1.15pm – Sky Sport Racing HD Virgin 535 Handicap (1m)
Three year olds dominate the betting and if one of them is going to progress, possibly into group company, then I think it’ll be Magical Morning. He was impressive in a couple of novice wins at the start of the season, but he went off the boil after that. Four runs in about six weeks was possibly a bit much for him, so he’s had a little break. Back fresh today and dropping to the mile, I’m expecting him to resume and put himself back on the winning trail.
1.50pm – bet365 Champagne Stakes (Group 2) (7f)
The unbeaten pair of Chindit and Albasheer battle it out for favouritism. But Mujbar was equally, if not more impressive, than Albasheer in winning his novice. Travelling enthusiastically, he booted clear in the final furlong to record a seven length success. The second was previously behind subsequent Gimcrack winner Minzaal, so the form looks good from that perspective. He’s related to Group 1 winner Eqtidaar and Group 1 placed Massaat, hopefully he has their ability.
2.25pm – bet365 Portland Handicap (5f)
An excellent race to watch, with 22 sprinters hurtling down the Doncaster straight. Danzeno has been in brilliant form the past couple of seasons and deserves to get his head back in front. He’s been knocking on the door and has been dropped another pound but was denied a clear run last time. Ray Dawson is riding out of his skin and is excellent value for his 5lb claim, which will only help Danzeno’s chances. Having been placed in 10 of his last 12 starts, he certainly isn’t finished at the age of 9 just yet.
3.00pm – bet365 Park Stakes (Group 2) (7f)
You won’t get too many better 7f races through the season in the UK. One Master has been at the top level for a while now, as has Limato. The former pretty much had conditions as she’d likes them last time, but couldn’t get close to Safe Voyage. Limato had the race run perfectly to suit at Newmarket, but he has to be feared.
I’m a little surprised Molatham is the price he is. He beat Wichita over this course and distance last season. Tough in winning at Royal Ascot, he then wasn’t disgraced in Group 1 company behind Pinatubo subsequently. He’s had a break since then and Roger Varian’s string are flying, so I’m taking him to cause a mini upset.
3.35pm – Pertemps St Leger Stakes (Group 1) (1m6f)
A really intriguing, open renewal of the St Leger this season. I don’t have a huge opinion on the three horses vying for favouritism and in truth, I’m struggling to split them. Because of that, I’m sticking to my guns that Mohican Heights is going to thrive once again up in distance. He’s bred for stamina and this could be the making of him.
He was conceding race fitness to Pyledriver when the pair met at Royal Ascot and this step up in trip, in my view, will help Mohican Heights far more than it will Pyledriver. Put a line through the Derby run, that was the weirdest Derby we’ll likely ever see. He’s also beaten Subjectivist comfortably last season. This looks THE race for Mohican Heights. Here’s to a Jamie Spencer masterclass…
4.05pm – Matthew Clark Nursery Handicap (1m)
The majority of these are nursery debutants and most of the marks look about right on what we’ve seen so far. But I think Legend Of Dubai could leave his rating of 83 well behind. A 500,000 Guineas yearling, he’s made a bright start to his career so far. Third in a hot novice at Newbury and then second to River Alwen next time (pair clear of the third) who ran fourth in Listed company subsequently. Legend Of Dubai is bred to be useful and has shown a decent level of form so far. He’s entered in the Royal Lodge and the Derby, so clearly they think a bit of him at home. So if he’s to be justifying those entries, he should be winning this.
5.15pm – Magners Dark Fruit Cider Handicap (1m4f)
This has the makings of a messy race to finish the meeting. Al Muffrih has ability but is far from straight forward and I wouldn’t say any of these look particularly well-handicapped. I’m leaving this race alone, so hopefully a few winners will already be in the bag.