Confirmation from Roger Charlton’s son Tom on ATR from Windsor on Monday that Withhold (4/1 at BetVictor) is to make his belated seasonal reappearance in the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle on Saturday. A low draw is considered a positive at Gosforth Park even over two miles and the draw will be made on Thursday.
Luca Cumana’s daughter Francesca advised viewers to watch out for the next start of her father’s recent Goodwood winner Four White Socks on ITV Racing during Royal Ascot. The filly is entered for the group 3 ten-furlong fillies’ event at Newcastle on Friday night – live on ITV 4 – and this lightly-raced three-year-old receives 12lbs weight-for-age from her elders. She is 4/1 at BetVictor and is recommended as one to follow.
Another lightly-raced 3-y-o Ad Libitum (4.00) showed his liking for Carlisle when scoring here stepped up to 12f for the first-time last week and Roger Fell’s charge can defy a 6lbs penalty this afternoon in the prestigious Carlisle Bell.
Iain Jardine’s Tor looked to be coming to hand when runner up at Chester earlier in the month and this stiffer track should suit. He represents a big danger as does Jim Goldie’s Theglasgowwarrior who is likely to be finishing fast and late.
The Charlton yard made a slow start to the season and I hope you can put a line through the run of Gavota (4.30) back in the spring when an uneasy favourite in the Fred Darling Stakes. Her juvenile form was well up to listed level and today’s fast ground should suit. A draw in stall eight (of eight) is a concern and I feel all three Cheveley Park-owned fillies are dangers especially Richard Fahey’s Dance Diva who looks sure to appreciate the drop back to 7f.
Dance Diva does hold the selection on Newbury running earlier in the season, but the hope that the real Gavota will turn up this afternoon.
At Salisbury, everything that could go wrong did go wrong with Dombra (2.10) at Haydock on debut but he was sent off third favourite for that contest and shaped with considerable promise. I would expect Hugo Palmer’s juvenile to be a different proposition with that experience under his belt and he is drawn next to the favoured far rail in stall one.
The Bibury Cup is another famous handicap and I hope to see Infrastructure (4.10) break his maiden tag at the fifth time of asking stepped up to a-mile-and-a-half for the first time. The selection is only 1lb higher than when a running on second at Sandown earlier in the month and the winner (Corgi) was just touched off in the King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot last week from a 3lbs higher mark.
I think there is more to come from Hawkerland (4.40) this term and whatever the outcome of his reappearance in the 1m 6f handicap later this afternoon he should be kept a close eye on this term over staying trips on fast ground. Hayley Turner takes over and Marcus Tregoning has his yard in good form.
It was a hot Novice event that Thimbleweed (5.10) made her racecourse debut in at Sandown and she certainly belied her odds of 40/1. She is entitled to improve for that run and the form has already been franked by the runner up Cross Counter who finished placed at the Royal meeting last week.
At Worcester, Spoilt Rotten is well handicapped on his best form for Mark Pitman although he disappointed on his first start for Fergal O’Brien at Taunton when last seen back in April. He was well backed on that occasion and it will be interesting to see if connections try and recoup losses having been dropped another 3lbs by the handicapper.
Slight preference, however, is for Chase Me (2.20) who has run well in two starts since joining Nigel Twiston-Davis. The drop back to the minimum trip could be the key.