The usual impossible puzzle that is the sales race (1.55) kicks things off today and it’s not a particularly appealing betting heat, but the pin has come down on Hemingway who made a good step forward from his promising first run when winning at Pontefract last month. He appears to have a decent draw on the evidence of what we have seen of late and should be well suited by the step back up to six furlongs as he needed all of Pontefract’s stiff five last time. As things stand he has nowhere near the best form in the race but he represents a stable that, as we saw on the opening day, do particularly well with their two-year-old’s at this meeting and he is open to bags more improvement.
Fair Eva is clearly going to take an awful lot of beating in the Lowther Stakes (2.30) but clearly isn’t a great betting proposition at cramped odds and I’m tempted by the filly that she beat on her debut, Nations Alexander. Now clearly, Fair Eva has to run below par, significantly so, in order for Nations Alexander to win, but I do think the selection has improved greatly since the last time these fillies met and I was quite impressed with her in the Sweet Solera Stakes at Newmarket, where she appeared to love the quickish ground. She is battle-hardened and I just feel that she is the overpriced filly in the race.
The 1m handicap at 3.05 looks devilishly difficult but, at a huge price, I’m going to give the diminutive Dinkum Diamond an each-way squeak. Now clearly this is a horse better known as a sprinter but he does most of his best work at the end of his races nowadays. He always gives one hundred per cent which means he is fighting a permanent with the handicapper but he is slightly down in class today, as well as being up in trip, and, importantly, he is reunited with Oisin Murphy who I think got the best tune out of him when he won the Cammidge Trophy a couple of years ago. If he gets the the new trip, which I appreciate is a bit of a speculator, I can see him not being far away at huge odds. Of those with more obvious credentials, One Word More is bound to run well, he always does, Fort Bastion looks very well handicapped on the best of his form and last year’s winner Chill The Kite can’t be ruled out.
Whilst Found is clearly the pick in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks (3.40) on the best of her form, notably her Breeders’ Cup Turf success and one or two of her effort this season, but Aidan O’Brien hinted yesterday that he felt this run was going to be a springboard to her major autumn targets, so, while it wouldn’t surprise to me if she won, and won well, I think the value could lie with her stablemate Seventh Heaven. The impressive Irish Oaks winner is a big long-striding galloper who will be suited by the demands of this track and, in receipt of the allowance, she looks the most likely to lower Found’s colours.