Plenty of profit so far this week and a whole host of tips for Friday.
Wesley Ward has enjoyed many fine days at the Royal meeting, but so far there’s little doubt the jovial American hasn’t had the rub of the green up to now this week. Short-headed in the Queen Mary, he then had to take out one of his stars from the Norfolk yesterday due to the ground and to put the tin hat on things, the well-touted Nayibeth has been handed a potentially tricky draw in stall one in this opening fillies contest. Whether she’s good enough to overcome that impost remains to be seen, but with little room for error, she’s readily passed over at the prices.
The victory of Raffle Prize in the Queen Mary has seen bookmakers run for cover with DAAHYEH (best price 9-2), who beat Mark Johnston’s filly easily at Newmarket on debut and even though the price has halved in the last couple of days, she’s still worth a decent interest. Strongly supported at the Cambridgeshire track, Roger Varian’s filly impressed with the way she travelled off the back of solid fractions and when asked to go about her work inside the final two furlongs, she showed a smart turn of foot to readily pull clear. Time-wise, the numbers suggested the race in question 34 days ago was above average, and this lovely-moving daughter of Bated Breath has the class, cruising speed and stamina to play a leading role.
As we saw with A’Ali yesterday, maidens can will at the Royal meeting – particularly those you’ve recorded fast times in defeat – and the one that makes most appeal from that category is J M JACKSON (best price 12-1). Well-touted before her debut at Thirsk, Mark Johnston’s filly just came up short in the final analysis after looking like winning, but as the horse who beat her that day went on to run a blinder in the Norfolk yesterday, the form obviously looks better than it did at the time. Thought highly enough by connections to go and tackle the National Stakes at Sandown next time out, the daughter of No Nay Never was given plenty of time to find her stride after being dropped out from her wide draw and even though those tactics didn’t quite reap maximum rewards, she still came out of the race with great credit. Finishing off her race best of all, J M Jackson intimated in every possible way that she needs further than the minimum trip to be seen in a better light and being a powerful, masculine filly with loads of scope, today’s stiff, galloping track should really play into her strengths.
Galadriel is another one to mention in a favourable light as she caught the eye with a massive effort in a hot listed contest at York on her debut. Detached and outpaced at halfway, Kevin Ryan’s filly came home with a fair rattle to finish a never-nearer fourth and this looks the obvious stepping stone for a filly who clearly wants further than the minimum trip.
It’s easy to see why Japan is a popular choice here after his excellent effort in the Derby and with Frankie bashing the bookmakers yesterday, Private Secretary will also have his legion of fans. Away from the ‘big two’ in the market, the rest seem a little more difficult to decipher, but there’s a chance that PONDUS (best price 5-1) could easily take the step up in class in his stride on the evidence of his last two performances and he rates the value each-way call at the prices.
Fourth in a hot maiden won by Guineas runner up King Of Change at Nottingham on his debut (Valiliev, Piper Bomb and King Ademar all franked the form since), James Fanshawe’s colt made no mistake on his return visit a month later. Clocking an impressive time at the Midland venue, the Sea The Stars colt posted even better numbers when following up at Sandown last time out and with the third, Nette Rousse, going on to boost that particular race next time, his stock is clearly on the rise. Despite been taken on for the early lead by Maiden Castle at the Esher track, he still had the quality and stamina left in his legs to really open up coming up the hill and with the likelihood of even more improvement to come over an extra two furlongs, this exciting three-year-old can punch above his weight.
For supporters of Ten Sovereigns, the recent rain couldn’t have come at a worst time and even though conditions are set to become a little more benign in the hours leading up to the race, 5-4 still looks remarkably skinny for a horse who would ideally want a genuinely fast surface to show off his audacious speed.
Looking for the value bet in the race, well that lies at the feet of KHAADEM (best price 15-2) who seems to have been underestimated by the masses. Third to the top-class Calyx on debut, Charlie Hills has been unbeaten since and his latest victory at Newbury last time out indicated he’s now ready to take on the big boys. In a very strongly run listed contest at the Berkshire venue, the speedy three-year-old stayed on very gamely in the latter stages to win with a bit up his sleeve and with the stiff nature of today’s track likely to play even more into his strengths, he can follow in the hoof prints of stable mate Muhaarar, who took the inaugural running of this race back in 2015 for the same connections.
As we witnessed here yesterday, no one rides this track better than Frankie and he might just be able to get the better out of TWIST ‘N’ SHAKE (best price 12-1) and pull yet another rabbit out of the hat. Without stating the flaming obvious, she clearly has a bit to find on the bare figures, but back on her favoured easy surface, there’s every chance she will perform better than her odds suggest. A wide-margin winner in a fast time on soft ground at Nottingham two starts ago, John Gosden’s filly found the livelier surface against her at York last time out, but even so, she still ran a great race to finish a creditable second to a progressive filly in the shape of Magnetic Charm and with the pair pulling well clear in a smart speed figure, her overall performance levels were still fairly high. Drawn in stall one, hopefully, she can settle in behind the pace set by Hermosa and providing some energy can be preserved for the backend, there’s every chance she can more than make up the numbers.
Hopefully, Twist ‘N’ Shake will provide some substance to the victory of MAGNETIC CHARM (best price 9-1) at York, but either way, William Haggas’ filly looks to have solid claims in what appears a wide-open fillies’ handicap.
Fourth in the Group 2 May Hill Stakes at Doncaster on her final start as a two-year-old, the daughter of Exceed And Excel faced a 246-day break to overcome on the Knavesmire, so to pull off that feat in the manner she did was testimony to her raw class. Coming through with a sweeping run late on, this scopey three-year-old filly had too many guns for her ten rivals and providing she’s ridden in exactly the same fashion her this afternoon, a bold bid looks on the cards.
No Frankie here due to the low weights set to be carried by NONCHALANCE (best price 10-1) and Wimbrel, but Robert Havlin knows the former well having sat aboard John Gosden’s filly on her first two starts and the combination look primed for a positive display. A massive eye-catcher first time out at Wolverhampton behind the very smart Tempus, she wasted no time in vindicating the impression she created on her debut by bolting up at Haydock next time. Well-supported that day, she was once again a warm order for her latest outing at Newmarket and even though she was dropping back down a furlong, she had enough speed and class to get the job done. An exuberant type with a high cruising speed and a sharp turn of foot, if she can be switched off and settled nicely in the pack, there’s every chance her weapons will be a big factor at the business end.
The race won by First Eleven at York’s Dante meeting was one of the best handicaps run so far this season, and having run well to finish an honourable third, CORGI (best price 7-1) carries very strong form lines into this similar contest over a track where he’s gone well in the past.
Runner-up to Baghdad in the King George V Handicap at this meeting last year and sixth in the Melrose on his final outing at York, Hughie Morrison’s inmate came back to action off the back of 263-day break having undergone a wind operation in the off season. Clearly suffering no ill-effects from that procedure, the four-year-old arguably ran right up to his very best form on the Knavesmire and this ultra-consistent sort should once again give another solid account with anything like a clear passage. Ahead of Corgi that day was Fujaira Prince and for those looking to play two against the field then Roger Varian’s grey is a must for that strategy. The only reason he doesn’t qualify as a bet – and it’s a tenuous one – is that he doesn’t have any previous track form whereas Corgi has.
In what looks a really weak maiden on paper, PRINCESS MAYSON (best price 11-2) has more than enough in two starts to suggest she has bright prospects of playing a leading role.
Unsighted behind the likes of Sunday Sovereign and Arizona on debut at the Curragh, Gavin Cromwell’s filly showed a good deal more promise on her latest outing over tonight’s C&D last weekend and the way she finished off her race from racing towards the rear of the field for the majority of the journey pointed towards a horse really learning what the game is all about. Going on strongly at the finish, she clearly made a massive step forward from that initial performance and providing she can continue along the same path, the future looks fairly bright for this daughter of Mayson.
PUSHMI PULLYU (NAP) (best price 10-3) won doing handsprings at Yarmouth last time out and providing she can translate that level of performance over to tonight’s stiffer track, she will surely take all the beating.
Promising on several outings as a two-year-old, Jane Chapple-Hyam’s filly began her new campaign in a classified event at the seaside track eight days ago and having been well-backed beforehand, she duly landed the gamble in some style. Always travelling well in the hands of tonight’s pilot, the daughter of Roderic O’Connor barely came out of third gear to score in the manner of a well-treated horse and with tonight’s opponents, by and large, looking fairly exposed, she should be capable of keeping her progress going in an upwards direction.
DE MAZZARO (best price 11-2) is still winless after 20 starts but there’s been many moments of encouragement to suggest he win surely pop up in the not too distant future and following an eye-catching display at Fairyhouse when back on the Flat last time out, tonight could be the time to strike with Tommy McCourt’s gelding. Coming with looked to be a potent challenge down the outside at the two pole, his pilot, Danny Sheehy, was forced to stop riding due to an injury he sustained in given his mount extra encouragement and from that point on, the son of So You Think had to be heavily eased. Even so, he still managed to pass several horses who were flat to the boards, suggesting he would have gone close if he’d been allowed to run on his merits, and having run well at tonight’s track several times over hurdles, he’s afforded another chance.