Former Talksport man Charlie McCann marks your card with four to follow on Saturday at Sandown and York. View selections below
Not the greatest weekend racing with everything geared up for next week’s Royal meeting; the racing world was saddened to hear of the death of the great Sir Henry Cecil earlier in the week and 75 winners at the Royal meeting puts into some perspective what a magnificent trainer he was. Quintessentially English we may never see his like again. RIP
There is rain forecast on good to firm ground at York which will inconvenience many of the runners but not the mare Maven (2.40) who drops back in trip having put up, arguably, a career best performance when runner up again on the Knavesmire over slightly further last month. It is possible that she will get taken off her feet dropping back to 9f but there is plenty of pace in the race and if the rains arrive that will certainly help.
There is a terrific sprint handicap for 3-year-olds; Cosmic Chatter would not want rain but looked a horse to stay on the rights side of on his reappearance; the nod goes to Body And Soul (3.50) who would appreciate any rain and showed she had trained on when making a pleasing renewal at Ripon last month. A winner of both the Weatherbys Super Sprint and Redcar Two-year-old Trophy as a juvenile she can reward each way support at 14/1 with BetVictor.
At Sandown both Theodore Gericault and Stableford are interesting runners in the opening 1m 1f handicap but Noble Gift (1.50) has only been raised 4lbs for his smooth success at Nottingham and can land his hat-trick in a most informative contest. Jim Crowley takes over from Hayley Turner who rides bottom-weight Nile Knight in a fascinating opener.
Smoothtalkinrascal (2.55) ran a cracker in the Epsom dash earlier in the month and can step up from handicap company in the listed Scurry Stakes for David O’Meara. Dutch Masterpiece did us a favour at Chester last weekend but this is a much better race and his draw in stall 11 is certainly a negative. Morawij has the plum draw in stall 1 and ran very well against older horses at Haydock in the Group 2 Temple Stakes last time. This represents a drop in grade back against his own age group and he can give the selection most to think about
Richard Hughes will be previewing the first four days of Royal Ascot at betvictor.com and to complement our link to the Champion jockey we have a No Lose Hughes offer for the meeting and will refund losses on each race at the meeting up to £25 if Richard finishes in the frame. Note this includes any enhanced place terms; thus if we go five places in the Hunt Cup/Wokingham etc we will refund losses if Richard finishes in the first five and he has a terrific book of rides already with Toronado (St James’s Palace) and Championship (Coventry) his best rides on the opening day.