News yesterday that Derby winner Masar would drop back in trip a couple of furlongs and take in the Eclipse stakes at Sandown next month as his next start for Charlie Appleby. Masar is 15/8 at BetVictor for the Sandown Group 1. Legends Of War was a significant omission from the Coventry Stakes entries for John Gosden for which he was 5/1 with BetVictor.
Gosden’s recent Newmarket winner Calyx was entered and if he is declared for the race on Sunday I do feel he will take plenty of beating.
Two cracking flat cards at Newbury and Haydock today and we begin our preview at the Berkshire track. Feline Groovy is on something of a retrieval mission for William Haggas having disappointed on rain-softened ground last time but I feel Solar Echo (1.50) can improve significantly on a promising debut when she finished a never nearer fifth at Windsor.
The selection has a bit to find with Charlie Hills’ Solar Gold on her first start but I expect Martyn Meade’s filly to improve past the two likely market leaders.
The Oaks came too soon in the career of impressive listed winner Sea Of Class (2.55) who is reported to be targeting the Irish Oaks as her main mid-season target. The filly stays in listed company this afternoon and carries a 3lbs penalty in the Abingdon Stakes for William Haggas, but she is a very smart filly and she can follow up despite having the worst of the draw in stall eight.
Mountain Peak (4.00) was well backed on his seasonal reappearance when he finished fast but too late to finish third over 7f at Lingfield last time. This stiffer track should suit Ed Walker’s gelding who can race from the same mark this afternoon. The horse must show he is as effective on turf as he is on an all-weather surface although two of his moderate juvenile turf runs were on soft ground.
Spice War (4.35) looked in need of a step back up in trip when third over 10f at Haydock last time and this mile-and-a-half trip should suit Brian Meehan’s gelding who has plenty of stamina in his pedigree.
The Detainee jumped out to his left at Wincanton over timber last time but impressed when winning at Windsor on the level previously and a 6lbs rise is fair. Preference, however, is for Fort Jefferson (6.20) who carries a 6lbs penalty for a facile win at Nottingham over 1m 6f at the weekend. This drop back in trip should not be too much of an inconvenience and he is taken to follow up this evening.
Escobar (7.55) looked to be coming back to something like his best when third at Doncaster last time and he gets the vote for David O’Meara despite being parked out on the wing in stall nine of nine over the mile. Dubai Horizon is likely to go a decent clip stepping back in trip and the hope is that he helps set the race up for the selection who holds an entry in next week’s Royal Hunt Cup at Ascot.
A 6lbs rise looks fair given the ease with which Abel Tasman (8.25) scored over C&D last month when he travelled like a very well-handicapped horse doing us a favour in the process. Tonight’s contest represents a step up in grade but I feel Ed Walker’s charge can defy the rise.
Mashaheer is likely to be all the rage for Haggas at Yarmouth in the 3-y-o Mile Handicap but he is 9lbs higher than when scoring at Nottingham last time and Glencadam Master (4.10) looked as if he was coming to hand when runner up at Doncaster last time although that was on soft ground. Frankie Dettori takes the ride this afternoon and the John Gosden-trained grey would welcome any of the forecast showers for the area.
The winning pointer Cabaret Queen (6.40) makes her chase debut for Dan Skelton in the Novice Handicap Chase over three miles at Uttoxeter this evening. The yard have been in terrific form of late and she may have most to fear from David Pipe’s Great Tempo who shaped as if a return to 3m would suit when second at Ffos Las last month.
The Skelton yard could easily double up courtesy of Holryale (8.15) who has been beaten a short head and a head in his last couple of starts. He deserves a change of luck.