Former Talksport man Charlie McCann marks your card with six to follow on Saturday at Haydock, Newmarket and York. View selections below
A cracking Saturday card at Haydock to look forward to with the Group 3 Pinnacle Stakes the first of the feature races for Fillies’ and Mares over the mile-and-a-half. Last year’s winner Moment In Time might not be quite as effective on slow ground and the vote goes to the one penalised runner Cubanita (2.05) who looked sure to take a hand in the Yorkshire Cup over a couple of furlongs further last time before her stamina gave way.
The selection acts well on soft ground and finished 3L in front of Astonishing (1lb worse off today) when the pair met at Newbury last month. The Sir Michael Stoute horses weren’t firing at the time at there might not be a great deal between them today, but Astonishing has never encountered soft ground and her ability to handle it must be taken on trust.
Eton Forever, as his name suggests, seems to have been around for a long time but he showed he was as good as ever when scoring at Warwick on debut for Roger Varian. He loves the combination of soft ground and 7f but he is overlooked in favour in favour of Here Comes When (2.40) such an impressive winner at Chester last time albeit in handicap company. It is possible that first time out was the time to catch him but he has a terrific draw in stall one especially as he likes to race prominently and I expect him to lead the arrow down the centre of the track and shun the far side rails.
Garswood is the likely favourite but he didn’t impress at Sandown on his reappearance over a mile and it is no surprise to drop him back a furlong. On official figures he has plenty in hand of the selection (11lbs) but at a double-figure price I would expect Here Come When to reward each way support in an outstanding renewal of the race.
There’s an excellent card at York with Godolphin bidding to maintain their stranglehold on the LLP Grand Cup, a listed race over a mile and three quarters and won last year by Saeed Bin Suroor’s Songcraft.
The boys in blue are double handed with former Mark Johnston inmate Statutory and last year’s Gordon Stakes winner Cap O’Rushes however preference lay with Peter Niven’s dual-purpose gelding Clever Cookie (2.20) who was a game winner at the track at the three-day Dante meeting earlier this month.
The 6-y-o makes his first foray into pattern class after a game win in handicap company last time out and despite having to find almost a stone against the field on official ratings, looks the progressive type to score en-route to a crack at the Ebor in August.
Jamaican Bolt (2.50) is a regular on the Knavesmire and should be able to build on his excellent 6th here earlier in the month over an extra furlong. His best form has come over the minimum trip and he looks well handicapped on a mark of 90 to go even closer than his four previous visits to the track, Robert Tart excellent value for his 3lb claim.
Ed Walker’s Nicholascopernicus (3.25) is as talented as he is quirky, but should be able to take advantage of his plundering mark in the 0-90 handicap over a mile and a half. The trip and forecasted soft ground look ideal for the 5-y-o and with a run under his belt already this season he should remain competitive with the added bonus of Graham Lee aboard for the first time.
There’s strong flat racing down south too with evening racing from Newbury and afternoon action at Newmarket where James Fanshawe’s Cosseted (5.45) can land the spoils at the latter in the lucky last.
The filly won going away at Doncaster last time out to put an end to a frustrating time of things for the 4-y-o and she looks likely to improve even further with a bit of juice in the ground. Lady Cecil’s Flow looks the biggest danger and is one of two for the Niarchos family along with Sir Michael Stoute’s Stomachion.