William Haggas confirmed earlier in the week that his dual listed winner Sea Of Class (3/1 with BetVictor) would take her chance in the Irish Oaks at the Curragh on Saturday. Aidan O’Brien’s facile Ribblesdale Stakes winner Magic Wand (9/4 at BetVictor) deserves her place at the top of the market as long as the ground remains on the fast side of good. I can see Ballydoyle’s Royal Ascot winner going off shorter at the weekend although O’Brien is likely to throw several darts given it is his home classic.
Catterick describe their ground as good to soft (good in places) ahead of this afternoon’s seven-race card and Claramara (3.00) must go close if Mark Johnston turns his filly out again just 48-hours after she finished second At Ayr on Monday from the same mark.
The selection is well drawn for one who likes to race prominently. If she doesn’t take her chance again today I feel Princess Nearco can take advantage with the return to as mile-and-a-half a plus having been a staying on in second over 10f last time.
Bidding War (4.00) has not seen the track since disappointing on soft ground at Chepstow on her reappearance and it will be interesting to see what the market says of her chance returning from a near seven-week break. Likely market rival Saison’s D’Or failed to stay Newcastle’s stiff 7f last time but should appreciate this easier track.
Alsvinder (4.30) was a facile winner at Hamilton over the weekend and he is taken to land a quick turf hat-trick despite carrying a 6lbs penalty for his latest success. Do note he can still race on turf from a mark 12lbs lower than his current all-weather mark.
Kingman is beginning to make a name for himself as a stallion and his Motalaqqy (6.10) makes his racecourse debut for Roger Varian over 7f at Yarmouth. The betting should provide a valuable guide as to the selection’s homework given he is not the only well-bred debutant with Postponed’s half-brother Prejudice of particular interest for Luca Cumani.
At Wolverhampton the two horses with the best form in the book Barasti Dancer (5.50) and Jungle Juice have the best of the draw in stalls one and two respectively and I just favour the Karl Burke runner. The selection attracted significant support at Musselburgh last time and Clifford Lee takes off a valuable 3lbs tonight.
Arabian Coast (6.25) drops back a furlong having stumbled leaving the stalls when well beaten in the Gp 3 Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot last month. The colt carries a 7lbs penalty for his facile Leicester success on debut and he is likely to be tough to beat on his all-weather debut.
Penny Poet (8.00) has yet to prove she stays 2m but she was running away when meeting trouble in running here (1m 6f) when last seen on the all-weather back in March 2017 and is worth a chance at this trip in such a modest contest. Neil Mulholland fits his 5-y-old mare with cheek-pieces for the first time.
I think a 3-y-old will win the 12f handicap and Her Majesty’s Refrain will have plenty of supporters running off just 8st having just been touched off when runner up here last week. He must go close but Silver Character (8.35) is well drawn and can race from the same mark as when second here last week. Tom Dascombe’s 3-y-old is 5lbs well in (Refrain 3lbs well in) and just gets the vote. Note Godolphin’s recent Brighton winner for a market move.
I thought Tidal Watch (1.50) was value for more than his neck success at Stratford on Sunday and James Bowen keeps the ride in Uttoxeter’s opener for Jonjo O’Neill. The selection carries a 7lbs penalty but do note the 4-y-old would not pick up a further penalty if successful (conditional jockey’s contest) for either of his weekend entries.
There is a hot handicap chase over 2m 4f and I felt Zolfo (4.20) looked in need of a return to this trip when third at Perth over the minimum trip last month. There are any number of potential dangers to Jennie Candlish’s 6-y-o but I hope the selection might get his own way out in front.