There is the prospect of showers at all tracks in Britain today, but heavy rain is unlikely, and the hope is that conditions do not deteriorate with all courses suggesting the ground will be on the fast side of good.
Only four go to post for the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes but the quartet includes the brilliant mare Enable (3.35) who is looking for her third win in what is one of the great races of the flat season. The selection really should have retired to the paddocks by now having narrowly failed in her quest for a third successive Arc in Paris last autumn when Frankie Dettori got the fractions wrong on the mare as she chased Ghaiyaath who set far too strong a pace under William Buick.
Connections have kept Enable in training to win a third Arc and she made a satisfactory return to the track when finishing runner up to Ghaiyaath in the Eclipse Stakes on her reappearance over 10f, a trip that is short of her best. Trainer John Gosden has said she will be a different proposition returning to a mile-and-a-half this afternoon. The mare has her work cut out giving weight to the brilliant Oaks winner Love in Paris in October, but she receives 3lbs from today’s three rivals, who all represent the stable of Aidan O’Brien, and is impossible to oppose.
Of today’s opposition Japan won the Juddmonte International at York last August for Ballydoyle, but is held by Enable on Sandown running while Anthony Van Dyck and Sovereign, who won the Epsom and Irish Derby respectively last term, have disappointed so far this term . The bottom line is they lack the brilliance of Enable who was trading at odds against for the race at the beginning of the week but is now a best-priced 8/15.
The unbeaten Twaasol (1.50) looked ready for another furlong when getting up close home to land the listed Woodcote Stakes at Epsom on Derby Day and is taken to maintain his unbeaten record in the listed Winkfield Stakes. Gosden’s Saeiqa finished third in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot and looks sure to appreciate the step up in trip, but I believe the 3/1 at Boylesports is a fair price for the selection and is taken to land the hat-trick.
Blue Mist has been all the rage for the 7f Handicap with Ryan Moore booked for Roger Charlton’s five-year-old who was constantly denied a clear passage at the Royal meeting in the Silver Wokingham. At 4/1 he is far too short in the market, however, for such a competitive heat.
The each way vote goes to Arbalet (2.25) who ran a very good race at York last weekend and has threatened to win one of these big 7f handicaps for some time. The selection is 20/1 (4 places with bet365) or 18/1 (6 places with William Hill) and he gets the narrow vote ahead of Ebury who is the mount of champion jockey Oisin Murphy.
Murphy is also in the plate on Solo Saxophone (5.35) who has done us a couple of favours in recent weeks and I am not going to desert him as he bids for a four-timer for Ben Haslam. The selection has been raised another 10lbs for his facile win on the Knavesmire earlier in the month and it is hard to know just when he will reach his ceiling such is the ease of his recent successes. The 3s with bet365 looks fair.
The Racing Post website suggests that there is the possibility of thunderstorms at York while the BBC website suggests light rain! If conditions are no worse than good, I think Golden Hind (2.05) can win the fillies handicap over 10f for David O’Meara.
The selection – 9/2 at Willam Hill – is a daughter of Golden Horn whose progeny do prefer a sound surface. She looked ready for a step up in distance when runner up at Ripon over a mile last time and her opening mark of 74 looks workable.
The Skybet York Stakes is, arguably, the best race of the day and preference for Elarqam (2.40) over Telecaster is marginal. The pair clashed at Haydock behind subsequent Prince Of Wales’s Stakes winner Lord North last month and the selection finished just over a length in front of Hughie Morrison’s charge. Telecaster won the Dante Stakes over today’s C&D last year and ran out a fluent winner at Longchamp on his latest start. Elarqam failed to get home over 12f at Royal Ascot and he reverts to his optimum trip today. Mark Johnston’s five-year-old is 5/2 with BetVictor and that is the recommendation.
I am going to give Elwazir (3.15) one last chance in the Mile handicap for Owen Burrows. The selection did not appear to enjoy the combination of 10f, fast ground at Newmarket’s undulations on his reappearance and he drops back to a mile this afternoon. This does not look the best race ever staged on the Knavesmire and the 7/1 with Unibet looks fair – the caveat being the ground is no worse than good to soft.
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