Former Talksport man Charlie McCann marks your card with eight to follow on Saturday at Haydock, Yok, Newmarket and Stratford. View selections below
The filly Serene Beauty could have been let in lightly from a mark of 77 on her turf/handicap debut in Haydock’s opener given she ran overcame greenness to beat a consistent Gosden runner (rated 75) cosily by a neck on her first start at Wolverhampton having been forced to race wide. She is likely to run well but she is not certain to be suited by the step up in trip to a mile-and-a-quarter and preference is for Luca Cumani’s Winterval (1.25).
The selection has been knocking in recent starts and got going just too late over the extended mile at Nottingham last time when well supported. The step back up in trip should suit, Adam Kirby is back on board and as a son of Dubawi Friday’s rain would have been a plus.
Talmada will be difficult to beat in the Pinnacle Stakes for Roger Varian having chased home Secret Gesture in the Middleton Stakes at York earlier in the month, but I hope Queen Of Ice (2.00) can get a soft lead and she was certainly improving at a rate of knots when we last saw her back in September winning the listed Harvest Stakes at Newmarket.
Pat Cosgrave is forming a terrific partnership with William Haggas whose yard are in excellent form and she won’t lack for fitness despite returning from a 246-day lay-off.
That Is The Spirit has a great draw for one who likes to race prominently but Cable Bay (2.35) wasn’t beaten far in the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes earlier in the month, will have appreciated Friday’s rain and looked to be back to his best juvenile form at Newbury. At 9/2 with BetVictor I will be disappointed if he didn’t reach a place.
Pretend would make short work of his rivals on polytrack but Tryster showed at Sandown earlier in the week that all-weather form does not necessarily transfer to turf. The Godolphin runner gives weight away to all nine rivals and preference in the Achilles Stakes goes to Music Master (3.10) trying the minimum trip of 5f for the first time.
The selection made a pleasing reappearance when third at Newmarket in the Group 3 Abernant Stakes last month and the drop back to five furlongs might just be the making of this talented five-year-old.
Music Master’s stablemate Limato (3.45) puts his unbeaten record on the line in the Sandy Lane Stakes and the exciting sprinter is 9/4 favourite at BetVictor for the new Group 1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot next month. The gelding looks a potential champion sprinter and this looks an ideal opportunity to maintain his 100% record ahead of a trip to Berkshire next month.
At York Tazffin (4.40) looked a filly to follow at Windsor when scoring over a mile last time; jockey Andrea Atzeni suggested a more galloping track and further would suit and she is expected to improve over this extended mile-and-a-quarter.
At Stratford Makadamia (8.25) has to put behind a poor run at Taunton last time but she had won well at Wetherby previously and might be open to more improvement for the father and son combination of Robert and Sam Waley-Cohen.