Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up six to follow on Saturday at Ascot, York and Newcastle. View selections below
WORKFORCE (4.30) has conditions in his favour in Saturday’s Betfair-sponsored King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot and wins a confident vote to take revenge on Aidan O’Brien for his Coral-Eclipse defeat at the hands of former Aussie monster So You Think. Ballydoyle are represented here by hat-trick seeking St Nicholas Abbey and connections have surely taken a huge gamble in handing the plum ride to Group 1 rookie Joseph O’Brien.
As usual, Ryan ‘Mr Cool’ Moore is aboard Workforce and he will probably ride the 2010 Derby-Arc hero with a little more restraint over this longer trip on the soft ground he prefers. Rewilding could emerge the principal threat, although O’Brien insists So You Think wasn’t at his brilliant best when collared by the Godolphin colt at Royal Ascot. Nathaniel was a revelation at the royal meeting and this confirmed mudlark adds more lustre to a top-class field.
William Haggas has looked across the Irish Sea and booked Nina Carberry to ride DIVINE CALL (1.30) in the traditional ladies’ race curtain-raiser. A comfortable winner over seven furlongs at Kempton, Divine Call appeared to find Newmarket’s mile overstretching his stamina and the Cheveley Park Stud gelding will be more at home returned to seven furlongs on an easier surface.
Frankie Dettori replaces an apprentice on PARLOUR GAMES (5.40) after the Godolphin colt could finish only a one-paced fourth over 10 furlongs at Sandown. Parlour Games, a winner on soft ground at Nottingham last season, remains lightly raced and the combination of longer trip/softer ground can spark him into life.
Feature event at York is the Group 2 Sky Bet Stakes and the sole three-year-old in the line-up, DOMINANT (3.05), can continue Roger Varian’s hot streak. His colt revelled in the mud at HQ when dishing out a five-length beating to Malthouse last month and may well progress past solid yardsticks Twice Over and Class Is Class.
Jim Goldie sends NAMWAHJOBO (2.55) on a recovery mission to Newcastle after disappointing on a slick surface at Doncaster and his imposing colt is better judged on an impressive Ayr victory on softer terrain in mid-June.
Former Mark Johnston jockey Keith Dalgleish has made a rattling good start to his training career and DOC HAY (4.40) has been a standard-bearer for the Lanarkshire yard, already winning three times this summer. Doc Hay wasn’t seen to best advantage after taking a bump at the start of the Scottish Stewards’ Cup at Hamilton and he wouldn’t have been totally at home on the quick ground, either. Dropped into less competitive company here on a softer surface, Doc Hay makes plenty of appeal.