The ground was nearer firm than good at Newmarket on Thursday and conditions are likely to remain fast ahead of the final day of their Cambridgeshire meeting although they were due to water again overnight.
In the Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes Masekela (1.50) has improved on fast ground in recent starts. The form of his short head second to Native Trail in the Superlative Stakes on his penultimate start was given a huge boost when the winner hosed up in the National Stakes at the Curragh earlier in the month.
The selection – 2s with William Hill – has subsequently scored in listed company at Newbury and that form was franked when the runner up – Bayside Boy – landed the Group 2 Champagne Stakes at Doncaster earlier in the month. The juvenile has yet to race over a mile, but his pedigree suggests he should improve again for a step up in trip.
The market mover this week has been Charlie Appleby’s once-raced Coroebus who justified Even money favouritism when scoring on the July course last month. The trainer has an assortment of riches in the juvenile colt division, and he should know where he stands with Masekela on a line through Native Trail, but I still prefer the chance of the Andrew Balding-trained colt.
Sacred Bridge (2.25) can maintain her unbeaten record in the Gp 1 Cheveley Park Stakes for Irish handler Ger Lyons. The filly – 2s with Mansion Bet – has won all four starts and quickly put her race to bed when scoring in Gp 3 company at the Curragh last time. In an ideal world I would have preferred a higher draw than three given the evidence of Thursdays racing, but I do feel she is by some way the best filly in the field.
Uncle Bryn has long been my fancy for the first leg of the autumn double, but the price has long gone, and Frankie Dettori has deserted the market leader in favour of Magical Morning who must have every chance from his plum draw in stall thirty-five.
The each way vote, however, goes to Bedouin’s Story (3.40) who is 9lbs better off with Magical Morning for the two-and-a-half lengths he was behind the Gosden runner over a mile at Sandown earlier in the season. Today’s additional furlong should suit although one slight concern is that Pat Cosgrave prefers to ride Royal Marine. Jamie Spencer takes the ride on this confirmed hold up performer. The recommendation is 40s with William Hill who are paying seven places.
Mistrix (4.50) broke her maiden at the third time of asking at York at the beginning of the month and she can follow up in the valuable fillies’ nursery for George Scott. David Probert takes over in the saddle for the first time and an opening mark of 79 looks fair although the filly who beat her a nose on her penultimate start disappointed on her handicap debut from a mark of 80. The ew recommendation is 5s with Boylesports.
Flamboyant Joyeux will appreciate the return to a right-hand track having jumped out to his right when scoring at Kelso last time from a 5lbs lower mark. He looks sure to run a big race from the foot of the weights, but Emma Lavelle has her string in good order and the frustrating Buster Thomas (3.55) can reward each way support coming back from a three-month break at Market Rasen.
The ew selection – 11/2 with 10Bet – has had a wind operation since finishing weakly at Worcester when last seen back in June and is 4lbs lower in the weights than when a beaten favourite in the corresponding race 12 months ago.