The final day of York’s Dante meeting and likely to be run on good ground although there is always the prospect of showers at the track on both Thursday and Friday.
In the listed Michael Seely Stakes over a mile, I will be disappointed if Richard Hannon’s Snow Lantern (2.10) were not able to build on her impressive Newbury maiden win on her reappearance last month. By Frankel out of the stable’s classic winner Sky Lantern the filly holds Group 1 entries from a mile to 12f and she should have the race run to suit, given Godolphin’s Creative Flair looks likely to ensure a decent gallop. The selection is 6/4 with Boylesports.
Roger Charlton’s string have hit top form in recent weeks although that was not the case when Love Is You finished third in the Nell Gwyn on her seasonal debut when she was a bit too keen for her own good. The second – Saffron Beach – franked the form when runner up in the 1000 Guineas and she too holds a Group 1 entry.
Blue Cap was continually denied a run at Epsom on his return and would surely have been involved in the finish had he been able to get a clear passage through. Trainer David Menusier has his string in excellent form and, if there is no significant rain, I would be disappointed if he did not run a very big race although at 5/2, he is plenty short enough in a 12-runner York handicap.
Jason Watson rode Makram (2.40) at Newmarket last month on his reappearance but takes over on King Power’s Pivoine with Silvestre De Sousa riding at Newmarket. Makram looked to be crying out for a step up in trip last month and Ben Curtis gets the mount on the each way selection who has only had six career starts – two wins – and is certainly bred to appreciate this 10f trip. The ew recommendation is 6s with MansionBet.
At Newmarket Tenbury Wells has been gelded since his last start and was a three-year-old who did me a couple of favours last season. He is 11lbs worse off, however, with Good Birthday (2.15) for the 2L he was behind that rival at Newbury back in September in a race won by Ilaarab who was so impressive when scoring at York midweek.
The each way recommendation – 13/2 with BetVictor – is visored for the first time by Andrew Balding this afternoon and I hope this sparks a revival in the 5-y-old who was entered in a 12f race at York midweek but was taken out of the race at the 11th hour.
Golden Rules (2.50) was too keen on his reappearance at Wolverhampton, but he was only beaten a nose and I hope to see him go one better with that run under his belt. He has only raced once on turf but that is not a concern for this son of Arc winner Golden Horn especially on good or faster ground. He strikes me as one who could make up into an Ebor horse later in the season. The selection is 11/10 with 10Bet.
There is a tremendous jumps card at Aintree, and I am with Empire De Maulde (5.50) in the 2m 3f+ handicap chase. Captain Tom Cat makes his chase debut for Dr Richard Newland, but he failed to win any of his four points and failed to finish two of those runs. He won three good ground hurdles last season and could be thrown in on his chase debut, but he is short enough in the betting at 5/2 and I give the Scottish raider the each way vote.
The selection – 11s with BetVictor – is having his second run since wind surgery and he looked to find 3m taxing his stamina at Kelso last time when he travelled well for a long way. Brian Hughes takes over in the saddle and the yard, who have pulled up few trees of late, have had a couple of seconds in recent days.
Versatility (7.00) is, arguably, a winner without a penalty given he was well in control at Kempton last time only to stumble soon after the last and unseat Nico de Boinville. The ew selection – 9/2 with MansionBet – has been raised 4lbs for that effort but can race from his old mark this evening and I hope compensation awaits.
Johnbb has been raised 4lbs for finishing second over C&D on Grand National Day when he carried my cash. Any significant rain would be a plus for Tom Lacey’s 7-yar-old.
Panic Attack (8.05) has had a wind operation since disappointing last time and is fitted with cheekpieces for the first time by David Pipe as she steps up in distance returning from an 11-week break. The mare has not been a model of consistency since landing a listed Bumper for Willie Mullins at Market Rasen, but I do feel she has more to offer and has run well fresh in the past. The 13/2 with 10Bet looks fair and she gets the ew vote.