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12.10 Cash Out At bet365 Handicap (1m4f)
Light enough in numbers in the opener but this is no less of a tough handicap to call and they all have their merits while retaining plenty of scope for further improvement.
Group One Power appeared to have a lack of luck on his side at Royal Ascot last month, finishing fourth in the King George VII Stakes over this trip after having to plot his way through plenty traffic. He went by Arthurian Fable late in the piece in that contest and can again hold sway over that rival.
SPECTRUM OF LIGHT looks an interesting handicap debutante for the red-hot pairing of Charlie Appleby and William Buick. The gelded son of Golden Horn appeared to relish the step up in distance to 1m2f at this track last month (Rowley course) when holding off Sarvan to win narrowly.
That rival held off a promising looking Sir Michael Stoute inmate in Crystal Pegasus to win at Pontefract on Tuesday, while the fourth home, Tenbury Wells, was also a next-time-out winner on the all-weather. The Godolphin runner appeals from an opening mark of 80 and may well have further improvement to come when tackling this trip for the first time.
EASTERN SHERIFF was very strong in the closing stages on handicap debut at Ripon over this trip last time and, with Ryan Moore booked now, should make further progress despite going up 7lb in the ratings. He gets the next-best nod but Grand Bazaar (Frankie Dettori) and the class-dropping Mascat aren't dismissed in any haste.
12.45 Each Way Extra At bet365 Handicap (5f)
In contrast to the opening race on the card where it's possible to be positive on the chances of just about everything, this cast are much less appealing and, typically, are sprinters that can fall into the 'hit and miss' category.
Celsius is dropping in class and will have his followers despite joint top-weight but he hasn't shown his best in two previous starts at this venue and will be short enough in the betting.
Line Of Reason was victorious last time out on the Rowley course but that win a fortnight ago bridged a near two-year gap between victorious. He's up 4lb and can go well again in all probability but he is 10-years-old and seems unlikely to string a sequence of wins together now.
Sixth behind him that day was HAN SOLO BERGER, who raced wider than ideal but was beaten only two-lengths in the end. He is a July Course winner with a decent strike-rate on turf (4-19) and, at five-years-old, is likely still capable of better than he has shown.
EEH BAH GUM was well behind Celsius on reappearance at Haydock, running as if in need of the outing having been easy to back.
He was better next time at Ayr and the Tim Easterby yard are now in more pleasing form. Having won five times in 2018, he couldn't get his head in front at all last year in six starts but certainly wasn't without promise in that sequence. He's now 2lb below his previous win-mark and with a 28 per-cent strike-rate on turf, it isn't hard to envisage him picking up a race soon.
1.15 bet365 British EBF Maiden Stakes (7f)
This will probably be an above-average maiden, with some useful form already shown and plenty of interesting newcomers.
Richard Hannon won the race a year ago and sends out first-timers Babajan and Dingle, each with hefty price tags and promising pedigrees. Naval Crown and Titian are other debutants that may be up to having their say.
They will have to be sharp however if SAEIQA can replicate last month's Coventry Stakes third from Royal Ascot. He put up a big showing there (started 25-1) and now gets the assistance of Frankie Dettori to aid his cause.
Frankel colt MAGICAL LAND was second in a maiden here last month on debut, with Saeiqa's stablemate and Coventry 9th Existent just behind. That race has thrown up four next-time-out winners, including the stunning 150-1 Coventry winner Nando Parrado.
The winner Bright Devil made every yard under a good ride from Oisin Murphy but William Buick's mount did best of the closers and should have significant improvement in him now. At the forecast prices, he looks the value call; notwithstanding the abundance of promise amongst the newcomers.
1.50 Price Promise At bet365 Handicap (7f)
A field of 19 will take to the stalls here and this is typically puzzling for punters. DE VEGAS KID does his best work on turf, with a 29 per cent strike-rate on grass compared to his 1-16 record on the synthetics. Chances are, therefore, that he's going to be spot on for this assignment following a recent spin around Kempton to blow away the lockdown cobwebs.
He is only 2lb clear of the mark from which he scored at Brighton in August on his previous turf start and he's also got the 3lb claim of the talented Cieren Fallon to help his cause. He looks sure to run a big race.
FIGHTING TEMERAIRE has won three times on the all-weather since December and Dean Ivory's charge showcased his well-being again with his most recent success at Lingfield 13 days ago.
He had something to spare in the end and, despite being rated 5lb higher now back on the turf, he's a dual C&D winner in the past and has to be taken seriously back around this place.
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2.25 Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes (Fillies' Group 2, 6f)
Impossible to be anything but impressed with DANDALLA's performance in the Albany at Royal Ascot last month. The Dandy Man filly shot clear of the field once Ben Curtis sent her about her business and she had six-lengths in hand passing the winning post.
The third home, Mother Earth, has since won a Group 3 in Ireland with plenty in hand and so Karl Burke's filly is fancied to make it 3-3 here.
More Beautiful was backed as if defeat wasn't an option in the Queen Mary last time but, once more, that race eluded Aidan O'Brien (one of the few that has). The Ballydoyle filly is likely to appreciate this step up in trip and it would be unwise to dismiss her completely.
Time Scale and the well-bred Ghaaliya are others that may get involved but there's plenty to like about Thirsk maiden winner HALA HALA HALA.
What she beat in that debut success will remain to be seen (third home Miss Nay Never is due to run in Listed York race on Thursday) but what can't be argued is that Kevin Ryan's daughter of Exceed and Excel posted a very promising time on the clock. At a double-figure price, she looks to offer some value with Frankie Dettori taking over and boasting a decent alliance with this yard in the past.
3.00 bet365 Trophy (Heritage Handicap, 1m6f)
Rarely does the name of P. F. Nicolls appear on the racecard at this iconic home of Flat racing but the multiple champion jumps trainer is here with a live chance this afternoon in CHRISTOPHER WOOD, who will be partnered by the Ditcheat handler's daughter, Megan.
Formerly trained by Michael Bell on the level, he is a 145-rated hurdler and had his first Flat run for the yard recently at Pontefract under this rider. They didn't get the clearest run and looked to be in trouble at a stage, but the five-year-old pulled out more once switched into the clear and won cosily.
He's 3lb higher here in a stronger race but this longer trip will suit him very well and he looks set to have a forward role again.
Second choice is STAR OF THE EAST for Mark Johnston, who won this last year with King's Advice (also runs here). This Cape Cross gelding notched four wins in 2018 and was a typically tough performer for the Middleham trainer over middle distances.
He missed all of last year and was down the field on his return to action at Newcastle on racing's resumption last month. However, he was much more like it here over 1m6f on the Rowley course 12 days ago when finding only progressive front-runner Charlie D too good. He races from an unchanged mark now and is set to be competitive again.
3.35 bet365 Handicap (Heritage Handicap, 1m2f)
KIPPS looked a promising sort on the all-weather in two starts back in the winter, winning the second of them at Wolverhampton. He confirmed that theory at Haydock over 1m2f last month on his turf/handicap bow when runner-up to Walkonby, very much leaving the theory that the best horse had finished second.
He was well-backed for the King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot as a result and again ran a blinder in settling for second to Hukum under an inspired Jim Crowley.
Hughie Morrison's charge is up another 5lb in the ratings now but should continue to progress. Ryan Moore takes over in the saddle and first-time blinkers are also reached for in an attempt to get the job done. The War Command colt merits a prize of this nature and has the ability to go and get it.
The Richard Hughes-trained MAORI KNIGHT gets the nod for next-best ahead of the likes of Enemy and Global Storm.
The Camelot colt was second at Haydock on handicap bow last month over this trip when Kieran Shoemark allowed him to bowl along at the head of affairs. He was challenged late on and rallied to good effect for it, only going down in a head-bobber in a race that has worked out well.
At Royal Ascot on his next start the plan appeared to switch to hold up tactics with David Egan on board, though the horse seemed to rail against that, being quite keen through the race and having little to offer come the business end as a consequence.
He's gone up in the weights since but might do better if allowed to have his own way and, as he showed at Haydock, he will relish the battle when it comes if he's in position. He has each-way claims.
4.10 Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes (Fillies' Group 1, 1m)
TEREBELLUM put up a stonking good effort last time when second to Circus Maximus in the Queen Anne. She's an improving model this year and can go close again in this, though the market has clearly identified her claims now.
The globetrotting Magic Wand is respected back over a mile against her own sex. Aidan O'Brien's mare was ridden cold out the back in the Eclipse last weekend, never engaging with Ghaiyyath and Enable and could have a big run in her.
Nazeef is a stablemate of Terebellum and gets her crack at a Group 1 after a determined win in the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes last month at Ascot. She may have more to offer.
ONE MASTER was second in this contest a year ago and can be in the mix again for the thriving William Haggas yard. She was never able to get into the race from the rear in the Diamond Jubilee last month and it may be that six-furlongs is now on the sharp side at six-years-old.
That was also a first start of the season and she can be expected to strip fitter today. She came with a strong challenge last year in this, just failing to reel in frontrunner Veracious and looks value at the prices to run well again.