Just a week to the start of York’s flagship Ebor meeting and the Gp 1 Juddmonte International on the opening day promises to be an absolute cracker with King George hero Poet’s Word and Eclipse winner Roaring Lion heading the market at 5/2 with BetVictor.
Last year’s brilliant dual Oaks and Arc winner Enable is 8/1 with BetVictor but she holds an alternative engagement in the Yorkshire Oaks over an additional couple of furlongs. There is very little rain forecast for the area in the next seven days and the ground is likely to be good to firm for the start of the meeting.
Tahreek (3.10) was posted wide and too keen in a slowly run race over 10f at Newbury last time and no surprise to see the Sir Michael Stoute-trained three-year-old drop back to a mile at Salisbury. The colt had previously impressed when beating Jurz at Nottingham over this distance from a 6lbs higher mark and I feel there is more to come from the colt with underfoot conditions ideal.
Champs De Reves (4.10) hinted at ability at two and was staying on from the rear over a mile on polytrack on his seasonal reappearance. The selection’s dam was a sprinter, but he looks ready for a step up in trip on his handicap debut and three-year-olds have won this corresponding race eight times in the last decade.
At Beverley Kingson (2.30) can go one better than when runner up at Redcar on debut for Richard Fahey and Paul Hanagan. The selection will get further in time, but this stiff extended 7f will suit and he is well drawn in stall five.
Hamlul (3.30) is a confident selection on his handicap debut for Sir Michael Stoute despite having been a beaten favourite at Newcastle in a hot 12f maiden last time. The Frankel colt looked the most likely winner when looming up two out last time, but his stamina gave way and this intermediate trip should suit.
The first three home are all subsequent winners and Richard Kingscote takes over in the plate with an excellent draw in stall two.
Silver Crescent (4.30) was inconvenienced by the slow early pace and drop back in trip when third at Newbury (10f) last time. The selection had previously travelled like the best horse in the race when second at Wolverhampton from a 6lbs lower mark and his stamina back at this trip on a stiff track is a slight concern. He is a half-brother to a 2m winner, however, and gets the vote for trainer Ralph Beckett with Kingscote back in the saddle.
At Worcester this evening Ofcourseiwill (5.50) can defy top-weight on his chase debut for Donald McCain. The selection is a winning pointer and will get further than two miles, but he is not short of speed and jockey Brian Hughes is likely to make plenty of use of his mount at this minimum trip.
The mare Desirable Court (7.20) has lost little in defeat in her last couple of starts but is taken to return to winning ways stepping up to 3m for the first time, despite picking up a 7lbs penalty for her Newton Abbot win back in May.