York 14:25

It’s a weekend devoid of out and out class as far as the racing goes, no shame in that a few days before Royal Ascot, but the handicaps are excellent and provide plenty of punting opportunities. First up is a horse I put up for the Victoria Cup, only to read he was short of work going into the race and would need the run. That may well have been the case 2 weeks later too. Valley Of Fire then had a poor draw to contend with at Chester before probably finding things happening too quickly at Epsom last week. The excuses are mounting up but his mark is coming right down and he’s a course winner. 25/1 looks very generous if running to anything like the form of 12 months ago.
Valley Of Fire - 1pt @ 18/1

York 15:35

Also of interest at York is Lathom. He ran well on first start for new connections last time and I fancy this extra furlong will suit. That was against older horses, a race in which only one 3 year old has been successful in 19 years, and he should fair better against his own age with that reappearance behind him. His Mr Lupton form, when giving weight, is strong - he re-opposes here on far better terms - and he looks a massive price. That said, his well-being has to be taken somewhat on trust given some poor efforts before switching yards but I think we saw enough last week to suggest he can build on that run. The solid pace appears to be low too and 6 looks a useful draw. I also have to have a go at Still On Top at a monster price. His trainer has a great record in the race and the way the horse has been campaigned this year suggests this could have been the plan. Perhaps not - he had shaped for further before the step up in trip - but I’ll chance him having been dropped 6lb in 2 starts this term. There’s not bundles of pace on and that’s a worry for him given he’ll want a test back at 6 but 33’s is too big to ignore.
Lathom - 1pt @ 20/1
Still On Top - 1pt @ 33/1

Musselburgh 15:45

Last play in the Musselburgh feature. I’m not normally one for a last time out winner as they tend to be well found in the market with credentials on a plate but Judicial looks a healthy price after his defeat of Kimberella and Red Baron last time. Kimberella has franked the form in no uncertain terms and a 5lb pull in the latter’s favour doesn’t really account for the disparity in price. Winning well at Thirsk last time, he clearly appreciated a first start in 4 on turf and took his record on grass to 3 from 4. He’s well drawn near that favoured rail and should get a nice tow through with bundles of pace on here. He doesn’t have to lead and for all quotes of quirkiness are worth paying attention to, he’s clearly talented and very much on the up.
Judicial - 1pt @ 10/1