The feature race at Newmarket on Saturday is the Sun Chariot Stakes and there is little rain forecast in Suffolk between now and post time. The French will be smarting after the drubbing handed out by the British and Irish raiders on Arc Day, but there have been five Gallic winners of the Sun Chariot in the last eight renewals.
There is likely to be a strong French challenge again at the weekend with Jean-Claude Rouget’s Qemah and Andre Fabre’s Usherette both having leading chances for the Group One contest over a mile for Fillies’ and Mares’. Both are priced at 7/1 with BetVictor.
A competitive card at Salisbury this afternoon and I am surprised that Marcus Tregoning is persevering with 1m 6f for Perla Blanca on heavy ground in the finale. The maiden filly looked to be outstayed when runner up at Lingfield over this trip on good to soft ground last month, and I am not convinced she will appreciate today’s heavy ground at this stage of her career.
Lester Kris (4.40) is another lightly-raced maiden but this colt looked ready for a step up in trip when runner up at Leicester last time on this ground and he is a half-brother to a couple of winners over this trip. Apprentice Rossa Ryan takes off a valuable 7lbs for Richard Hannon’s three-year-old.
Ace Ventura (2.00) shaped with considerable promise on debut at Doncaster and can improve to take the opening Mile Novice stakes although Hannon’s Carp Kid will give him plenty to think about as he, too, shaped like a sure fire future winner when tenderly handled at Newbury on his first start.
At Bangor Big Penny (2.10) as her name suggests is a big old boat who will jump a fence in time, but she showed at Worcester last time that she has the necessary pace to win over timber although this trip just shy of two-and-a-half-miles may be on the sharp side for her. Newbury Bumper winner Lady Mix makes her hurdling debut and it will be interesting to see if the market speaks in her favour.
Sage Monkey returns to the scene of his chase win on his penultimate start and is entitled to run well from a 5lbs higher mark but I hope to see Champion Chase (2.45) make a winning chase debut for Kim Bailey. The selection finished second in his sole point-to-point and connections waste little time getting him over fences.
Red Giant is 8lbs higher for winning at Kelso last time and that form was let down by the runner up who ran no sort of race earlier in the week. Cuirassier Dempire and Compadre are much respected but Abbotswood (3.45) is a winning Irish pointer in his native Ireland and he won his maiden hurdle on good ground at Worcester back in the spring.
The Charlie Longsdon yard are in good form and the selection looks every inch a chaser – the hope is that he will better than his current rating although he will have to be given there are a number of potential improvers in a cracking race.
My two against the field in the 2m Handicap Hurdle are Salto Chisco and William Of Orange (4.20) with preference for the Donald McCain runner who has, hitherto, been a disappointment over timber for the yard. The selection was a dual winner on the flat for Sir Mark Prescott and did get his head in front over timber when scoring at Catterick last January.
At Kempton this evening Tivoli (6.40) doesn’t have the best of the draw in the 6f maiden for the Arc winning connections of John Gosden and Prince Khalid Abdulla. The selection disappointed at Leicester last time having looked a sure fire future winner at Newmarket previously, but connections drop her back in trip this evening and she can beat Hugo Palmer’s Left Alone who will surely come into her own when stepping up in trip.