We start our weekend preview at Newbury and in the listed 10f Steventon Stakes the draw has played a major part in the outcome of the race in recent years with a low draw a big advantage. Yes, they have not been big fields, but the winners have been drawn 12135111 in the last eight renewals.
The classic generation have landed the prize three times in the past decade, and I think they will hold sway this afternoon with Movin Time (1.50) getting the each way vote for Roger Varian and Andrea Atzeni ahead of Enable’s half brother Derab. The recommendation comes out of stall three.
Movin Time was forced to cover ground and was part of a suicidal early pace in the Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot last time and, in the circumstances, did well to be beaten just 5L by the impressive winner Mohaafeth. His earlier win at Newmarket from subsequent Queen’s Vase scorer Kemari suggested he was well up to winning in this grade. Good ground would be ideal. The 6/1 with William Hill 4 places looks fair.
The Hunt Cup winner Real World steps up in distance and is not guaranteed to get the trip and Derab looks the bigger threat. Interesting that Martin Harley keeps the ride with the Gosdens’ main jockey Frankie Dettori flying up to Haydock this evening for a couple of rides.
I am loath to desert Diligent Harry in the Gp 3 Hackwood Stakes, given he did me a few favours on the all-weather over the winter, but I thought he was always on the back foot at Newcastle last time when third although he may have raced on the slowest ground down the centre of the tapeta surface. He makes his turf debut today.
There are many who felt Her Majesty’s Kings Lynn (3.00) was an unlucky loser in the Gp 1 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot and I know he was an unlucky loser in the Wokingham five day’s later when Ryan Moore was constantly denied a run. I hope he gets a clean run today for Andrew Balding with Oisin Murphy back in the saddle. The selection is 11/4 with MansionBet.
Royal Crusade looked a non-stayer over an additional furlong last time, but he looks a danger at a double figure price for Charlie Appleby.
In the 1m fillies handicap I will be disappointed if Ready To Venture (4.10) does not run a big race dropping back in trip and grade having found the combination of 10f and soft ground too much in the listed Height Of Fashion Stakes at Goodwood. The filly – 10/3 from 5s with 10Bet – has the beating of Seattle Rock using Sandown winner Auria as a yardstick and a mile on good or faster ground looks her optimum conditions.
My two against the field in the Summer Plate at Market Rasen are Lord Bryan and Solomon Grey (2.40) with the latter getting the vote for Dan and Harry Skelton. There is plenty of pace in the race and that should suit the ew recommendation – 6s with Boylesports 5 places – who will not be getting involved in the early skirmishes.
The grey finished third in the corresponding race 12 months ago – albeit from a 6lbs lower mark – and he would have played a part in the finish in the Summer Cup – 3m 2f – at Uttoxeter last time but for unseating four out. I do feel this intermediate trip of 2m 5f+ is his optimum.
At Cartmel I will be disappointed if Alqamar (2.30) cannot land his hat-trick for trainer Jimmy Moffatt who has such a good record at his local track. The selection has not come off the bridle to win his last couple of starts and he may have got in lightly from a mark of 121.
Do note the selection – 6/4 with BetVictor – was rated 90+ on the level when trained by Charlie Appleby and he does not have to lead although Beeno, who used to be a confirmed frontrunner, has been taking a lead in his most recent starts. I think they will attack on Diane Sayer’s course winner, and I hope jockey Charlotte Jones does not get embroiled in a battle for the lead on the selection.
Tadreeb (5.05) looks sure to appreciate the step up to a mile for the first time for the Norton/Johnston combination at Ripon having got going too late over 7f at Musselburgh last time. He has been raised 3lbs for that effort which is unhelpful, but he faces largely exposed rivals and I hope today’s additional furlong will eke out a bit more improvement. The selection is 2s with Boylesports.