Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Newmarket and Ascot on Saturday. View selections below.
STREWTH! Aussie speedball BRAZEN BEAU (3.45) can create history and become the first sprinter from Down Under to win the Darley July Cup at Newmarket. Brazen Beau, who will race in Godolphin’s royal blue silks for Sydney handler Chris Waller, has his career swan song on the back of his narrow second to American flyer Undrafted in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot. Firm ground is in his favour and Brazen Beau’s training regime has included spins over Newmarket’s unique undulations. He was possibly inconvenienced by Craig Williams steering a solo on the unfavoured stands’ side at Ascot and new rider James Doyle may face a similar dilemma from his stall 15 berth. Dream Ahead struck for the three-year-old division in 2011 and the Classic generation is represented by Muhaarar, so impressive in the Commonwealth Cup, and Irish filly Anthem Alexander, whose trainer Ed Lynam saddled last year’s victor Slade Power. William Haggas has his string in peak form and Muthmir could hit the frame if the track remains slick.
AYAAR (3.10) was a disappointment in the Royal Hunt Cup but can bounce back in the bet365 Bunbury Cup. Luca Cumani’s five-year-old was handed an exposed draw at Royal Ascot and was a spent force racing into the final furlong after doing far too much in the early stages. That was Ayaar’s first outing since routing a big field in the Newbury Spring Cup, with Frankie Dettori sitting motionless two out before skipping clear of Spark Plug and Big Baz. At bigger odds, Bronze Angel is worthy of each-way support given his penchant for these big handicaps.
York stages its ever-popular John Smith’s Cup and SENNOCKIAN STAR (3.25) wins a slender decision over Mount Logan. Besides Sennockian Star, rampant Mark Johnston saddles Fire Fighting and Master of Finance, while Cumani sends Ajman Bridge north along with Mount Logan. Sennockian Star, sixth in this race last year from a 4lb higher perch, arrives here in peak form, having led a furlong out in the Wolferton Handicap at Royal Ascot only to be collared by classy Mahsoob. With Fire Fighting running on strongly into third and Mount Logan taking fourth after a troubled passage, little separates this trio. Ajman Bridge ran Arab Dawn close in the Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes at the royal fixture and that is another strong piece of form. It promises to be a cracking renewal.
WILLIAM OF ORANGE (4.35) is worthy of support in the John Smith’s Stayers Handicap over two miles. Sir Mark Prescott’s four-year-old remains relatively progressive, having had only eight career starts. The gelding was no match for useful Fun Mac at Salisbury and ran into last Saturday’s Old Newton Cup hero Notarised when hitting the frame at Goodwood over 1m 6f. This opposition doesn’t appear so formidable and there is probably more to come in the weeks ahead.
Ascot stages another first-rate card with AROD (2.45) a lively contender in the Summer Mile. Peter Chapple-Hyam had him cherry-ripe for Epsom’s Derby fixture when his colt ran right away with the Group 3 Diomed Stakes and although there is precious little between Arod and Toormore on their running behind Night Of Thunder in the Lockinge at Newbury, the Newmarket challenger gets the nod.
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