Former Talksport man Charlie McCann marks your card with six to follow on Saturday at Chester, Sandown and Newton Abbot. View selections below
We obviously won’t get rich backing Kingman (2.40) in Sandown’s Group 3 Solario Stakes but he is the most exciting colt I have seen this season, although the current quote of 6/1 at BetVictor for the 2014 2000 Guineas makes little appeal given the form of his Newmarket maiden win is nothing out of the ordinary. We will know more after today but he just could be something special.
James Doyle is the new retained jockey for Prince Khalid Abdullah and he gets the leg up in the 7f contest; if all goes according to plan one would imagine it will be the Royal Lodge or the Racing Post Trophy as his end-of-season objective although I am sure trainer John Gosden will want to get today out of the way with first before making any plans.
The classic generation have won the last seven renewals of the Group 3 Atalanta Stakes and that trend can continue with Integral (3.15) who reverts to a mile having had no luck in running in the Group 1 Nassau Stakes (10f) at Goodwood last time.
Godolphin run three including the unbeaten Zibelina but I am more concerned about the lack of a confirmed front-runner in a race that could prove tactical; I think Integral is the best filly in the race and I wonder if connections would consider trying to make all?
No surprise to see Hunters Creek (4.25) dropped to 7f having looked as if a mile stretches his stamina in both starts to date including when making all at Lingfield (all-weather) last time; the selection isn’t the biggest to be carrying a lot of weight but as long as he and The Alamo don’t get involved in a duel for the lead he must go close for Gosden and jockey William Buick who would have been looking forward to partnering Kingman before the announcement of the marriage between Abdulla and Doyle.
It is well-documented that owner Dr Marwan Koukash likes to have winners at his local tracks of Chester and Haydock and his Montaser (3.30) missed the Ebor last weekend on account of the soft ground and he can land the valuable listed race at Chester this afternoon as he is well drawn in stall 3 whereas Sun Central, who was also taken out at York at the 11th hour, must race from stall ten. It really is a cracking contest but I take Montaser, who ran well enough at the track on ground too soft last season, to take the spoils.
I’m not convinced Chester is the ideal track for My Painter (4.40) but the filly showed plenty of promise on debut at Newmarket and trainer Charlie Hills had a welcome juvenile winner at Lingfield (turf) on Thursday evening.
There is an excellent handicap chase at Newton Abbot and I have been very taken with the riding of Richie McLernon for Jonjo O’Neill in recent days and the same combination can win the feature courtesy of Twirling Magnate (3.55) despite the fact that the selection is 7lb higher than when finishing second at Ffos Las last time over further. His stamina gave out over 3m 2f on that occasion and this trip, although not the 7lb rise, looks ideal.