty good price given the figures he records on most of his runs.

I fancy Mick Easterby’s Felix De Vega (2.10) to follow up his recent success under a promising apprentice rider. Quietly, Easterby’s horses have been running extremely well, he’s got the plum draw in stall one and I think he could still be ahead of the posse handicap wise.

The draw gods have not been kind to Arcanada (3.45) but I was very impressed with Tom Dascombe’s charge last time out and I think he can go again, at a course he’s already been successfully. For all that Richard Kingscote is on stablemate Above N Beyond, I still fancy Arcanada to emerge on top.

Finally, in the 10 furlong handicap (5.25) that rounds off the card, Top Of The Glas looks a decent each-way bet. Brian Ellison’s horse is fit and well after a recent spin over hurdles, he’s got course form and he’s not at all badly handicapped on the pick of his efforts.
Port Douglas - 1pt @ 7/1