2.55 Chester

ARCANADA (best price 4-1) posted a career-best performance when finishing a creditable fourth in the red-hot Britannia Handicap at Royal Ascot last week and he receives a strong vote of confidence to back up that sterling effort back at a track where he’s previously been successful. Making most of the running at the Berkshire venue, Tom Dascombe’s charge only succumbed to the closers well inside the final furlong of that stiff mile, and now returning to a more suitable trip in-keeping with all his best performances previously, he can capitalise on that fact from his favourable low draw.
ARCANADA - 1pt e/w @ 4/1Won 4.8pt

3.35 Curragh

In a typically wide-open 1m handicap in which many of the usual suspects who run here regularly go to post, CHAMPAGNE OR WATER (best price 5-1) and HASANOUR (best price 7-1) make the most appeal at the prices. The former has clearly taken a liking to today’s stiff track based on her three performances at the Co Kildare venue and having turned in another notable effort when chasing home the progressive Creggs Pipes 34 days ago, she looks primed to go well again under her optimum conditions.
The latter takes a little more explaining following several indifferent runs of late, but if you take his track form in isolation, his chances are a bit more clear-cut. On the times he’s raced over today’s C&D on ground no worse than good-to-soft, his form figures read 1311 and following a better run in the Royal Hunt Cup than his final finishing position suggests, Micky Halford’s inmate is worth a small interest back at his happy hunting ground.
CHAMPAGNE OR WATER - 1pt @ 5/1Lost -1pt
HASANOUR - 1pt @ 7/1Lost -1pt

4.15 Newcastle

In what looks to be a cracking renewal of this prestigious prize, those with previous solid all-weather form may just hold sway and the two that spring to mind of having the most suitable credentials are ARCH VILLAIN (best price 16-1) and GABRIEL THE HERO (best price 11-1). Since stepping up to middle-distances and beyond, the former has stats on a synthetic surface which read 1121141211 and having landed the latest of those victories without the aid of his usual headgear, the performance is probably worth upgrading. On top of that, he ran well in this race back in 2013 from the worse possible draw (stall 22 of 22), so Amanda Perrett’s charge must have every chance of finishing higher up the field from a much more favourable stall position this time around.
The latter also has a clear affinity with an all-weather surface – 224211 – and he looks another likely to go well with a fair rub of the green from his middle draw. Representing the winning stable from two years ago, Richard Fahey’s inmate arrives here off the back of a solid performance in the Chester Cup and considering that effort was his first outing since December, there’s a fair chance the son of War Chant will improve for the run.
ARCH VILLIAN - 1pt e/w @ 16/1Lost -2pt
GABRIEL THE HERO - 1pt e/w @ 11/1Lost -2pt

4.55 Windsor

RED TEA (NAP) (best price 4-1) ran a smashing race in a contest that’s beginning to work out extremely well at Newbury last time out and a chance is taken on Peter Hiatt’s charge handling the softest underfoot conditions she’s encountered so far to date. Having her second start for new connections and only her fourth in her career, the daughter of Sakhee overcame a tardy beginning to finish a never-nearer third to subsequent Newmarket scorer Blackout, and with the likes of Shadow Game and Kitaaby also going on to be victorious next time out, it’s plain to see that the 7f handicap run at the Berkshire venue was an above-average race for the grade (fastest furlong-per-furlong time on the seven-race card). Indeed, on breaking down the numbers posted by the selection, it was noticeable that her final 4f split time of 46.5 was not only the best in the race itself (winner 46.6), but it also bettered the one achieved by Abingdon, who clocked 46.9 from the same point to the line in landing the listed fillies contest. Based on these findings, it’s quite clear that this chestnut filly has the look of a very well handicapped horse at present off just 67 (Blackout now 89 and Abingdon 100), it just simply boils down to the fact of whether she can cope with the potentially damaging soft ground. Providing she can – and she did handle good-to-soft at Pontefract on her second start – she looks the one to beat.
RED TEA - 1pt e/w @ 4/1Placed -0.2pt

5.10 Chester

PERSPICACE (best price 4-1) arrives here in terrific heart courtesy of two back-to-back victories over hurdles and he can take full advantage of a seemingly attractive handicap mark on his return to the Flat. Those two recent wins should have inbuilt plenty of confidence in a horse who previously had the reputation of being a bit of a twicer, and having proved that he stays 2m 4f strongly over hurdles, he should really appreciate this test of stamina around a track that will suit his run style (usually travels well).
PERSPICACE - 1pt e/w @ 4/1

7.00 Curragh

Improving three-year-old fillies at this time of the year are usually worth following and with that in mind, both FLYING FAIRIES (best price 16-1) and MIDNITEMUDCRABS (best price 8-1) catch the eye. The former did well to overhaul the strongly-backed Dermot Weld-trained colt, Kid Malibu, at Fairyhouse last time out and with the third and fourth home that evening both going on to endorse the form subsequently, Joseph Murphy’s filly has a decent chance of making her presence felt in her first handicap off a mark of 80. The latter also finds herself on the same perch following a wide-margin success at Gowran the other day and given that the speed figure she produced was the fastest furlong-per-furlong time on the seven-race card, she’s fully entitled to warrant such a hike. As that performance came on easy ground, the daughter of Arcano will appreciate any rain which falls in the area during the day, and she can prove another feather in the cap for her locally-based handler. MIDNITEMUDCRABS – ½ point each-way@8-1
FLYING FAIRIES - 0.5pt e/w @ 16/1Lost -1pt
MIDNITEMUDCRABS - 0.5pt e/w @ 8/1Lost -1pt