The opening Stewards’ Sprint Stakes (2.00) is a minefield but I’ve had my eye on Gameson with a view to a race like this for some time and I suspect there could be a lot more to come from Paul Midgley’s sprinter. Stall 26 isn’t ideal but it’s factored into his price and the form of his York second took a boost when the third-placed horse in that contest was a close-up second in a hot sprint handicap here on Tuesday.
I’m going to take a chance on Shraaoh in the Qatar Handicap (2.35) despite the fact that he will probably still be priced based on reputation rather than form. His Royal Ascot run was too bad to be true and he was coltish in the preliminaries that day. He was highly progressive prior to that and, if he settles down, I know he is held in extremely high regard.
I genuinely believe that Minding is a star but she’s had a busy enough time of things and, at 4/1 on, she is worth taking on. Swiss Range looks worth a dart because she was really impressive when winning the Pretty Polly at Newmarket and ten-furlongs on fast ground looks right up her street. Her run on unsuitably soft ground in France can be forgiven and she’s the most likely to take advantage should Minding be below par.
I’m going to be boring in the Stewards’ Cup (3.45) and stick with Dancing Star who showed a really good attitude to score at Newmarket last time and she probably should have won at York the time before too. She has a super draw in stall 4 and Andrew Balding’s progressive filly can follow in the footsteps of Lochsong, who carried Jeff Smith’s famous colours to victory in this race in 1992.