Another week, another big meeting! Thoughts on a jam-packed ITV4 card:
1.40 – 1m4f (1m3f188y) Sky Bet Race To The Ebor Jorvik Handicap (Class 2) (4yo+): Really competitive as ever but the races Corgi ran in last season were all really competitive and he has a fine chance if in the same form today. He was second in the King George Handicap by a neck to Baghdad, a race that has worked out brilliantly given how the winner has since kicked on (winner at Newmarket this season), with First Eleven (also running here) a winner sine of a good contest, and Cross Counter now a Melbourne Cup winner too. He was then beaten just a neck by the progressive Soto Sizzler, since a good winner at Epsom. Chester Cup winner Making Miracles was behind and he can be forgiven his Melrose sixth as he didn’t truly get home.
Fujara Prince has won three of his fourth starts but was most impressive when taking a Doncaster Handicap and this step up in trip ought to improve him. Crystal King looks a typical Sir Michael Stoute improver in a deep race, but Proschema very much catches the eye. Fourth in the same Glorious Goodwood handicap as Corgi, he was third in the Melrose when unlucky not to be closer. He has been highly tried in two of his three starts since (St Leger, John Porter Stakes) but on the other occasion he was second in a valuable 1m6f handicap to a subsequent Listed winner. A strongly run 1m4f, following his return, might do him some good.
Advice: 2 pts each/way Corgi (13/2 general), 1 pt Proschema (16/1 general)
2.25 – 6f Infinity Tyres Handicap (Class 2) (4yo+ 0-105): On his best form Arecibo would have a higher rating than 97 and if he strips fitter for his stable, British and seasonal debut, then he might have a part to play for David O’Meara. Most appealing from those at the top of the market is Staxton, who made a good return when ahead of Arecibo and who has been close to winning off his current mark of 100, although the returning Aljady and Vibrant Chords are just two of a whole host of chances, including Reputation, who beat so many of these in a key handicap at Ripon.
Last that day was Sandra’s Secret, who ran no sort of race there. However, the six-year-old did rack up a hat-trick last season and was then beaten in Listed company, before making a good return, and if over that poor run, might be a better than 20/1 shot.
Advice: 1 pt each/way Arecibo (14/1 general), 1 pt each/way Sandra’s Secret (20/1 general)
3.00 – Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes (Group 2) (Class 1) (3yo+): A tricky sprint with preciously little separating a number of these at their best. Yafta and Projection were the 1-2 in the Hackwood Stakes last July and both have progressed since, with Yafta a close second on his return in the Abernant Stakes (just ahead of Brando) and Projection having taken an Ascot Group 3 (Bengough Stakes) before his sixth in the Champions Sprint. Yafta raced too close to the pace in the Abernant when Keystroke caused a shock but it was a bold run and he can keep improving whilst Projection is better off with Limato for his defeat at Newmarket last year and has perhaps only just started to show his best.
Invincible Army was impressive on his return at the Lincoln meeting and can have a strong four-year-old season, but there must be a worry that his two poorest runs last season came on the fastest ground he raced on – and today there’s already firm in the going.
Advice: 1 pt win Yafta (4/1 general), 1 pt each/way Projection (11/1 general)
3.35 – 1m2½f (1m2f56y) Tattersalls Musidora Stakes (Group 3) (Fillies) (Class 1) (3yo): Several likely types here who will all improve but Sparkle Roll’s Sandown win was an impressive one and it promises more improvement. That will be needed based on how well beaten King Power (2nd there) was when third in the Lingfield Oaks trial but she can get better still and maybe more race ready than the hugely promising Frankellina, who performed a minor miracle to win her only start at Yarmouth last season. Sand Share, who was twice placed in Group races last season, and Entitle, a half-sister to Enable, give Juddmonte two interesting prospects and Dubai Blue is an unexposed contender for Godolphin too in what’s a fascinating contest.
Advice: 2 pts win Sparkle Roll (5/2 general)
And the rest:
4.05 – Conundrum Rowing For Christian Hobbs Gym Handicap (Class 3) (3yo 0-95): If Breath Of Air handles the very fast ground, then he might be better at 7f than 6f and he makes appeal despite stall 19.
Advice: 1 pt each/way Breath Of Air (9/1 general)
4.35 – British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes (Plus 10 Race) (Class 3) (2yo): Dazzling Dez showed a decent amount of ability on his Thirsk debut and Kidda improved from is debut to win narrowly at Pontefract, but newcomers Sun Power, Bombproof, Summer Sands and Monoski all look good on paper and this is worth swerving.
Advice: No bet.
5.05 – 1m4f (1m3f188y) Lindum Construction Group Handicap (Class 4) (4yo+ 0-85): Lots of contenders here but Get Back Get Back showed a lot of improvement to make a wining turf/seasonal debut at Doncaster and he might not be done progressing yet.
Advice: 1 pt win Get Back Get Back (6/1 general)