AFSARE (3.10) scored with such authority at Sandown last time that he gets a confident vote to follow up in the Group 2 Sky Bet Stakes at York. Luca Cumani’s gelding clearly appreciated a drop in class at Sandown and the race was over as a contest when Kieren Fallon eased him to the front well over a furlong out. This is a better event, with classy Planteur and Wigmore Hall probably the principal dangers, and Afsare’s connections will be hoping there a few showers on the Knavesmire as he appreciates some cut in the ground.
DIMENSION (2.35) has been lightly campaigned this season, backing up an excellent effort when runner-up to Bronze Prince at Lingfield in May with a running-on eighth in the Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot. Dimension showed his versatility by making all to score with a bit in hand at Ascot on his final start last season but, from his wide draw here, expect him to be tucked in for a late thrust.
BILIDN (4.50) has enjoyed a highly successful campaign on the back of some shrewd placing by trainer Noel Quinlan but his winning run came to a halt – only just – on heavy ground at Ffos Las. Bilidn capitulated by a nose to improving Asker, conceding weight, following a titantic slugfest which saw the pair pull 15 lengths clear of the third. The handicapper may well have taken Bilidn’s measure but I wouldn’t be too sure.
At Newcastle, SHOW FLOWER (2.30) is another horse in rampant form. Indeed, Mick Channon’s Shamardal filly is chasing a five-timer and would appreciate some rain, having scored with ease in the ground at Ascot, Ayr and Bath.
On an interesting Newmarket card, ALMUFTARRIS (5.35) is worth the wait at an each-way price. Ed Dunlop’s gelding has had a short break since finishing only fourth at Haydock in a decent Class 3 handicap but will find this company less onerous. My selection chased home Main Sequence at Yarmouth last September and kicked off his three-year-old career by picking up a Lingfield maiden in April.
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