Mark Johnston has a happy knack of extricating improvement from his horses when he inches them up in trip and MONTATAIRE (Best price 5-1) impressed when stepped up to a mile for the first time at Salisbury. Jockey Frannie Norton looked to have few doubts the new trip would suit his mount that day, allowing Montataire to bowl along in front before stretching readily clear of a decent field. I would be happy to see the same tactics employed today and the northern raider is narrowly preferred to Best Of Days who was frustratingly worried out of it close home at York and looks the primary danger.
Lady Aurelia arguably produced the performance of the flat season at Royal Ascot when routing her rivals and she may well look a big price, even at odds on, once the field have reached the halfway point of the Cheveley Park Stakes. It is unlikely Wesley Ward’s exuberant filly won’t be clear of her rivals at that point but whether she can remain there is open to debate. She didn’t look as though a stiff six furlongs were her optimum conditions in France last time with the petrol gauge flickering in the last 100 yards and I’m wondering whether she could be vulnerable close home today. QUEEN KINDLY (Best price 11-4) could be the one to profit if the favourite does run out of gas and rider Jamie Spencer looks sure to ride his filly chilly in rear before attempting to pounce late on with a race-winning manoeuvre.
After some adverse publicity this week, there is no doubt today’s Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes represents a huge occasion for Godolphin. Although beaten at Goodwood by Mehmas, their next big hope BLUE POINT (Best price 5-4) is fancied to reverse the placings on a more orthodox track and give the boys in blue some cheer after a difficult few days. The selection has subsequently slammed Mokarris by three lengths at York and it will be disappointing if he can’t build on that emphatic victory here given at times he has appeared a colt of real class this term. Mehmas looks the play for those who prefer to bet each-way against the market leader, while Godolphin second string, Silver Line, could outrun his odds.
Wily trainer David Elsworth likes nothing more than proving his critics wrong and he will be hoping MASTER THE WORLD (Best price 22-1) could follow in the hoofsteps of Spanish Don and Lear Spear by landing today’s prestigious Cambridgeshire handicap. The talented, but enigmatic, five-year-old should have won last year’s renewal as he was nicely clear at the final furlong, only to hang away his chance in the dying strides to allow Third Time Lucky to pick his pocket. Elsworth’s handicapper has the opportunity to gain compensation 12 months on and he could be nicely drawn to go one better over on the far rail.
EXAMINER (Best price 16-1), a place behind Master The World in third last year, looks another with a major chance and is worth supporting to go close again. Stuart Williams’ charge was left high and dry down the middle of the track when his rivals faded late on, but he finished to good effect and looks likely to make an impact again 12 months on.
2.35 Market Rasen
Red Tornado has already bagged a nice prize at the Lincolnshire venue and he has been saved for a tilt at a second one this summer judged on his mini absence since that last success. He will surely take some beating judged on that latest win a hot handicap, but the handicapper has had his say and WISTY (Best price 15-2) could prove a viable alternative, especially given his profile and price. The selection is thriving at present and could take some overhauling from the front if allowed to dominate.
3.10 Market Rasen
This looks a difficult race to get to grips with, but it could be worth taking a chance with CERNUNNOS (Best price 12-1) who was still in the mix when coming down two fences from home in a similar event here in July. The combination of Adrian Heskin and Tom George has hit the ground running this week and the duo team up with a six-year-old who has been rested since running slightly below par at Southwell six weeks ago. The return to today’s venue could be the key to a more vibrant showing.
Read Sam Turner's tips in the Daily Mail every day or at www.dailymail.co.uk/racing