Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, picks out four to follow at Epsom, Longchamp, Newmarket and Redcar on Saturday afternoon.
SWISS DIVA (12.35) looks the best bet on the Longchamp card on Sunday when she goes to post for the Prix De L’Abbaye. David Elsworth’s filly is in her element when the mud is flying and she completed a quick hat-trick with some aplomb at the Paris track earlier this month. With further wet weather forecast across the English Channel, rejuvenated Swiss Diva can leave her rivals floundering. War Artist was staying on steadily into fourth behind my selection last time and could pose the chief threat under a more aggressive ride.
Nearer home, the totesport Cambridgeshire is the first leg of the traditional autumn double and RANSOM NOTE (3.40) could bring the curtain down on a meritorious three-year-old campaign which started on a winning note at Doncaster’s Lincoln meeting. Barry Hills has his string in good order and Ransom Note showed his liking for big fields when landing the 27-runner Britannia Stakes at Royal Ascot. He has gone from strength-to-strength and ran out a comfortable two-length winner over Acrostic at York’s Ebor meeting. A high draw is usually an advantage in the Cambridgeshire and stall 22 fits the bill.
The big event at Redcar is the Totepool Two-Year-Old Trophy and, in the absence of Wootton Bassett (on duty in the Criterium at Longchamp on Sunday), I like the prospects of LADIES ARE FOREVER (3.20). Nestling at the foot of the weights, Ladies Are Forever hasn’t been seen since running third in the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot. She exploded on to the scene on her debut at Beverley and is well boxed in stall 15 under Silvestre De Sousa.
The Apprentices’ Derby at Epsom lacks quality and FANTASTIC STRIKE (3.10) hasn’t fared badly since stepped up to 12 furlongs by Mark Johnston. He found the company a bit hot when finishing in midfield behind Home Advantage at Kempton after running Leader Of The Land close at Beverley 10 days earlier. This looks a more suitable assignment.