There is now the prospect of showers at Ayr ahead of and during day two of their flagship Western meeting although the extent of the rain depends on which forecast you read.
In the extended 2m 1f handicap Beechwood Jude did not appear to get the trip when fourth in the corresponding race 12 months ago. He should come on for his reappearance when beaten 10L over 12f at Ayr last month, but he may not get a soft lead with Let Me Be also in the five-runner field.
The vote goes to Lambourn raider Prince Imperial (3.55) a thorough stayer who will appreciate any rain that hits the track. The selection – 9/4 with William Hill – was staying on again when beaten 3L at York on ground faster than ideal last time and he is only 3lbs higher than when scoring over this trip at Pontefract on his penultimate start.
Conditions were described as good to soft at Newbury on Thursday morning ahead of today’s seven-race card. There is a small chance of a shower during racing, but I would think the ground will be nearer good come post time for today’s meeting.
Al Suhail broke the track record at Haydock over 7f on fast ground last time, but he disappointed over today’s C&D on his penultimate start when he faded inside the final furlong having looked to be going best two out. He and stablemate D’Bai are respected but I wasn’t as disappointed with the comeback run of Albasheer (3.30) and hope to see the Owen Burrows trained three-year-old improve on that run at Salisbury with today’s additional furlong considered a plus.
The each way selection – 7s with Boylesports 4 places – has only raced four times so far but his second in the G2 Champagne Stakes behind Chindit at Doncaster as a juvenile excellent form and he is entitled to come on for his comeback run his first in over three hundred days. Note Jim Crowley has the day off and Dane O’Neill takes over in the saddle.
In the 12f handicap Star Caliber is fitted with a hood for the first time by Andrew Balding as he bids to gain a first win of the season. The 3-y-old has run well in defeat all year but I wonder if once again he will find at least one too good over a trip which might just be on the sharp side.
A market move for the lightly raced filly Twisted Reality would be worth noting but she did not look in love with the game when last of thirteen in the Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot when last seen three months ago. The ew vote – 4s with MansionBet – goes to Makram (4.05) who appreciated the step up to 12f for the first time when just touched off on the July course last time. Roger Charlton has his string in top form, the selection is well drawn in stall five and James Doyle has a recent record on the gelding of twelve.
I am concerned about the prospect of Neenee’s Choice getting a soft lead in the concluding 10f handicap as he chases a four-timer from a mark just 4lbs higher than when making all at Salisbury last time. He has a good draw in stall four and Oisin Murphy might be able to dictate his own fractions. He did us a favour when scoring last time, but I wasn’t convinced he had much more left in the tank and feel he will do well to give 7lbs to Dartington (4.35) who is taken to return to winning ways.
The selection – 9/4 with 10Bet – was just touched off by the very well treated Knowing at Epsom last week and can run from the same mark even though he has been raised 3lbs for that effort. The step up to 10f has been the making of him in recent starts and William Buick takes over in the saddle for the first time.