Former Talksport man Charlie McCann marks your card with eight to follow on Saturday at Sandown, York, Musselburgh and Hexham. View selections below
With Royal Ascot fast approaching and both England and Wales beginning their Euro 2016 campaign later today, this isn’t the biggest weekend in the horseracing calendar but what a feast we have in store next week with the greatest flat racing festival in the world taking centre stage.
At Sandown Park this afternoon confidence in Easton Angel (3.20) is lessened because of her modest draw in stall eight (of nine) but if she is to take her chance in next week’s Commonwealth Cup (50/1 at BetVictor) she must go close this afternoon. Trainer Michael Dods wasn’t convinced he had the filly spot-on for her seasonal debut but she ran out a comprehensive but narrow winner at York and gets the vote; she is 11/4 joint favourite with Ornate at BetVictor.
Chester Street (2.10) is blinkered for the first time and, perhaps more importantly, has the assistance of Ryan Moore for the first time in the 9f handicap. Despite being trapped out wide, the lightly-raced Roger Charlton-trained colt finished a decent third at Leicester last time and has the plum draw in stall one this afternoon.
-Dolphin Vista is likely to be all the rage in the Mile Handicap with Frankie Dettori reunited with the progressive 3-y-o but this might be the time to support Ode To Evening (2.45) who has disappointed on turf of late following a cracking reappearance on the all-weather back in April. Paul Mulrennan keeps the ride after a poor run at Haydock last time but if he gets a fast surface I think we might see a much better show at a big price.
At York Gabrial drops down to listed company and must have every chance but the booking of Paul Hanagan for Muwarry (3.00) looks significant despite the fact that the horse is returning from a near 700-day lay-off. The 5-y-old was last seen finishing three lengths behind Charm Spirit in the Gp 1 Prix Jean Prat when pulling too hard, having previously finished runner up in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Hanagan could have ridden BetVictor’s 4/1 fav Mutakayyef but it should be noted that his mount has been nibbled into 5s from 6/1 suggesting his homework has been very good ahead of his return to the track; when you see last year’s winner Top Notch Tonto at 14s you can see it is a top class renewal of the Ganton Stakes.
Tawdeef (3.35) is 20/1 at BetVictor for the valuable sprint handicap but that might be a shade too big for a horse who was well supported at Leicester on his first start for Simon Crisford having been sold out of Brian Meehan’s yard last October; he can reward each way support.
At Musselburgh Impulsive American (2.35) was backed as if defeat was out of the question last weekend and escapes a penalty as that was a boys’ race; Adam McNamara is excellent value for his 7lbs claim and I would be disappointed if he didn’t go very close stepped up to 2m around a track that clearly suits having also won over timber here earlier in the year.
I liked Catalan (4.20) when scoring at Redcar last month and this well bred filly (cost 120,000 Gns as a yearling) can make a winning handicap debut for the shrewd Hughie Morrison. She is by some way the least exposed in the field but must improve again in this company; I think she will be up to the task.
At Hexham Jack Steel (3.50) was a bitter disappointment at Haydock over fences last time but, back over timber, he remains open to further improvement on good ground and is rated 5lbs lower over hurdles. Tom Scudamore is a positive booking.
For all your weekend odds check out BetVictor.com and don’t forget we are giving away £1,000,000 on the final of Euro 2016; to earn a predication simply place a £5 qualifying bet on the tournament – new customers can claim £25 in free bets