Former Talksport man Charlie McCann marks your card with seven to follow on Saturday at York, Sandown Park and Perth. View selections below
The rain arrived at York yesterday but, at the time of writing, Clerk of the Course William Derby reported only 1ml of rain before racing with further showers forecast during racing on Friday and again on Saturday morning.
The Gp 3 Strensall Stakes sees the progressive filly Diploma (2.15) look to follow up her recent listed win on the Knavesmire when she powered clear although that success was gained over an additional furlong. She is clearly going the right way and the hope is this slight drop back in trip is no inconvenience for this well bred filly who races in the colours of Her Majesty The Queen.
The selection is 4/1 with BetVictor and I would be disappointed if she wasn’t in the three although this does represent a step up in grade.
Aidan O’Brien saddles two in the Melrose with the vote going to Kellstorm (2.50) who is a brother of the Gold Cup winner Order Of St George. This step up in trip will suit and it is interesting to see that connections fir cheek-pieces on the lightly-raced son of Galileo for the first time. The colt is 7/1 at BetVictor and is another each way recommendation.
Eleven go to post for the Gimcrack and Mokarris (9/2) must go close for Simon Crisford but he would not want any further significant rain given he disappointed in the Coventry at the Royal meeting on soft ground.
The vote, however, goes to Blue Point (3.25) for Godolphin despite the fact that the colt lost his unbeaten record when beaten a neck by Mehmas (gave 3lbs) in the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood last time. In the immediate aftermath of the race the trainer suggested he would give York a miss and go for the Prix Morny but connections have had a rethink given the facile Queen Mary winner Lady Aurelia is bound for France.
Blue Point is 15/8 with BetVictor and he should not have to make his own running this afternoon which he had to do at Goodwood.
It has been a great week for Roger Varian and Andrea Atzeni with Postponed’s Juddmonte success supplemented by Barsanti’s win in the opener yesterday which gave us a nice start to the day. Battersea (16 from 25s) wears a hood for the first time this afternoon and the 5-y-old has been well supported in lieu of the stable form.
We are paying 5 places on the race at BetVictor and I hope Quick Jack (4.00) can take the prize back to Ireland for Tony Martin and young apprentice Oisin Orr who is good value for his 7lbs claim having ridden 12 winners in Ireland so far this season. The selection finished down the field in the corresponding race 12 months ago and has often hinted that he has a very big race in him; at 12/1 I hope today is the day.
At Sandown the unbeaten Persuasive (2.30) is taken to maintain her 100% record as she steps into Pattern company for the first time. The filly justified favouritism to win the Sandringham at the Royal meeting when last seen in June and any significant showers at the Esher track would be a welcome bonus.
Great to see Hugo Palmer give Josephine Gordon the leg up on Baydar (3.40) in the 10f handicap and her 3lbs claim might prove decisive. The selection is the only 3-y-old in the field but that was the case when he won at Newmarket last time and he is a progressive sort who has a plum draw in stall 1 although he may need luck in running as he is often held up.
There was plenty of rain at Bangor-On-Dee on Friday and Chester’s ground might be on the soft side of good for their stayers’ handicap which sees Muntahaa (10/1 for the Leger with BetVictor) put his classic credentials on the line in a competitive 12-runner handicap.
The selection is, again, the only 3-y-old in the field and after only four career starts he is open to further significant improvement and it is fascinating that Gosden bypassed the Voltigeur for his prep race for Doncaster.
At Perth Kilbree Kid (5.50) looks well treated on his best form and is 13lbs lower than when scoring over C&D last June. I thought he ran well when fitted with first-time blinkers at Worcester last time and regular pilot Paddy Brennan takes over this evening.