13:40 York

SAFE VOYAGE (best price 12/1) has been a credit to connections over the years and owes them absolutely nothing but the nine-year-old might just have one big performance in him and today could be that day now that the assessor has given him respite. He’s been held the last twice but is a former Group Two winner over today’s course-and-distance, who ran well to finish fifth in the same race last year and it is rare we see him in this grade nowadays.

He gets his favoured conditions and is drawn well in stall ten to avoid any possible early carnage and go forward under Jason Hart. On the overall balance of his form he is the best horse in the race so while he’s probably vulnerable to the younger brigade at the other end of the weights, he looks great each-way value with four places generally available.

Safe Voyage - 0.5pts e/w @ 12/1

13:45 Goodwood

Richard Hannon runs three in this race with preference for GISBURN (best price 5/1) who’s won two of his five starts and got back on track at Newbury last time, where he travelled powerfully and quickened up stylishly to score by over a length. He should appreciate the extra yardage and is the choice of Sean Levey, while his connections think a lot of him too. With more to come this term, this son of Ribchester can continue where he left off and go close to winning this on his return to action with better days ahead of him as a three-year-old. 
Gisburn - 0.5pts e/w @ 5/1

14:00 Haydock

GOOBINATOR (best price 13/2) returned a beaten favourite last time over hurdles but the return to this course off a fair mark back in this sphere should see him competitive. Donald McCains six-year-old is a very consistent horse on the flat, in which his form figures read 32143114 and he was last seen in this code running a blinder to take fourth behind Buzz in the Cesarewitch at Newmarket.

Before that good effort in defeat, he’d won very easily over course and distance and is only four pounds higher today, so his current mark of 86 is workable and with Graham Lee booked to ride, who’s enjoyed so much success with this stable over the years, has an excellent chance of winning the Cazoo Hell Nook Handicap on this son of Noble Mission, who’s the only course-and-distance winner in the field too. Four places generally available. 

Goobinator - 0.5pts e/w @ 13/2

14:20 York

The wide draw isn’t ideal but I’ll be surprised if WAY TO WIN (best price 11/1) doesn’t prove to be a good deal better than his current mark of 80 this season. Marco Botti’s charge has been running well in slightly better races than this the last three times and has been strong at the finish in most of his races despite racing keenly on a few occasions. He went close to winning off only a two-pound lower mark on his penultimate start at Wolverhampton so a mark of 80 on the turf is evidently within his capabilities. If Neil Callan can get him into a good position from his wide berth, there’s every chance this son of The Gurkha will pose a serious threat in the latter stages. Five places generally available. 
Way To Win - 0.5pts e/w @ 9/1

14:50 Goodwood

MORANDO (best price 12/1) hasn’t won in nearly three years but he's produced some proper quality efforts in defeat, including last time when third in a hot Group Three. Andrew Balding’s charge has got loads of form over staying trips and this multiple Group Three winner is having his first run in a handicap in nearly six years. He’s only ever ran here once before but that was when third at this meeting twelve months ago in which he was a close-up third behind Hukum. William Carver claims three-pounds so he’s technically getting into this weaker race off an attractive mark, especially when you factor in that he was rated as high as 117 in his prime. This is his first start of the season but he’s a dual winner when returning from an absence of five months+, so he clearly goes well fresh and with his trainer in great form at the moment, he’s a major player against horses he’s capable of beating on his day. 
Morando - 0.5pts e/w @ 12/1

14:55 York

JAWWAAL (best price 11/2) travelled really well on his return over track and trip on his return nine days ago before his fitness gave way in the latter stages and this useful sprinter, who is going to get a nice lead into proceedings is a couple of pounds lower than when placing fourth twice in a pair of twenty-two runner fields last term, including when going close in the Sky Bet And Symphony Group Handicap. He’s only three-pounds above his last winning mark in which he beat the likes of Nomadic Empire and Mountain Peak with plenty to spare and Connor Beasley has a good record on him too. His trainer Michael Dods has made an excellent start to the campaign and despite being drawn alone in stall one, this seven-year-old has plenty in his favour and should be very competitive with five places generally available. 
Jawwaal - 0.5pts e/w @ 11/2

15:10 Haydock

In the Sandy Lane Stakes, I have two really strong fancies. Firstly, Karl Burke’s EL CABALLO (best price 10/3) who made it five on the bounce on All-Weather Championships day at Newcastle last time where he beat subsequent winner Tiber Flow. He did well to get the job done considering the race was run at a sedate pace and this race has been the plan ever since. Before his four consecutive wins on the all-weather, he had shown a lot of promise in two starts on the turf which included a close-up second on debut to Armor comfortably going one better at Carlisle next time.

He’s improved with every start since and, with connections likely to send him to Royal Ascot to tackle the Commonwealth Cup next time, he goes here with a very good chance of extending his winning sequence with a lot more improvement to come.

Clive Cox and Adam Kirby teamed up to win this race in the past with Harry Angel and they have an outstanding each-way contender in this year’s renewal in the form of CATURRA (best price 15/2) who’s second in France last time is working out well and that run should have blown away the cobwebs. He had got better with each start at two, where he got up late to beat Armor in the Group Two Flying Childers at Doncaster before being beaten just over a length when fifth in Middle Park at Newmarket (Go Bears Go one place in front of him). He may have been finished in front of the former too without being short of room in the closing stages so I’m struggling to see why the price between the two is so large.

Theoretically, he should be pushing for favouritism, especially being the second highest-rated runner in the field at 110 (only Go Bears Go is higher at 111) and this talented sprinter brings some of the best form to the table. Furthermore, Adam Kirby has opted to ride him rather than stablemate Wings Of War and, with a strong pace very much guaranteed, everything looks to have aligned perfectly for this capable sprinter to produce a big performance in Merseyside. 

El Caballo - 2pts @ 10/3
Caturra - 1pt e/w @ 8/1

16:55 Haydock

In the finale in Merseyside, I am sticking with the well-handicapped ASAD (best price 4/1) who returned better than ever after six months off to score at Chelmsford last month and has already proven to be just as effective on the turf. He was a good second on his only previous visit to this course, where he split two horses rated 107 and 99 and will return to the turf today off 84. That’s without his rider's five-pound claim taken into account so he’s basically in this race off 81, which is two-pound lower than last time. Mick Appleby has his team in excellent order and with a top apprentice booked for the ride, this lightly-raced six-year-old, who’s open to further progression, should make a bold bid from the front with four places widely available.
Asad - 1pt e/w @ 4/1