A tremendous day’s racing to look forward to with ITV4 showing six races from Newmarket and Cheltenham.
There is a terrific 6f handicap at Newmarket and Andrew Balding saddles two for King Power. Silvestre De Sousa has chosen Stone Of Destiny over Chil Chil (1.50) but I wonder if he has picked the right one as the mare needs fast ground to be at her most effective and it is interesting to see that connections have kept her in training.
The mare is entered in a listed race at Bath on Friday but has been declared for today’s handicap with underfoot conditions ideal. She gets the each way vote at 7s with William Hill 4 places.
The listed European Free Handicap is another terrific race and promises to be a most informative contest. This will be the fastest ground that Legal Attack has faced but he promises to be at least as effective on a sound surface and I am a big fan of Naval Crown (2.25) and will be disappointed if he cannot follow up his recent Meydan success.
The selection – 15/8 with MansionBet – made all at Meydan last month and Charlie Appleby immediately nominated the Jersey Stakes over today’s 7f trip as his early season target. This looks an excellent steppingstone to Royal Ascot.
Mohaafeth (4.35) overcame a poor draw to land his maiden over a mile at Lingfield last month and I expect to see him make a winning handicap debut stepped up to 10f for the first start. The form of his previous third at Salisbury on ground, arguably, softer than ideal has worked out very well and he gets the vote in the concluding 3-y-old 10f handicap. It looks a race that will throw up plenty of future winners. The 5/2 available first thing looked a shade too big and the selection is 15/8 with 10Bet.
In the Ballymore Silver Trophy Chase at Cheltenham, I hope to see Manofthemountain (2.05) land each way support for Emma Lavelle. The ew selection – 8s with Boylesports – stays further than today’s extended 2m 4f trip and there is plenty of pace with Paddy Power Gold Cup winner Coole Cody and Pym sure to go a good gallop. The selection returned from a mid-season break to finish second at Kempton last month and he comes here fresher than most. The Big Bite looks the danger for Tom George having finished third in a hot Newbury handicap last time.
Oski did us a favour at Uttoxeter last time but he is reluctantly overlooked in favour of Accordingtogino (3.15) who jumped very well when runner up at Stratford last month on soft ground. His Warwick win from a 7lbs lower mark back in the autumn suggested today’s ground is ideal and he gets the each way vote in a cracking contest. The ew recommendation is 5s with BetVictor.
Benevolentdictator would be a threat to all if he copes with underfoot conditions but he has only run soft or heavy ground.The Devils Drop jumped superbly at Newbury last time and he is another to consider with the Alan King yard having a welcome winner at Huntingdon on Monday ending a frustrating run.
It would be no surprise to see Singlefarmpayment follow up his recent Ascot success having finally ended a long losing run from a 4lbs lower mark although I do think Activial was the one to take out of the race. He is a C&D winner from just a 1lb lower mark, and this will be just his fifth start for Henry Oliver.
I hope to see Enquarde (4.25) bounce back from a moderate run on heavy ground at Haydock last time. The ew selection – 11/2 with BetVictor – has been given the best part of two months to get over that hard race and his previous win at Ascot marked him down as one to follow.