The greatest Flat meeting in the world comes up next week with five days of Royal Ascot. I’ve been keeping an eye on a few and we’ll have more of that later in the week, but let’s try to get the bank built up with a winner or two tonight.
Pastoral Player, Gooodwood, 6.45pm
Hughie Morrison’s runner doesn’t get down to this 0-85 level very often but the last time he did it was over course and distance and he won. Despite not being a regular winner now, he’s the one-time class act in this small field which should suit as he’s held up for a late run.
Lady Bayside, Chepstow, 7.30pm
Loves it here with four of her five wins coming at the Welsh track. She remains on a good mark of 64, goes on any ground and put up just about her best performance at Wolves under the lady rider of the season (Josephine Gordon) last time – despite never having won on the all weather.
With the top-weight Colourfilly likely to attract loads of support (even though she’s a very doubtful stayer) it gives us a chance to pick Paddy’s pocket nice and early.
Al Khafji, Goodwood, 7.50pm
Luca Cumani’s runner was punted off the boards on his return at Kempton when stepped up in trip to 1m 3f after winning over 7f last year. It wasn’t the trip that beat him, but the pace that was nearly 10 seconds slower than standard as the race turned into a sprint.
Upped another furlong to 1m 4f tonight, Frankie Dettori will let him run from the front if there’s no pace on. Hopefully, he can recoup losses here.
Daafik, Goodwood, 8.25pm
Ran big on his debut at Nottingham when third of nine to Blair House. The winner got a rating of 87 for that and went close at Musselburgh after that. If he races to that level here it should be strong enough form to win. It could be like old times for Simon Crisford and Frankie Dettori.
Port Lairge, Chepstow, 8.00pm
This 7f specialist is very tough to catch when allowed to dominate and may have fallen on a race with not too much pace on. The 3lb claimer on top Michael JM Murphy is having a resurgent year, riding with loads of confidence and is who’s excellent value for his allowance.
Casila, Chepstow, 9.10pm
Not too many horses leave Mark Johnston’s yard without winning, but his switch to Ann Duffield and a step up in trip could bring some improvement on his seasonal debut. He looks to be crying out for this two-mile trip after running nine times last year over 1m 4f. Has dropped to a rating of 60 and is a rare Duffield runner at this track.