1.50 - Unibet '15 To Go' Handicap (1m4f)
Though he went off a well-backed favourite, followers of KINGS PRINCE would have feared the worst from early on in the Listed Glasgow Stakes at Hamilton this month as he always seemed to be running with the choke out a bit in front under Ben Curtis. He had made all in fine style under a penalty at Pontefract in June (back from a layoff), but he was not able to fend off the challengers at Hamilton and he tired into fourth.
His unbeaten record went, but the Kingman colt may have learned plenty about racing in the experience. He now goes handicapping off a mark of 95 and could be capable of bouncing straight back, as Mark Johnston's inmates so often do.
Top-weight Siskany for Charlie Appleby and Roger Varian's Nagano are amongst the dangers, both having emerged from a Royal Ascot handicap in defeat last month but with plenty of credit.
That was Siskany's first attempt at this distance and he showed plenty, beaten just over a length in fourth, while Nagano too caught the eye in sixth despite suffering interference that cost him any chance to win. David Egan's mount races from an unchanged mark of 94 and is a player.
Handicap debutant Kolisi for William Haggas and Frankie Dettori's mount Pied Piper are also on the shortlist alongside another Johnston runner, Glen Again.
2.25 - Whispering Angel Oak Tree Stakes (Fillies' & Mares' Group 3, 7f)
The Jessica Harrington-trained VALERIA MESSALINA all but won this race a year ago, thrusting home late in the piece and denied by the width of a coat of paint as One Master edged the verdict.
It was a cracking effort from the Holy Roman Emperor filly and her battle with One Master was amongst the highlights of the meeting. The Irish filly tackled mile-events at Group 1 and Group 2 level in three starts subsequently before dropping back to this distance most recently at Fairyhouse and posting a runner-up finish in the Brownstown Stakes earlier this month. It could well be that 7f is optimal and with the Harrington team firing right now, she's taken to go one place better in her second assault on the Oak Tree Stakes.
Last year's winning trainer/jockey combo of Haggas and Tom Marquand now rely on Sacred. She won the Nell Gwyn on her comeback in April at Newmarket and, while far from disgraced, appeared to not quite get the mile back at HQ in the 1000 Guineas in May. She has been off since, something that has served her well in the past and the speedy daughter of Exceed And Excel should relish being back over 7f as her yard looks to win this race for the third time in four years.
With Ralph Beckett's team flying recently and soft ground a positive, Meu Amor needs to be considered a contender on the back of a decisive Listed win at Carlisle over this trip. The consistent Vadream is another who won't mind cut in the ground and is likely to be played fast and late by Jamie Spencer if things work out.
3.00 - Markel Molecomb Stakes (Group 3, 5f)
The market for this 2YO Group 3 sprint is dominated by FEARBY and Chipotle, with preference for Ed Bethell's colt.
The son of Havana Gold is 2-3 (both wins on turf) and put up a very smart display in the Listed Dragon Stakes at Sandown at the beginning of this month when thrashing re-opposing Mojomaker and Kaboo by five-lengths on soft ground. This race was quickly identified as a target afterwards and there's likely plenty more to come from PJ McDonald's mount. With that proven form on soft ground, it's hard to get away from his chances.
Chipotle was beaten in the National Stakes over the same Sandown C&D in May on soft going. He, too, is by Havana Gold and while he was an impressive winner of the Windsor Castle at Royal Ascot in June, the prevailing ground here is something of a worry with his best stuff coming on fast surfaces. He was luckless in Newbury's Super Sprint recently and cannot be harshly assessed on that showing, but he does need to prove himself on this ground.
The aforementioned duo of Mojomaker and Kaboo can get involved, while Nymphadora is amongst the potential each-way angles despite possibly looking for a step up in trip soon. Boonie and Armor were behind Chipotle at Ascot in June and rate as a couple to do better. Richard Hannon's son of No Nay Never wasn't suited by the bias in that race and is much-respected with Ryan Moore returning in the saddle this time.
3.35 - Qatar Sussex Stakes (Group 1, 1m)
The main event on day two and, as perhaps has been typical in recent seasons, the Sussex was robbed of a veneer of class when Palace Pier was ruled out last week. His potential clash with POETIC FLARE would have shaped up as a real treat.
As things stand, it's tough to look further than Jim Bolger's 2000 Guineas / St James's Palace Stakes scorer. His Royal Ascot display was the best he has done yet as he swatted aside the best of his 3YO contemporaries in a fast time and by more than four-lengths.
That he did so on what was his fifth run in 65 days showed just what an appetite this son of Dawn Approach has for his racing. This season's Group 1 wins have both come on good to firm ground, of course, but he has demonstrated an ability to go well on softer conditions underfoot too - including when just denied in the Irish Guineas at the Curragh in May.
After Royal Ascot, he's the brightest light amongst the Classic-generation milers and the sextet of older rivals staring him down now will do well to concede him 8lb and not come away with bloodied noses.
Falmouth Stakes winner Snow Lantern and Coronation Stakes scorer Alcohol Free are clearly well-matched amongst his fellow 3YOs. They do battle for the third time in six weeks and perhaps it is Richard Hannon's filly that is best placed to go one-up now.
Tilsit won the Summer Mile at Ascot (1m, good to firm) earlier in the month, accounting for Century Dream with something to spare. Charlie Hills' colt has more to do this time, but merits a place in this line-up for sure and he almost won a Longchamp Group 1 over a furlong more on soft going in May. He could be the each-way play.
Order Of Australia wasn't seen to best effect in the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot as Palace Pier won, it will be interesting to see how Ryan Moore goes about his business this time as the Ballydoyle colt seems best on the front end. Frankie Dettori, meanwhile, partners Lope Y Fernandez for Aidan O'Brien. He was second in that Queen Anne and isn't one to dismiss too hastily now.
4.10 - British Stallion Studs Alice Keppel EBF Fillies' Conditions Stakes (5f)
It was only late in the piece that FLOTUS cried enough in the Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket (6f, good to firm) recently and that was a fair effort in a race won by the very impressive Albany heroine Sandrine. Simon & Ed Crisford's runner had disappointed in that same race but her debut win here (6f, soft) in May was quite taking. How strong that form is remains to be seen but the Starspangledbanner filly now drops in trip/class and, given she's proven on soft ground, has to be a major contender here under Dettori.
Anadora was ahead of the selection in that Albany Stakes at Ascot (finished seventh at 125/1) and trainer Kevin Ryan will be eager to see if she can build on it here.
Once-raced winner La Feile is a potential improver for Richard Fahey having defied greenness to win at Beverley with a real late surge 15 days ago, while Canonized is already 3-5 for William Haggas and Cheveley Park Stud including a win over this C&D (good to firm) in April. She's got Listed-placed form on her CV and is a contender if slower ground doesn't blunt her speed.
4.45 - British Ebf Premier Fillies' Handicap (1m2f)
Achelois went up 6lb for what amounted to a fairly smooth success at Ascot over a mile earlier in the month. Andrew Balding's daughter of Zoffany could well have plenty more to come and needs to be on any shortlist now tackling this increased trip.
Aunty Bridy hasn't sparked in two runs since joining William Haggas but better could be forthcoming in due course. She'll want to get out of the gates more alertly but she does threaten to be suited by the prevailing ground.
Percy's Pride is after a hat-trick following wins at Chelmsford (1m2f) and Ascot (1m4f) recently and should go well again up 5lb. TIMELESS SOUL won nicely at Beverley on soft ground in May over an extended-mile for Roger Varian and wasn't disgraced under a penalty next time at Thirsk on much faster ground over slightly shorter. She is unexposed entering this sphere for the first time and promises to act on the ground.
5.20 - World Pool Handicap (7f)
No hiding place in the day two finale as 20 are declared for this 7f handicap won last year by Toro Strike for Richard Fahey and Oisin Murphy.
Tintoretto won over C&D (good to firm) in May and hasn't been sighted since. He's 7lb higher now but should give a solid account again. Sunset Breeze handles cut in the ground and was narrowly denied at Newcastle in June over this trip on the Tapeta. Sir Mark Prescott's challenger will require a career-best off this mark, however.
The race didn't pan out for DUTCH DECOY at Lingfield a week ago and he faded late on off a slow pace but Mark Johnston's 4YO should be plenty sharper for that. He has gone well with some juice in the ground before and is far from fully exposed on the grass. Joe Fanning's mount is taken to go well in the finale.
Enough Already showed improved form whne scoring at Brighton and Yarmouth (both 1m, good to firm) in May/June and shouldn't be too harshly judged on his Lingfield AW effort since over 1m2f. It's interesting to see him dropped right back in trip now but it wouldn't be a major shock if gets involved and these conditions aren't likely to deter him.