Dual classic winner Churchill looks set to step up in trip to a mile and a quarter with trainer Aidan O’Brien hinting that the 2000 Guineas winner will next be seen at York’s Ebor meeting. The son of Galileo was a NR in last week’s Sussex Stakes due to the treacherous conditions at Goodwood however, he is fancied to relish York’s galloping track and is now 5/1 from 6s with BetVictor for the Juddmonte International at the end of the month.
We’re in a different part of Yorkshire’s for this afternoon’s feature meeting, Ladies Day at Pontefract likely to be a massive hit with the locals; irrespective of the mixed forecast! Trainer Tim Easterby has a good record at the track and, after a big-priced double at Carlisle on Monday, can cause something of an upset in the feature mile and a half handicap with Icefall (3.40) under regular partner James Sullivan. The selection, a previous course and distance winner, should strip fitter for last month’s reappearance and, after winning three times in a fruitful campaign last term, can get his head back in front accordingly.
The Easterby family should go close in the opener with the hat-trick seeking Bollin Ted (2.10) expected to follow-up his recent Beverley successes from just a 6lb higher mark under son William. He needed the aid of the stewards’ to win the second of those races, however remains open to further improvement and looks much better than a 57-rated handicapper.
Plenty of whispers were passed around prior to the debut of Karl Burke’s Beatbox Rhythm (2.40) – who was just touched off on debut at Doncaster and is expected to go under better under PJ McDonald. On pedigree, the son of Beat Hollow won’t be inconvenienced by any cut in the ground and after last month’s excellent runner-up effort, should improve and go one better for favourite backers.
The form figures of Laughton (5.10) leave a lot to be desired this season however; with the Kevin Ryan yard in good nick and the application of a first-time tongue-tie he is chanced to reward each-way support in the 6f Handicap. He hasn’t won for 12 months since winning a sprint handicap at Glorious Goodwood but, having trickled down the weights to just a pound below that last winning mark thereafter, can bounce back under Gp 1 winning jockey Tom Eaves.
Kempton hosts a good all-weather card, and there should be no ground concerns about Jeremy Noseda’s Jus Pires (6.35) in the mile maiden under James Doyle. The selection built on the promise shown on debut when second on ground softer than ideal last time out at Windsor and is a confident selection to shed the maiden tag at the third time of asking.
Doyler can double-up aboard Mark Johnston’s Dominating (9.05) in the closing 2m Handicap for trainer Mark Johnston. The gelded son of Jukebox Jury has progressed on each and every start this season, and made it three wins from his last four starts when bolting-up at Musselburgh under Joe Fanning. The 3yo receives 13lb from his elders and should continue his upward progression from just a 7lb rise at the weights.