It's a very busy day on Channel 4 and top pundit Sam Turner has all the action covered.
There is a chance the handicapper hasn’t managed to catch up with SUMMER CHORUS (Best price 7-1) just yet and she could be a decent bet to land the final of this fillies’ series. Andrew Balding’s durable filly has already won a Class 2 handicap at HQ this summer – on the July Course – but she ran well enough when tackling the Rowley Mile a fortnight ago and Jimmy Quinn has proved a very compatible partner for the selection in recent times. Hopefully, she will finish off her race in trademark fashion and land another nice pot.
Another interesting, if not tricky, fillies handicap with Faradine, Crowning Glory and intriguingly Fourth Way all catching the eye as horses with the right profile for a race of this nature. It probably requires another career best from LINCOLN ROCKS (Best price 9-1) to lower the colours of some improving rivals, but she posted a superb time when making all at Musselburgh last week and could be a filly that can leave behind her current mark in the 80s.
Although an abject disappointment when last seen, SHARJA QUEEN (Best price 6-1) can be forgiven a sub-standard performance at Salisbury. A number of her stablemates were struggling with a virus at the time and she is a much better filly than her finishing position that day. Her previous demolition of Visage Blanc at the same venue suggested she was capable of moving into Listed/Group 3 events and she can be the latest from Kremlin House to leave behind a modest display this autumn.
Surprisingly, it has been eight years since trainer Aidan O’Brien landed this afternoon’s Group 1 prize, but ALICE SPRINGS (Best price 7-4) has a fine chance of ending that drought. The selection displayed an exceptional turn of foot to pick up the highly-talented Persuasive in the Matron Stakes three weeks ago and a repeat of that display would make her extremely tough to beat at a track where she was third in the 1000 Guineas in April. There has been a fair amount of water under the bridge since that honourable run behind stablemate Minding, but if her efforts at Leopardstown are to be believed then Alice Springs remains on an upward curve.
Two typically late maturing types from Sir Michael Stoute’s yard dominate the market for the Cumberland Lodge and narrow preference is for ARAB SPRING (Best price 10-3). The son of Monsun quickened smartly to settle a Kempton Group 3 earlier this month, recording some impressive figures in the process. Hopefully, he will be ridden fairly close to the pace by Jamie Spencer so he can outstay one or two suspect stayers in the straight.
The form of last year’s Middle Park Stakes won by Shalaa has subsequently yielded just one Meydan win at 4-5 from 28 runs and his trainer may just be getting him ready for the Qipco Spring in a fortnight’s time. With that in mind the likes of DON’T TOUCH (Best price 7-1) and Outback Traveller appeal as each-way plays against a horse who is returning from a 371-day break. Don’t Touch failed to figure in the July Cup but had previously looked an improving sprinter capable of mixing it at this level. His trainer Richard Fahey won this last year and could strike again.
The course and distance handicap won by Dutch Law four weeks ago may prove the key to this event and it could be dangerous to write off the victor today. However, neither FIRMAMENT (best price 8-1) or SQUATS (Best price 10-1) enjoyed the best of runs in that race, whereas the winner swept down the outside of the field, enjoying a trouble-free passage in the process. Both selections were held up in traffic on that occasion and appeal as fair bets with four places up for grabs.
Peace Offering won this contest for David Nicholls in 2008 and he has also sent out two placed horses from just four runners in the last 10 years so KIMBERELLA (Best price 7-1) makes some appeal. The six-year-old has enjoyed a magnificent season, running in a number of the fiercest sprints and he finally gained some reward for recent efforts with an emphatic Ripon success last weekend. The draw could have been kinder to the selection but he still appeals as just the type to run well given his iron-like constitution.
Hugo Palmer has enjoyed a terrific season with his juveniles – the Newmarket handler enjoyed Group 2 success last Saturday at Newmarket – and MAZYOUN (Best price 5-1) could be the answer to a tricky renewal. The Mayson colt is clearly quirky but in the hope the blinkers have the same effect as the cheekpieces did last time at Doncaster, he looks set to run well. The likes of Repton and Medici Banchiere are most feared, especially the latter given he ran well at York in a Group race which is working out well.
Read Sam Turner's tips in the Daily Mail every day or at www.dailymail.co.uk/racing