It is a very average weekend of racing after Camelot’s brilliant success at Epsom in the Derby; that said Newmarket stage a very competitive card and I hope High Jinx (4.00) can improve for his Doncaster reappearance in the 12f handicap; Ryan Moore takes over for the first time and he ought to go close in a tight handicap although the Fanshawe’ horses have not exactly been flying of late and the form of his horses running on Friday ought to be monitored.
Ihtifal (5.10) failed to go on from her promising debut at Kempton last time, but on both her starts she has suggested that a drop back to 7f might suit; she sets a very high standard and although there are some very well bred newcomers in attendance the Godolphin runner is given the nod. How strange it is to see a fancied runner from the Boys In Blue ridden by Mickael Barzalona with Frankie Dettori in opposition riding for Jeremy Noseda on the well bred debutante Fairest.
Leading owner Dr Marwan Koukash rarely leaves his beloved Chester without a winner and his Sugar Hiccup (2.00) looks sure to appreciate the return to 12f having made an encouraging start for her new stable at Haydock last month; the selection has finished runner up in four of her last five starts but as long as the ground is not too testing she can return to the winners’ enclosure. Do note that Dr Koukash is doubly represented in the race with Elizabeth Coffee also in his colours although that filly looks more exposed than the recommendation.
At Worcester the hope is that Francesa (2.45) will have learned from the mistakes that littered her chase debut but with that experience behind she can land an informative Beginners’ Chase in which the Jonjo O’Neill runner Caddie Master looks sure to go off favourite.
There is no denying that Shoreacres (3.20) is very well handicapped on his hurdles form reverting to the larger obstacles and if he can get into a rhythm out in front for Brendan Powell he will take some pegging back; the lightly-raced 10-y-o Red Hot Poker may give the selection most to think about in a cracking handicap chase.
At Perth on Sunday Mumbles Head (4.10) survived a bad blunder at the water jump to run out a cosy winner last time over course and distance and he can follow up despite the hike in the weights; Gordon Elliot brings a couple of raiders over from Ireland including Tredelenburg who must go close but Mumbles Head is on a role and is still fairly treated on his best form.
The second Major of the Golf year has been given added spice by Tiger Woods’ brilliant win in the Memorial Tournament at the weekend. His birdie on 16 on the final day was courtesy of one of the greatest shots even in his most illustrious career and a Major win would cement his comeback from his recent adversity.