• Fri 21 Jul, 2017
  • 02:04 BST
  • 22:04 EST (BST-4)
  • 04:04 CEST (BST+2)

Five to follow on Saturday

Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Newbury and Newmarket on Saturday. View selections below.


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RIBCHESTER (3.30) can provide Godolphin with a prized Group 1 scalp in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes over Newbury’s straight mile.

Significantly, the boys in blue have entered a pacemaker, the classy Toscanini, which will assist the hard-pulling Ribchester to settle better.

Richard Fahey’s colt is top-rated and won’t mind some cut in the ground. Ribchester enjoyed a fruitful 2016 campaign, landing the Prix Jacques le Marois after missing out in both the 2000 Guineas and Sussex Stakes (firm).

There was certainly no disgrace in finding Minding too strong in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and Ribchester should take some beating if proving a bit more tractable.

He will need to be near the very top of his game to see off old adversary Galileo Gold, the 2000 Guineas hero and so impressive on soft ground when mastering The Gurkha in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Aidan O’Brien’s Somewhat is a talented filly and isn’t dismissed, along with David Simcock’s Celebration Mile victor Lightning Spear.

MY DREAM BOAT (1.50) has his first stab at racing over 1m 4f, with his ability to handle soft ground a bonus.

Clive Cox’s gelding beat Found in the Group 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes when the mud was flying at Royal Ascot mud last summer and the track was too lively when My Dream Boat made his seasonal reappearance in the Gordon Richard Stakes at Sandown in April. He still ran on well into third spot behind Ulysses and Deauville, giving connections hope he will stay the extra two furlongs today.

Sir Michael Stoute saddles two well fancied rivals in Midterm and Across The Stars.

Midterm raced a bit lazily on his return in the John Porter Stakes over course and distance last month and a visor will be worn for the first time. Both career victories have come on good to soft, so underfoot conditions shouldn’t be a worry.

Chemical Charge finished ahead of Midterm in second spot at Newbury and connections have also declared a first-time visor.

Across The Stars was last seen running third in the Great Voltigeur at York’s Ebor fixture following a success in the King Edward VII Stakes at the royal meeting.

Godolphin’s Hawkbill also enters calculations in a cracking curtain-raiser. He seems to be a horse to catch earlier in the season as he racked up a hat-trick, including a victory at Royal Ascot and the Group 1 Eclipse at Sandown. Soft ground is perfect but 12 furlongs is an unknown.

Godolphin’s former racing manager Simon Crisford could provide the answer to a tricky London Gold Cup Handicap in CENTURY DREAM (2.55).

The son of Cape Cross seemed to enjoy getting his toe in when landing his maiden at Nottingham in October and made an encouraging comeback when third to Flood Warning at Sandown. Century Dream raced freely in front that day but that initial run may have eliminated his keenness.

Fifth-placed Glencadam Gold gave the form of that race a major boost when runner-up in the Lingfield Derby Trial last Saturday.

The ground will also be riding pretty deep at Newmarket and that will be different terrain than encountered by CALL TO MIND (2.05) when making a winning debut at Newbury.

The Queen’s Galileo colt is bred in the purple and was backed as if defeat was out of the question, going off a warm 6-4 favourite. The form of that maiden may not be anything exceptional but William Haggas is a trainer with a masterful touch.

Call To Mind still holds a Derby entry for Her Majesty.

Roger Charlton’s ESPRIT DE CORPS (3.15) fairly rattled home on firm ground at Bath and although conditions will be totally different in the Betway Sprint Trophy at HQ he isn’t overburdened, with David Egan also taking off 7lb.

His sire Sepoy was a winner on softish ground in Australia for Godolphin, so there is hope he will cope.

Hamdan Al Maktoum is doubly represented. Roger Varian reintroduced his Yarmouth maiden winner Ekhtiyaar at Doncaster at the end of April, chasing home Rich And Famous. Holmeswood was back in third and looks held, although Michael Dods reaches for cheekpieces this time round. Holmeswood shouldn’t be troubled by soft ground.

Hamdan’s top weight Eqtiraan has twice been placed this spring in good company but has risen 5lb for his labours. He might be better equipped than some to handle a deep surface and is an each-way player for Richard Hannon.

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Alan

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