The Gp 1 Lockinge Stakes over the straight mile at Newbury is today’s racing highlight. Last season’s Jersey Stakes winner Le Brivado steps back up in trip having been slowly away when staying on in third in the Gp 3 7f Gladness Stakes having his first start for Aidan O’Brien. The colt did finish runner up in the French Guineas when trained by Andre Fabre over a mile, so today’s additional furlong holds no terrors. He is 7/2 at BetVictor and looks sure to run a big race.
Mustashry is a horse I have a lot of time for and at 9/1 with BetVictor will have his supporters, but Laurens (3.40) gets the each way nod at 9/2 with BetVictor. The filly is a multiple Group 1 winner against her own sex and there doesn’t appear to be a top-class colt or gelding in the field. She would, arguably, prefer Friday’s forecast drizzle to get into the ground, but she is reported to be working well for Karl Burke ahead of her reappearance and I hope she can grind it out from the front.
Crystal Ocean (2.25) cannot be opposed as he bids to follow up last years win in the Aston Park Stakes. Sir Michael Stoute’s 5-year-old looked as good as ever when landing the Gordon Richards Stakes on his reappearance over 10f and this return to a mile-and-a-half will suit. The selection is ½ at BetVictor for today and 6/1 for the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes back at 10f at Royal Ascot next month. The Hardwicke Stakes – which he won 12 months ago – remains an alternative target at the Royal meeting.
The London Gold Cup is one of the most informative 3-y-old handicaps of the season and, once again, there are several lightly-raced well-bred sorts in this valuable 10f handicap. Stoute’s Solid Stone (5/1 with BetVictor) has been the uneasy favourite since betting opened and my two against the field are The Trader (25/1 at BetVictor) and Sinjaari (3.00) with preference for the William Haggas trained colt who broke his maiden at Windsor on his third and latest start.
Oisin Murphy takes the ride on this lightly-raced three-year-old who is likely to get further in time and at 7/1 with BetVictor is the each way recommendation.
Queen Power (4.35) looked ready for a step up to 10f when a never nearer second over a mile at Ascot on her reappearance – and first start for Sir Michael Stoute. She is not absolutely guaranteed to get this 10f trip – mixed messages on breeding – but she hit the line hard at Ascot on her reappearance and looks ready for this step up in grade and distance.
Andrew Balding’s Newbury maiden winner Raise You must show he is as effective on fast ground as his is on good to soft and he is overlooked in the Newmarket opener even though Andrew Balding nominated the Dante Stakes at York as his next start after he scored on the Berkshire track.
Godolphin’s Al Hilalee (2.05) was sent off at just 8/1 for the Guineas at the beginning of the month but found things happening far too quickly over a mile. At 10/3 with BetVictor I expect to see him improve markedly returning to Newmarket for the extra quarter of a mile this afternoon although he, too, would appreciate a drop of rain.
Jash (2.40) finished second in the Gp 1 Middle Park Stakes on his last start as a juvenile – beaten half a length by beaten Guineas favourite Ten Sovereigns – but had impressed in winning his first couple of starts. Today’s step up to 7f in the King Charles II Stakes should tell us whether he will return to 6f in the Commonwealth Cup – 12/1 at BetVictor – next time, step up to a Mile in the Irish Guineas or St James’s Palace Stakes or stay at 7f for the Jersey Stakes. He is Evens at BetVictor to make a winning reappearance.
At Uttoxeter this evening Mister Mister (6.50) is only 4lbs higher than when scoring last time and is taken to land his hat-trick off just a 4lbs higher mark for Dai Williams. The selection is getting his act together over the larger obstacles and remains rated 24lbs lower over fences than hurdles.