It's a bumper day of live racing with NINE races on CH4 and we've got all the best bets.
Not an easy puzzle to solve with the return of long-term absentees Berkshire and Kings Fete muddying the waters somewhat.
It is interesting the duo have been persevered with although they may well have bigger fish to fry at Royal Ascot next month so preference is for MASTER CARPENTER
(Best price 9/2) who was only a length behind Cannock Chase at Chester in the Group 3 Huxley Stakes (Battalion 5th, beaten 4½l). The selection looks to be running into form judged on his latest effort and he has no issues with the trip.
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Master Carpenter - 0.5pts e/w @ 9/2
Jonjo O’Neill doesn’t run many on the flat, but he enjoys a fair bit of success on the level when he targets a likely sort and MATORICO
(Best price 3-1) was set a stiff test at York trying to come from the back with the pace holding up so in the circumstances he ran a blinder.
He has been in good form over hurdles this spring and looks sure to go well again. Gabrial’s King, 6th in this last year, posted another excellent effort in the Chester Cup (Venue 11th) so is on the shortlist along with the returning Moscato (cheekpieces back on) and My Reward who caught the eye on his Ripon comeback.
Matorico - 1pt @ 3/1
There is no doubting Moonrise Landing made giant strides on the all-weather during the winter but her profile suggests she is better with some give in the ground so she would welcome some showers.
With the forecast looking reasonable she is reluctantly overlooked in preference of ELIDOR
(Best price 9-2) who disappointed in this event 12 months ago but had previously won well on fast ground at Newmarket. He was third in an Ebor here and made a taking comeback in a slowly-run Chester event last time.
Elidor - 0.5pts e/w @ 9/2
A cracking race with a number of possibilities, but MOUNT LOGAN
(Best price 2-1) could be the latest ex-Luca Cumani-trained switcher to score for his new connections. The five-year-old wound up last season chasing home Exosphere at Sandown, a run which looks even more impressive given his conqueror’s subsequent exploits at Newmarket this season and the selection was a good winner here last July. He also holds an entry in the Hardwicke Stakes at Ascot next month which suggests his new yard believe he is going to prove a Group 2 performer at the very least this term.
Bateel should have won at the track on her comeback but didn’t enjoy the clearest of passages. She won’t mind if the rain arrives.
Mount Logan - 1pt @ 2/1
A terrific handicap and there looks sure to be some Royal Ascot pointers to emerge from what is always a traditionally fiercely-contested handicap. Given there appear so many talented rivals in opposition, confidence in GARCIA
(Best price 9/2) is modest but he coped well with some cut in the ground when winning at Beverley on his return and hails from a yard which have their three-year-olds in rude health.
Above N Beyond looks sure to make a bold bid from the front like he did at Chester, while Windsor scorer Wild Hacked (a strong stayer), Zodiakos (hails from a Newmarket race working out well) and York runner-up Chief Whip also make plenty of appeal.
Garcia - 0.5pts e/w @ 8/1
A superb handicap featuring a host of potential Group class performers. Ian Fleming and Turbine (made all when it was difficult to do so) will be popular given their recent wins at Chester and Newcastle respectively, but HAALICK
(Best price 7-1) was more than a shade unfortunate at Lingfield last time and could be worth supporting to bounce back.
The selection found all sorts of trouble on the inside rail that day and, although not assured to find any more luck in running on this quirky track, he is much better than he showed last time.
Alqubbah is far from exposed yet and she was disadvantaged by her draw at Nottingham, while Oh This Is Us still looks reasonably well treated despite a 9lb rise for a smooth Newmarket win.
Haakick - 0.5pts e/w @ 7/1
(Best price 11-2) had a host of today’s rivals, including Marsh Hawk (2nd) and Imtiyaaz (4th) behind when staying on strongly to land a Nottingham Listed event in style. She appreciated the return to 6f that day and, although her rivals could improve for the outing, she is taken to confirm placings on a track which should suit. Wokingham winner Interception acquitted herself well in Group race afterwards and has excellent claims if wound up, while Thetis drops to sprint trips after racing too keenly at York over the mile.
Ridge Ranger - 0.5pts e/w @ 11/2
It is a little unusual for trainer Roger Varian to return a horse like APPEARED
(Best price 9-4) to the track so swiftly following a victory, but the Newmarket handler may be keen for his inexperienced stayer to gain more track craft prior to a possible trip to Royal Ascot.
Varian’s charge ran around a little when getting to the front over course and distance last time, but that could be a sign there is plenty left in the tank and an 8lb rise may not be enough to stop his progress.
Walpole has also looked a little green in his races but is learning on the job and is considered along with Forever Popular who still holds an entry in a Group 3 later in the season. Maraakib, Burano and Salmon Sushi are all interesting but are unproven at 12f.
Appeared - 1pt @ 2/1
Reports of forecast rain will please connections of MECCA’S ANGEL
(Best price 15-8) who needs plenty of cut in the ground to operate at her maximum. Her record under those conditions is near exemplary and she proved in the Nunthorpe what a class act she is when enjoying her optimum ground. She is also 3-3 after absences of more than four months. Muthmir and Waady are worthwhile adversaries with the latter finishing a place behind the progressive Profitable in the Palace House last time.
Pearl Secret has finished first and second in this event in the last two seasons and looks an overpriced outsider.
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Mecca’s Angel - 2pts @ 7/4