A nigh on impossible opener (1.55) with any amount of potential winners but the pin has landed on Bowson Fred who is quite a forward going horse that might well benefit from someone like Frankie Dettori taking over from an admittedly capably apprentice. Mick Easterby’s four-year-old is holding his form really well and an easy track like this should really play to the gelding’s strengths. As long as he doesn’t do too much too early, he is still handicapped to be competitive.
Best Of Days, a short-price favourite for the Acomb Stakes (2.30), created quite an impression on debut and is clearly a very promising colt, but there isn’t any juice in his price and I am prepared to take him on with Lockheed who won his maiden nicely at Goodwood and I get the feeling his stable are genuinely rolling now after a stop-start season. William Haggas loves to have winners on the Knavesmire and a Group One Dewhurst Stakes entry suggests connections think Lockheed is pretty smart.
I'm firmly of the opinion that Across The Stars is a decent bet to beat warm favourite Idaho in the Great Voltigeur Stakes (3.05). The son of Sea The Stars didn’t handle the undulations of Epsom in the Derby but was looked after by Kieren Fallon and he showed exactly what he could do when bouncing back to win the King Edward VII Stakes at Ascot afterwards. He looks the sort of horse that is just going to keep on improving this year and he looks a really strong stayer, so much so that I think he will go on and win the St Leger later in the season. This galloping track will suit him down to the ground and, while Idaho might have the best form in the race, Sir Michael Stoute’s colt can improve past him.
There is no bigger fan of Postponed than me but there are enough doubts about him today to put me off backing him at skinny odds, in what is quite a deep Juddmonte International Stakes (3.40). There are plenty of horses in here that can be given a squeak on their best form - I’m a big fan of Mutakayyef, for example, but I’m going to have a dart at big price runner here. Can I quite see him winning? I’m not sure, but I do think he has been slightly forgotten about and if you had stopped the Hardwicke Stakes after ten furlongs he would have won quite impressively, and that’s Almodovar. He’s been targeted at this race ever since Ascot, the trainer rarely runs horses in big races unless they are meaningful players and I think he is a genuine top-notcher. The track will suit him ideally, he’s a big long-striding galloper, and he looks an appealing play at morning odds of 28/1.