Twenty runners remain entered in Sunday’s Arc with star filly Enable 4/5 favourite with BetVictor (Non Runner No Bet) at the five-day stage. John Gosden’s dual classic winner isn’t even entered as it stands but is due to be supplemented tomorrow morning and will take all the beating bidding to claim a 5th successive success at Gp 1 level.
The Gosden yard remain in excellent form with the Clarehaven handler enjoying a quick-fire across-the-card treble within the opening hour of racing on Saturday and I expect his debutante Tinted to go close on debut at Lingfield.
The well-bred daughter of Galileo should eventually prove rather smart however, is draw in 14 of 14 and preference lies instead with Pretty Passe (4.15) under Martin Harley. The selection has placed in two of her three maidens thus far but sets a fair standard and looks set to get her head in front for trainer William Haggas. The yard won the corresponding race 12 months ago and remain in good fettle.
Stablemate Easy Code (4.45) has had no luck in previous races at Brighton and Kempton but is a previous winner on the all-weather and must go close from an unrevised mark. The selection has finished third in a pair of 7f Handicaps and should improve for the step up in trip to a mile. James Doyle is an eye-catching jockey booking in the plate and has a 40% strike-rate riding for the yard this season.
Soft ground horses are required at Beverley where Kevin Ryan’s Mount Kinabalu (4.45) must go close in his quest to shed the maiden tag at the fourth time of asking. The selection bumped into one last time out over six furlongs at Catterick and can go one better stepping up in trip under regular partner Tom Eaves.
Eaves partners Ornate in the feature £20.000 Conditions Stakes but I’m not convinced he’ll be at home on the ground and preference lies instead with Bryan’s Smart Alpha Delphini (3.50) in receipt of 6lb. The selection has won two of his three starts at the track, including last year’s Beverley Bullet, and looks ideally placed to pick up a nice pot.
Aintree bumper winner Tahira won the corresponding opener at Warwick 12 months ago and whilst nothing of that ilk in the 2m Novices’ Hurdle, there are some promising geldings who should enjoy fruitful campaigns. Tom Lacey has a great record with bumper winners going hurdling and I expect Sword of Fate (1.50) to excel over timber. The selection ran with promise in both is point-to-points and, after making a winning debut under rules at Exeter, must go close under Champion Jockey Richard Johnson.
Johnson has forged a terrific partnership with trainer Tim Vaughan and a market check is needed for Ronnie Lawson in the 2m 4f Handicap Chase. The selection was prolific in the pointing fields and could be another back under rules however, Peter Bowen’s Dotties Dilema (2.25) was ultra-impressive last time out at Worcester and should complete the hat-trick under Sean Bowen. The selection followed-up his hurdles success at Cartmel over the larger obstacles last week and is a confident selection to defy a 7lb penalty.
Kim Bailey’s Sonneofpresenting looked a chaser going places when staying on strongly to win well over three miles last time out at Worcester but I’m not convinced he’s a real stayer whereas Jamie Snowden’s Fact of the Matter (3.30) looks just that and could prove an Aintree horse in time. He is unexposed over fences and, after landing a gamble for connections last time out at Cartmel, is a confident selection to defy a 6lb rise at the weights.