Royal Ascot begins tomorrow but there are six flat meetings across Britain and Ireland on Monday and we begin at Goodwood where I hope to see Fromnowon (12.35) benefit from the drop back to 6f having looked a non-stayer when tried over 7f at Newmarket back in July.
Her subsequent absence from the track is a slight cause for concern, but trainer Richard Hannon saddled three winners on Saturday and this daughter of Showcasing – 5/2 with Boylesports – was clear at the distance when third at HQ. Note Silvestre De Sousa takes over in the plate with Sean Levey- who has ridden the selection in both previous starts – riding at Kempton in the evening.
Zoran (3.15) travelled powerfully before giving way inside the final furlong at Newcastle on the opening day of the season, when the tapeta surface was riding very deep, and the hope is that he has been let in lightly for his handicap debut. There is plenty of stamina on the dam’s side so the 10f trip should be within his compass and the hope is that he will come on plenty for his reappearance. The early 11/2 with William Hill – 4 places – was too big but he remains a fair ew bet at 9/2.
Over at Pontefract and there is plenty of pace in the 6f 3-y-old sprint which, allied to a poor draw in stall eight, prevents me from putting up impressive recent Kempton winner Meraas although I am convinced he is capable of winning a good sprint this season. He may need to dominate to be seen at his best, however, and he could easily get involved in a battle for the lead. The 7/4 with William Hill was fair but 11/8 looks a bit skinny.
Maybe Today (2.50) has an excellent record fresh and she is the each way recommendation in the listed fillies’ contest over 12f. The ew selection – 8/1 at Boylesports – was beaten just over a length by Specialise at Newmarket last backend but is 11lbs better off with Roger Varian’s charge this afternoon. Joe Fanning takes over in the saddle this afternoon as connections go in search of black type.
Ralph Beckett has been carrying all before him in recent days and his Antonia De Vega was put in as odds on favourite (10/11) with William Hill on Sunday. The ground was described as good on Sunday and there is no rain forecast for west Yorkshire between now and post time. The favourite has gone well fresh in the past, but she may need softer ground to be seen at her best.
It goes without saying that a market move for Sir Mark Prescott’s Revolver would be worth noting in the mile-and-a-half handicap and he was a best priced 11/4 on Sunday for the 12f 3-y-old handicap. That didn’t last long but the filly My Girl Maggie (3.25) showed a good attitude when staying on well when third in a fillies maiden at Newmarket 10 days ago and may have been let in lightly from an opening mark of 70. After just two career starts, she is open to considerable improvement and 5/2 with bet365 and William Hill looks fair.
At Kempton Jellystone – general 11/8 shot – is likely to be a warm order for the 12f handicap given the ease with which he scored at Yarmouth on Thursday, but he carries a 6lbs penalty this evening on polytrack and this is a better race with four of the six runners last time out winners.
Angel On High (6.35) steps up to 12f for the first time for his handicap debut and gets the vote for Harry Dunlop having scored at Lingfield over 10f when last seen at Lingfield back in January. The selection is half-brother to the talented Knight To Behold and he gets the each way vote at 8/1.
At Chepstow I hope to see Ametist (7.25) leave behind his Yarmouth debut when he stayed on under hands and heels earlier in the month. The gelding will get another furlong in time, but I expect to see James Doyle race more prominently today and will be disappointed if he does not go close with that initial experience under his belt. I was hoping to get Evens but the selection was around 8/11 when betting opened on Sunday.
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