Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up six to follow on Saturday at Goodwood, Doncaster and Newmarket. View selections below
GOODWOOD sprint king Dandy Nicholls saddles six horses in Saturday’s Blue Square Stewards’ Cup and old boy DOCOFTHEBAY (3.45) may finally enjoy his big day in the sun. He has been knocking at the door in these cavalry charges over the past few seasons and has again shaped well this season. Docofthebay finished a close-up fourth to Hoof It in the Sportingbet.com Handicap at York in May and is 10lb better off with the probable favourite.
He also enjoys a weight pull with Newmarket conqueror Pastoral Pursuits and, with man-of-the-moment Tom Queally in the plate from a rails pitch, Docofthebay can run another huge race at loud odds.
Queally, fresh from his stunning exploits on Frankel, is looking to bag another glorious Group 1 prize on MIDDAY (3.10) in the Nassau Stakes. Henry Cecil’s popular mare gave her supporters a fright in this race 12 months ago when swerving across the track before rallying to land the spoils.
Midday got a rear view of Aidan O’Brien’s impressive Misty For Me in the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh, but her track experience on this faster ground may swing things back in her favour. The presence of Snow Fairy and Crystal Capella ensures this is no two-horse affair and we are set for a cracker.
The Goodwood action opens with the Blue Square Stewards’ Sprint Stakes and THUNDERBALL (2.05), running in the same colours as Docofthebay, can make light of a 3lb penalty for his eyecatching Pontefract win under a cool ride from apprentice Leonna Mayor. They team up again and may be hard to catch from a perfect stands’ side draw.
Mark Johnston’s GUEST BOOK (5.35) had Truism just behind when runner-up in a tight handicap here earlier in the week and should confirm form in the concluding apprentices’ handicap with Daryl Byrne taking off 5lb.
At Doncaster, ANTON DOLIN (5.05) can atone for a very rare off day when a flopping favourite last time. John Dunlop’s three-year-old had previously rattled off a hat-trick at Warwick, Goodwood and Newbury and deserves the chance to put that one poor run behind him.
Kevin Ryan has an improving three-year-old in KING KURT (4.05) and his no-nonsense Pontefract winner can defy the handcapper at Newmarket.