Friday 29 July 2022

Friday 29th & Saturday 30th July 2022: Trawlerman a Great Catch at Goodwood

We wrap up a fantastic week of action at Glorious Goodwood with six bets across the last two days of the meeting, including in the Stewards’ Cup on Saturday.

There are also races from Wolverhampton and Newmarket to take in on a busy betting weekend.

Friday 29th July 2022

3.00 Goodwood (Golden Mile Handicap) – NOBLE DYNASTY

The Golden Mile is usually a frightfully competitive handicap race but this time around, assuming no back luck in running, one horse truly stands out.

That runner is Noble Dynasty for Godolphin, Charlie Appleby and William Buick.

After winning just once last season and not really fulfilling his early potential he was gelded by the team. They left it until three weeks ago to bring him back in a handicap at Newmarket, a race in which he just made his own running, dominated proceedings and killed the field off with no fuss.

He’s gone up 9lbs, but that takes him to a mark of 103 which falls short of where he will end up. Much like teammate Secret State at Goodwood on Wednesday, he’s another Appleby runner heading for Group company very soon.

Blue For You, Eilean Dubh, Rebel Territory and Jimi Hendrix are solid in behind.

3.20 Wolverhampton (Novice Stakes) – JAHOORI 

I was a little surprised to see Roger Varian’s Jahoori be shunted down to third-favourite on the first available betting show for this mile-and-a-half novice race.

Berkshire Breeze has plenty of experience for Andrew Balding and has been solid in handicaps, but we know what to expect from him now.

Tathbeet is the likely favourite for William Haggas, understandable really given the trainer and the fact he won last time out, but he has to give 7lbs away here and that will not be easy.

Jahoori made a terrible debut, expected perhaps at 25/1, before going off at 28/1 and running much better at Chelmsford, possibly to a mark of close to 90 in fact which is rather impressive.

Being by Nathaniel, going up in trip will certainly bring about more improvement and he may also appreciate this Tapeta surface meaning at the weights, he is certainly the value bet.

3.35 Goodwood (King George Stakes – Group 2) – LAZULI 

We’re taking a bit of a chance on Lazuli at these prices in the lightning quick King George Stakes, once dominated by the brilliant Battaash.

This horse was a proven 110 sprinter two years ago and ran, on my book anyway, to around 115 when winning the Palace House last spring.

He carries a 3lb penalty here and has been hit and miss, but does so for winning a Group 2 in Dubai and while some still don’t rate the form there, it was an easy performance in beating today’s rival Acklam Express well and he was fancied by his trained to go very well in the King’s Stand at Group 1 level.

4.10 Goodwood (Glorious Stakes – Group 3) – REBEL’S ROMANCE 

In the 1m4f Glorious Stakes, it should pay to stick with the class act Rebel’s Romance. This horse is not just the class act in this race, but he is one in general and hasn’t peaked yet.

Last year as a three-year-old he demolished his Group 2 UAE Derby field, earning a mark of 115. He could have stayed on the dirt and gone to the Kentucky Derby with a live chance, but had a setback.

He returned this season on the dirt too, but this time it didn’t work out. Charlie Appleby then gave him a break before returning him to action on the turf at Newmarket in the Fred Archer, a race he took apart impressively.

He beat stablemate Kemari that day easily, with the Group 2 winner second choice once again here. Hopefully the general 7/4 available at the time of writing holds, which is a fair price for this potentially top-class performer.

6.55 Newmarket (Fillies’ Handicap) – NIGHT SPARKLE

It’s worth a little trip across to Newmarket to keep an eye on this Simon & Ed Crisford filly Night Sparkle.

This is a low-grade race, but there is plenty more to come from our horse and as the top-weighted of the three-year-olds, she may just boss this and outclass the rest.

Her most recent form is enough at the weights to make her very competitive here, but she is most progressive in fact and another step forward is expected under the excellent Andrea Atzeni.

Gold Charm and Aurora Papillon were next on the list.

Saturday 30th July 2022 

2.10 Goodwood (Summer Handicap) – TRAWLERMAN

As you’d expect in this valuable 1¾-mile race there are some crack handicappers, not least Bague D’Or (Chris Wall), HMS President (Eve Johnson Houghton) and last year’s Melrose winner Valley Forge (Andrew Balding).

The won I expect to win a big pot at some pot, very possibly this weekend, is John & Thady Gosden’s Trawlerman.

He’s been impressive at times and had very viable excuses for his last two below-par runs. It’s about time he won one, he has the ideal conditions and remains very well handicapped.

2.45 Goodwood (Lillie Langtry Stakes – Group 2) – EMILY DICKINSON 

Sea La Rosa is the big hitter in the market here and at a glance, it’s easy to see why.

William Haggas’ filly is still progressing, she’s also a Listed and Group 3 winner as well as a Group 2 runner-up.

Her level then is solid, but not unpassable. Fellow four-year-old Yesyes, who is lighter raced and also progressive, would be a big danger but the pair are vulnerable to three-year-old Emily Dickinson who is the value call.

Aidan O’Brien’s filly has reached the same sort of level as the other two and much quicker, suggesting there’s more to come from her than them.

She was fourth in a good Irish Oaks recently when unlucky in running and looks certain to reach the required level either this time on the track or next.

3.20 Goodwood (Stewards’ Cup Handicap) – REGIONAL

The Stewards’ Cup is of course frightfully competitive, but excellent up-and-coming trainer Ed Bethell has booked Ryan Moore for Regional which is a smart move and one that could be rewarded.

Regional is tough and competitive, is improving and is well drawn. He is worth a shout at double-figure odds ahead of Able Kane and Inver Park.

Friday 22 July 2022

Friday 22nd & Saturday 23rd July 2022: Emily Upjohn to Enjoy her Day at the Races

It’s King George weekend at Ascot as the Flat season continues to hurtle on apace.

We’ve now reached the midsummer showpiece event, with Glorious Goodwood to come next week, and given the recent weather we’ll have real summer ground to race on too.

We begin with three bets on Friday’s cards.

Friday 22nd July 2022

4.50 Ascot (Handicap) – MR BIG STUFF 

Mr Big Stuff had close form with some really good types before heading to the London Gold Cup, not least Desert Crown and Al Qareem. At Newbury, he was unlucky behind Israr in a race that always produces winners and he can improve again over this trip.

True Courage, Al Azhar and Saratoga Gold were next on the list.

7.25 York (Lyric Stakes – Listed Race) – JUDITH 

There may be more to come from the 101-rated Achelois, but Andrew Balding’s filly hasn’t won any of her last six so a big improvement in form seems unlikely.

Poptronic should perhaps be shorter in the betting. She’s now rated 107 after winning a Group 3 at Newcastle. She’s penalised 5lbs for that, but has won three in a row and is getting better while Via Sistina (97) has plenty more to give if ready to go after a long break.

That’s the sort of level to aim at then and clearly John Gosden, a master at training black type fillies, thinks he can surpass that with Judith.

The Normandie Stud filly is two from two now. She found things really quite easy in running to a mark of around 90 on debut before winning easily second time out. She has the quality to take this race before moving up into Group company.

7.55 York (Handicap) – SILVER GUNN

In a competitive Class 2 race over York’s famous 1m2½f course, Lucander, Marching Army and Spirit Dancer will all be popular with punters. The one I like best however is Silver Gunn.

Trained by Marco Botti, Silver Gunn has run well at Windsor the last three times but needs something different now. He’s still improving overall and should be loving conditions here. Neil Callan rides.

Saturday 23rd July 2022

2.12 Newcastle (Beeswing Handicap) – SOUND ANGELA 

There was a time when the Beeswing was a valuable Group 3 race, not a handicap on an underwhelming Ladies Day card at Newcastle worth less than £7,000 to the winner.

The 25,000 crowd and decent prizes for best-dressed, at least for the ladies anyway, should be accompanied by good quality action on the track but it’s not the case.

In any event, something has to win and Sound Angela could prove to be very well handicapped in the modern version of the Beeswing. Roger Varian’s filly looks way better than an 84-horse so can win this if ready after a break. Muhtashim may also go well.

2.25 Ascot (Valiant Stakes – Group 3) – ZANBAQ

Some of the big-hitters in this race may find the ground a tad too quick. Novemba has the class to win this but does need the rain, while Jumbly is another in a similar position.

Oscula is very consistent but now needs to take a leap forward, with the solid one in the line-up being Roger Varian’s Zanbaq.

The three-year-old was genuinely thought of as a Guineas filly not so long ago and ran a belter when second to the well handicapped Heredia in the Sandringham at Royal Ascot.

3.07 Newmarket (Handicap) – AUDIENCE 

This is a six-furlong handicap which is tough to call at a glance. Wowzers can improve, while King Of Jungle, Romantic Time, Lethal Levi, Straits Of Moyle and I’m A Gambler are all capable.

Before an unsuccessful attempt at Group 3 glory over seven in the Jersey Stakes, the Gosden runner Audience was going in the right direction and is capable of reaching a mark in these conditions of at least 105. Coming in off 100, he looks well treated.

3.35 Ascot (King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes – Group 1) – EMILY UPJOHN 

Hurricane Lane needs softer ground, Adayar has taken an age to come to hand this season and Derby winner Desert Crown has suffered a setback.

With their absences in mind, we should be talking about a ‘weak’ King George but it really isn’t. With the exception of Broome, at least arguably, each of the six horses here look like running into the 120’s and that makes this a competitive Group 1 event.

Pyledriver is solid but needs to take a big step forward, while Arc winner Torquator Tasso can go well but still probably needs softer going to be absolutely at his brilliant best.

Mishriff is a well-travelled, top-level five-year-old. His run in the Eclipse last time showed he is still near his best and let’s not forget that it took an exceptional three-year-old to beat him last year in the shape of Adayar.

Westover was unlucky in the Derby, but despite what he did last time in Ireland he wouldn’t have won at Epsom. He is high class, genuine Group 1 quality, and is absolutely bound to go well once again.

When we do have a top-notch three-year-old in this race they tend to win, but the best of them at the weights in my mind is the filly Emily Upjohn, rather than Westover.

After slipping at the start and losing loads of ground but still being beaten only on the line in the Oaks, Emily Upjohn has been given the same rating as her conqueror Tuesday.

We know that’s a tad false. How much better she was in reality is open to debate and opinion, but based on her run at Epsom, Nashwa’s subsequent performance in the French Oaks, natural improvement and her 3lb weight allowance, she’ll be punching well above her perceived weight in this race.

She’s tough, has the class, loves the trip and the ground and there is little to dislike about her chances.

4.32 Newcastle (Handicap) – PRIDE OF PRIORY 

This is a decent quality race, at least given the fact that Haveyoumissedme, Sea King and Thundering all look likely to run to or past their current handicap marks.

Pride Of Priory however is capable of much better than this and if he’s offered at a decent price can be backed to score.

Friday 15 July 2022

Friday 15th & Saturday 16th July 2022: Plenty of Promise in Hackwood Stakes

Before we get to the juicy stuff, keep an eye on those attractive novice races early on Newbury’s Friday card. Something well above average could come from those events.

The main highlight of the weekend though is the Irish Oaks, Emily Upjohn understandably being odds-on to hold off the challenge of Magical Lagoon and co.

Betting wise there are more engaging races, beginning with a hot juvenile contest at Newbury.

Friday 15th July 2022

3.53 Newbury (Rose Bowl Stakes – Listed Race) – COLD CASE 

Chateau has experience and Rogue Lightning was very good on debut, but there is a lot to like about Cold Case who should be backed.

Karl Burke’s colt was very speedy on debut at Carlisle and won nicely at York last time, with his best form to come on a fair track. New Definition is also one to keep an eye on.

7.17 Hamilton (Scottish Stewards’ Cup) – EDWARD CORNELIUS 

Plenty of these are handicapped about right by my reckoning; Snazzy Jazzy, Rathbone, Tipperary Tiger, Be Proud and Music Society all looking capable of challenging for places.

Three-year-old Edward Cornelius however has plenty more to offer. He has strong form already and will be all the better for running on fast ground. Callum Rodriguez rides for Keith Dalgleish.

7.40 Newmarket (Fillies’ Handicap) – INVIGILATE 

Some shrewd people rather fancied Invigilate for the Sandringham at Royal Ascot last month. She didn’t really like things there, but has the speed and the form to go very well in this lesser race.

She’s rated just 82, but her form in winning at Leicester and finishing a close second when giving 1lb to the now 87-rated Washraa show that she likes fast ground and is probably well in at the weights for Sir Michael Stoute. Ryan Moore should get the best out of her over 1¼ miles.

Spring winner Voodoo Queen and Gosden pair Natasha and Morning Poem are all obvious dangers.

Saturday 16th July 2022

1.50 Newbury (Steventon Stakes – Listed Race) – FINEST SOUND

This is a close contest on paper. Simon & Ed Crisford’s Finest Sound ran to a mark of 108 last autumn, and more like 110 in Dubai this year considering how wide he went before not being suited by Epsom last time.

He’s capable of even more than that now and if he achieves it, he can climb above solid performers Grocer Jack and Cadillac.

2.21 Newbury (Gin Cup Stakes – Handicap) – AURIFEROUS 

A number are handicapped right. Of those with more to offer, Diamond Bay remains interesting but Auriferous is too big a price for Andrew Balding.

The four-year-old has been second over course and distance this season and fifth in the Northumberland Vase. Returned here on fast ground, we should see a new career high.

2.56 Newbury (Hackwood Stakes – Group 3) – MAN OF PROMISE 

The classy Minzaal has been backed for a return to form here while with a weight allowance, fillies Chil Chil and Happy Romance also enter calculations.

Charlie Appleby has been very well off for sprinters of late. Naval Crown and Creative Force are genuine Group 1 animals and it was thought in March that Man Of Promise may even be better than that duo.

He eased to a mark of 119 when winning at Meydan and is capable of yet more. It didn’t happen for him on Dubai World Cup night, nor over the stiff five furlongs in the King’s Stand, but Newbury is the fairest course of them all and the best horse often wins.

Man Of Promise is certainly that, even under a small 3lb penalty.

3.10 (Sapphire Stakes – Group 2) – EQUILATERAL

This is an intriguing Group 2 five-furlong sprint.

Equilateral is a seven-year-old now, but he was a Group 2 winner last year and has not lost his form this season having run a very good fifth in the King’s Stand. There has been plenty of talk of Raasel being a top-level type too and Charlie Hills’ runner was very unlucky behind him last time out.

Equilateral has the speed and the class. If the field follows the natural camber of the Curragh’s sprint course and comes to the stands rail, then his draw in 8 is also an advantage.

New York City, Mooniesta, Cadamosto and Last Crusader were hard to split in behind.

3.22 Newmarket (Aphrodite Stakes – Listed Race) – ETERNAL PEARL

With the greatest of respect to Technique, Ad Infinitum and Viola, this race could come down to Mukaddamah and Eternal Pearl.

The pair were 3/1 and 10/3 respectively in a novice race behind subsequent Listed winner Grande Dame a wee while ago, Mukaddamah running ahead of Eternal Pearl on that occasion making use of racecourse experience.

The Godolphin filly however was very unruly before her debut and ran green, though she stayed on well to the line.

I expect Eternal Pearl to end up being the best of that bunch, perhaps her greater speed may help her get the better of Mukaddamah here.

10.03 Saratoga (Diana Stakes – Grade 1) – CREATIVE FLAIR 

Chad Brown has four of the 6 runners involved in this firm ground, nine-furlong affair. That situation is complicated more by the fact that his Rougir was favourite to beat Bleecker Street last time, the latter now set to go off favourite for this race.

In any event this may go to Charlie Appleby. Last week Godolphin’s main man sent two runners to New York Grade 1 races, one using up too much energy early before being collared and the other surging on for second having been given too much to do.

In Creative Flair’s case, she was a Newbury Listed winner last year who is getting better all the time. She has at least the same level of talent as the Brown runners, will love the fast conditions and in fact on American speed figures she actually comes out on top.

Those figures were achieved at Saratoga too in last year’s Oaks, while she was also an easy Group 2 winner in Dubai. She might be a daft price if you get on early enough.

Thursday 7 July 2022

Friday 8th & Saturday 9th July 2022: Creative a Major Force in July Cup

Newmarket’s July Meeting continues alongside some other top domestic and international action. It could be a potentially huge weekend for the Godolphin team, not the last few years haven’t been kind, and they feature highly for us.

Friday 8th July 2022

1.50 Newmarket (Heritage Handicap) - NEW LONDON

This is a hot-looking handicap alright and the boys in blue are out to confuse us a little again.

Their Natural World carries the first colours and was on the Derby trail not long ago, and he has a huge shout here alongside William Haggas’ Yonafis.

Of the Godolphin/Charlie Appleby duo in the race however, William Buick chooses New London and that looks like the right call.

He too was aimed at the Derby at one point, looking like a genuine contender, so off a mark of only 99 back on good ground he can strike.

2.40 York (Summer Stakes - Group 3) - FLOTUS

Last year’s Cheveley Park Stakes runner-up Flotus took a little bit of time to get into gear this term for the Crisford team, but she’s there now and remains very classy.

She just ran out of steam when looking like winning the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot, she’s a certain Group 1 performer and she should be too good at this level on a flat track.

3.00 Newmarket (Heritage Handicap) - TRAWLERMAN

Before and after his bad run under an inadequate ride at Royal Ascot I’ve been dying to back the talented Trawlerman again.

He remains well treated, has conditions to suit him and the assistance of James Doyle up top. He didn’t take up his last engagement but looks set to run now.

He reopposes Candleford, his Ascot conqueror who in fairness he wouldn’t have beaten that day, but the Haggas horse was simply better handicapped and has now gone up a huge 13lbs in the weights.

4.36 Ascot (Handicap) - FIRST RULER 

Charlie Appleby really is sharing the love this weekend with Ascot also getting a visit.

With Buick and Doyle at HQ, the top trainer relies on last year’s Derby winning jockey Adam Kirby aboard First Ruler and that’s fine with me.

The son of Dubawi only made his debut in May and is progressing nicely. A win in a 20-runner novice race at Doncaster came in June before he was narrowly beaten by a stablemate on the July Course, but rather than stay there he comes here for this better opportunity.

Sea The Casper, Big Meeting and Surrey Must are the main dangers.

Saturday 9th July 2022

2.40 Newmarket (Handicap) - BAY OF HONOUR

Laasudood, Spinaround and New Kingdom all have similar chances on the book you’d think, so with William Buick choosing Bay Of Honour who has plenty of scope we can expect a performance significantly better than his handicap mark of 94. 

Although favourite for his debut, the son of Shamardal was a little disappointing first up. He was much better when winning at Kempton and had since won narrowly at Thirsk to make it two from three.

Based only on the numbers he’s handicapped about right, however there is a ton of improvement to come as we will hopefully see on Saturday when he tackles this race.

3.15 Newmarket (Superlative Stakes - Group 2) - LION OF WAR

This is a good race as always, but probably not a vintage renewal.

There’s plenty to like about favourite Victory Dance for Appleby and Godolphin and it would be no surprise to see him win, though he just scrambled home on his debut.

The opposite is true of Lion Of War who absolutely cantered home at Newcastle, never breaking sweat to score by some 10 lengths.

How far he’d have won by had he been ridden is anyone’s guess and while he didn’t beat much, he was immediately nominated for this and other top end juvenile races. 

If it does become a battle you may expect that a son of Roaring Lion who is trained by Mark & Charlie Johnston to not be giving up which is another bonus.

3.35 Ascot (Summer Mile - Group 2) - MODERN NEWS

After several missed oppprtunities with him it would be rather typical for Mutasaabeq to go and win this, but he’s overlooked this time in favour of the classy Modern News.

Chindit and My Oberon are also capable but are arguably not improving, with our horse the one to tick both the class and progression boxes.

Modern News was second favourite for the Lincoln, won a top handicap, scored in Listed company and was inconvenienced in a small field when narrowly losing out to My Oberon last time. 

He has a 3lb pull with that horse now, is getting better, will appreciate the quicker pace and has the class for this under Hollie Doyle.

4.25 Newmarket (July Cup - Group 1) - CREATIVE FORCE

This is a belting sprint, one which brings together at the top of the market Commonwealth Cup and Platinum Jubilee Stakes form.

As for the young’uns, I’d expect Perfect Power to remain the best, though placings may be narrowly reversed among the older horses.

Godolphin pair Naval Crown and Creative Force were 1-2 ahead of Aussie Artorius at Ascot, and while they remain ahead of him as a duo it may this time be Will Buick’s mount who adds to last year’s top-level success having arguably been on the wrong side of the track last time.

9.06 Belmont Park (Belmont Oaks Invitational - Grade 1) - WITH THE MOONLIGHT

The two invitation races on Belmont’s excellent card in New York now have deserved Graded status and thus are a big draw.

With The Moonlight was a genuinely big shout for the Oaks last month and while that wasn’t her bag in the end, this firm mile and a quarter should be and she can score under Frankie Dettori.

10.12 Belmont Park (Belmont Derby Invitational - Grade 1) - NATIONS PRIDE

Frankie’s second ride for Charlie Appleby is aboard Nations Pride and he is also backed.

Much like With The Moonlight, many shrewdies were on this horse in the Derby and he can now show off his undoubted class.

Friday 1 July 2022

Friday 1st, Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd July 2022: Go Native in Classic Eclipse

We may not have a large field for this year’s Coral-Eclipse, but the quality of the field is something to behold.

As the generations clash, the winners of 11 Group One races, plus hugely impressive Brigadier Gerard winner Bay Bridge, come together to give us what could be the race of the season.

We begin with Sandown’s Friday meeting however, with two fancies on a fine afternoon card.

Friday 1st July 2022

2.55 Sandown (Novice Stakes) - ONE NATION 

Strictly speaking, Charlie Appleby’s bigger priced other runner Golden Speech carries Godolphin’s first choice colours, though Will Buick has chosen One Nation who appears the most likely winner.

There are a number of newcomers in the line-up with nice looking profiles, but given what the son of Dubawi has already achieved in two races with improvement still to come, they’ll have to be very good if he’s on song.

Andrew Balding’s Stormbuster is a likely challenger, with the aforementioned Golden Speech a likely improver under James Doyle.

4.05 Sandown (Gala Stakes - Listed Race) - ADDEYBB

The class act that is Addeybb may not be a great price, but he’s definitely good enough for this and is at least worth considering in any multiples.

Often left searching for ideal ground, Friday’s surface may not be as soft as Addeybb truly wants, but he is capable on variations of ground in truth.

Having had a run this season and initially been readied for Royal Ascot, William Haggas’ multiple Group 1-winning eight-year-old would be a hugely popular winner of this Listed event and I reckon he’s got enough in his locker.

Regal Reality is next in the betting but was never as good as Addeybb and is on the wane overall, while at 6 Harrovian is also not improving. Foxes Tales is the only four-year-old in the race and may yet improve enough to take a hand.

Saturday 2nd July 2022

2.25 Sandown (Handicap) - CHECKANDCHALLENGE

When Checkandchallenge won on All-Weather Finals Day at Newcastle in April it was announced immediately he’d be off to the Guineas, such was the strength of his performance.

He took down Dubai Poet, third in the Jersey Stakes since and rated 109, and Imperial Fighter who’s subsequently run third in the Irish 2000 Guineas and is rated 110. He did so in good style too on only his second racecourse start.

Having not really landed a blow at Newmarket, William Knight’s colt remains on a mark of 108 which would appear to underestimate him fairly significantly so in this admittedly strong handicap, he has a serious chance. 

Sinjaari and Lion Tower would appear to be the best of the rest. 

2.40 Haydock (Lancashire Oaks - Group 2) - ESHAADA

John & Thady Gosden’s Free Wind looks like going off favourite for this race on her seasonal bow. The Galileo filly has done nothing but improve in her career so far, indeed she took a Deauville Group 3 before rounding off last season by winning the Park Hill Stakes.

This level is not above her and she appears to be versatile enough, but on the forecast soft ground after an extended break she is likely to be vulnerable. Enter Eshaada, who has a run out at Newbury in May and is good to go now.

Roger Varian’s filly won on soft ground on her debut and of course took the Group 1 British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes at Ascot on Champions Day last October.

That was a genuine top-level win against the likes of Albaflora and Snowfall, so without a penalty over her preferred distance and with the promise of more to come after only six career starts, she ticks a lot of boxes.

3.00 Sandown (Coral Distaff - Listed Race) - GRANDE DAME

Heredia will be a very warm order for this race you’d think. Richard Hannon’s filly is now four from four after winning the Sandringham at Royal Ascot and is clearly ready for Listed and Group company.

Both Fast Attack and Oscula look decent without, on paper at least, being good enough to get to an improving Heredia but she does have one very strong rival here in Grande Dame.

The Gosden filly, ridden by Ryan Moore for Coolmore, was excellent when she beat some very nice types on her debut in April and she’s definitely gone on from there.

She bled from the mouth when not quite getting up in Listed company on only her second start at York, while she took a keen hold in Group 1 company at the royal meeting at Ascot. 

Should she resume her natural progress here, she’d be pretty tough to beat. 

3.15 Haydock (Old Newton Cup - Handicap) - TRAWLERMAN

In this grand old race Gaassee is understandably a strong favourite. He’s yet another William Haggas runner going the right way and who has now won four races on the bounce.

It’s hard to know exactly what he’s got left up his sleeve however and we mustn’t forget that many of these horses will be capable of outrunning their respective handicap marks.

One of them for sure is Trawlerman. He does have a high draw and the ground is somewhat of an unknown, but I fancied him strongly at Royal Ascot where he appeared to have plenty in the tank but was too far back and not chased up by Frankie Dettori.

With that Monsun line in his family we may discover this ground is ideal and he is a strong alternative to the market leader.

3.35 Sandown (Coral-Eclipse - Group 1) - NATIVE TRAIL 

This is a stunning race. The last two winners of the French Derby, Vadeni and the excellent Mishriff, both bring in terrific form alongside runaway Brigadier Gerard winner Bay Bridge, three-time Group 1 winner Lord North and recent top level Curragh scorer Alenquer.

I feel though that due to his running style, which often includes a mid-race flat spot and a workmanlike finish, many have forgotten very early just what Native Trail has achieved.

He was the undisputed star juvenile of last season, the 2000 Guineas second on perhaps the wrong side of the track and winner of the Irish equivalent.

He’s ready for the step up in trip and any improvement now, which is likely given his size and scope as well as his age, would confirm him as the best of this bunch as the generations clash.

Sunday 3rd July 2022

3.00 Saint-Cloud (Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud - Group 1) - HURRICANE LANE

Hurricane Lane was simply brilliant last season. A Dante winner, he wasn’t too keen on Epsom when finishing third in the Derby behind his pal Adayar, but he went on to land the Irish Derby, Grand Prix de Paris and the St Leger before finishing third in the Arc.

He most likely needed the run when third at Ascot recently on ground fast enough, with this test appearing to suit much better.