It was hard to take the result of the Lockinge Stakes on Saturday with our 25/1 each way selection Lightning Spear beaten a short head in the Newbury feature with jockey Oisin Murphy, arguably, taking the wrong course and switching right instead of left when making his challenge inside the last couple of furlongs.
The winner Rhododendron is 4/1 favourite with BetVictor for the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot with Lightning Spear 10/1 for the Royal Ascot curtain raiser next month. Two other horses that caught the eye on Saturday were Newbury listed winner Sea Of Class (8/1 from 12s at BetVictor) for the Oaks and Equilateral who won a 6f sprint by 8l at Doncaster in the evening and is 16/1 from 50 for the Commonwealth Cup next month.
In the 7f Maiden at Leicester I hope to see Dolcissimo (7.30) go one better than when runner up at Wolverhampton on debut over an extended mile. Robert Havlin takes over in the saddle this evening on a filly who was well backed (2/1 favourite) but slowly away at Dunstall Park. She ought to have benefitted from the experience and her connections will be keen to get a win to her name.
David Lanigan has made a slow start to the season but his Light Of Joy makes a belated seasonal reappearance off the same mark as when runner up over this evening’s C&D back in July. A market move would be worth noting.
The maiden Know Your Limit (8.30) has been dropped 2lbs for a promising return over an inadequate Mile at Kempton last month and Ed Walker’s gelding can finally get his head in front with Liam Keniry taking over in the saddle.
Richard Hannon’s juveniles invariably come on for their racecourse debut but it was significant that Come On Leicester (6.15) was well supported in the market when third at Ascot earlier in the month. The runner up has since easily landed the odds at Thirsk and this filly, who cost 360,000gns can make all from her plum draw in stall one.
The feature race is the listed 6f sprint and The Tin Man (7.45) who won this corresponding race two years ago can make a wining reappearance. The selection will defend his Diamond Jubilee crown at Royal Ascot next month and might not be fully tuned up for his reappearance, but underfoot conditions will be ideal and he escapes a penalty for his Group 1 victory. His draw out on the wing in stall seven of seven is less than ideal, but Gifted Master will ensure he has something to aim at.
Solar Gold is worth a second glance for Charlie Hills in the Fillies Maiden but Agrotera (8.15) is taken to go one better than when second at Ascot in a decent four-runner event at the beginning of the month. That run was on soft ground and she has to prove she can be equally as effective on a sound surface but she is a promising maiden who gets the vote in a cracking contest.
Biotic (8.45) was beaten a length over C&D on his seasonal reappearance from a mark 12lbs higher than he starts his campaign this year and he has run some of his best races on turf at Windsor including a win here from an 11lbs higher mark – albeit three years ago. Jockey Ryan Tate knows the seven-year-old well and first time out just might be the time to catch him.
At Towcester, I am sweet on the chances of Windspiel (2.55) in the 2m Handicap Chase at Towcester for David Arbuthnot in the colours of Grand National winner Rough Quest. The selection met trouble in running down the back at Warwick on his chase debut and in the circumstances ran a terrific race behind two very well treated rivals.
The selection is only a five-year-old and can run off the same mark as at Warwick last time. Harry Bannister keeps the ride and should have something to aim at with Kim Bailey’s Trojan Star likely to go off hard from the front.
By The Boardwalk (3.55) bounced back to something like his best at Ludlow last time and can land the feature 3m Chase for Bailey on his local track with Mikey Hamill keeping the ride. The grey Better Days is a big danger for the Twiston-Davies team.