Former Talksport man Charlie McCann marks your card with seven to follow on Saturday at Ascot, York and Salisbury. View selections below
A field of seven go to post for this afternoon’s prestigious Gp 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes with ante-post favourite Postponed a massive blow to the racecourse, withhis defection leaving a somewhat sub-standard renewal of the mile and a half contest. Dartmouth and Highland Reel head the market after finishing 1-2 in the Hardwicke Stakes over course and distance at Royal Ascot and are both respected stepping up in grade, however preference lies instead with John Gosden’s Wings of Desire (4.30)under Frankie Dettori.
King George prices from BetVictor
Highland Reel 9/4
Wings of Desire 7/2
Connections were edged out by a nostril last term but this 3-y-o boasts a seriously progressive profile; winning the Dante Stakes at York and finishing an excellent fourth in the Derby at Epsom. The form of that race has worked out well, with Harzand and Idaho franking the form at the Curragh, and in reciept of 12lb he should make swift amends for Lady Bamford.
Mark Johnston dominates the opening Listed Pat Eddery Stakes with the well-bred pair of Frankuss and Monticello; the latter getting the nod from stable jockey Joe Fanning and a likely warm favourite after making it 2/2 last month at Musselburgh. A chance is taken instead on Godolphin’s Dubai Hero (2.10) who beat his highly-touted stablemate D’Bai in a warm Newmarket meeting at the July Meeting and with further improvemenet likely should go close under Godolphin’s retained pilot James Doyle.
Juddmonte sponsor the Princess Margaret Stakes, a Fillies Gp 3 contest over six furlongs, and should take the prize with exciting home-bred Fair Eva (2.45). Roger Charlton’s filly set tongues wagging after making an impressive debut last month at Haydock and was immediately popular in the betting for next year’s 1000 Guineas at Newmarket. After entering the market at 33/1 the daughter of Frankel is now the 10/1 favourite for the first fillies’ classic of the campaign and will likely shorten even further by maintaining her unbeaten record under Frankie Dettori.
Dominic French Davis continues with his assessment that his horseManson (3.20) is the best he is yet to train, with the colt fancied to relish both the return to a sounder surface and being reunited with Jim Crowley for the handicap over the straight mile. The son of Equiano was well punted when disappointing in the Britannia Handicap over C&D last month at the royal meeting, before similarly attracting market support prior to finishing fourth on ground softer than ideal last time out at Newmarket. This afternoon’s better ground should suit and he can make amends and reward each-way support.BetVictor are paying five places on the 7f Gigaset International Handicap with two darts thrown on Heaven’s Guest (3.55) and Suzi’s Connoisseur (3.55) and marginal preference for the latter under Oisin Murphy. Stuart Williams’ progressive handicapper was 5th in the corresponding contest 12 months ago but looks primed for another bold bid. The selection finished an excellent second last time out at Newmarket and continues to be the model of consistency in some of the calendar’s most competitive handicaps.
There’s a terrific supporting card at York where Roger Charlton’s stable star Time Test (3.35) gets the thumbs up to return to winning ways in the feature under Derby winning pilot Pat Smullen. He looked better than ever when winning the BetVictor Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown in May and finished a creditable third on a slower surface in the Eclipse over course and distance. This afternoon’s forecast good-to-firm ground is perfect for the son of Dubawi, who is 7/2 with BetVictor to return to the Knavesmire next month and land the Juddmonte International at next month’s Ebor Meeting.
Smullen can double-up aboard Ralph Beckett’s Sightline (4.45) in the Fillies’ Handicap over an extended mile and a quarter. The daughter of Rock of Gibraltar continued her race-by-race progression winning well last time out at Chester and is well-drawn to defy a 4lb rise at the weights.
There’s evening action from Salisbury where Tanasooq (7.20) should strip fitter for last month’s seasonal reappearance at Doncaster. The selection travelled well before tiring in the closing stages and is a confident selectoin to shed the maiden tag at the fourth time of asking under Dane O’Neill.