After a solid week's tipping at Glorious Goodwood, Fitzy has his eyes on a nice double
The boys in blue could be on course to land us a lovely touch on Saturday
The Group 3 Sweet Solera Stakes (3.15pm) at Newmarket is very much a stepping stone to bigger things for some of these 2-year-old fillies with five-time Group 1 winner Soviet Song being one of the highest profile winners of the race back in 2002, and Certify beating subsequent 1000 Guineas winner Sky Lantern in this in 2012.
This year’s race sees a few unexposed types locking horns with Godolphin showing a strong hand with two debut winners. James Doyle has chosen to ride Grecian Light () even though he won on Easy Victory () last time. He did finish second to Grecian Light on a smart filly called Voice Of Truth and they pulled three lengths clear of John Gosden’s Blending who came out and won at Newmarket last week.
I always think it’s telling when a jockey rides one horse and then gets off it to ride another in the same race, you don’t do that unless you have a really strong feeling.
Nations Alexander () sets the standard here having run a career best last time behind Roly Poly in the Duchess of Cambridge on the July course, beaten just under two lengths. She will keep it very simple and race handily for trainer Richard Hannon and jockey Pat Dobbs. On Her Toes (), Grizzel () and Urban Fox () met last time at Sandown and I would expect On Her Toes to be the better filly. However drying ground did not really look to her liking last time and that would concern me with no rain forecast this weekend.
San Sebastiana () is one to keep an eye on as I was quite taken with her debut win at Doncaster. She looked like she got the hang of racing quite late in the day there and when jockey Dougie Costello gave her a squeeze I liked the response. At a big price she is not the worst each-way bet of all time.
However I can’t get away from the potential of Grecian Light and with James Doyle in the saddle I fancy the boys in blue to win this for the sixth time in nine years.
The other big race on Saturday is the Rose of Lancaster stakes at Haydock (3.45pm) and we have small but select field. It has been 436 days since we last saw the well-fancied Arab Spring () and that has to be a concern. He can be a little keen in his races and in a small field he may pull too hard off a long break.
Foundation () is a smart horse as he showed when third in the Dante at Yok behind Wings Of Desire in May but he does have questions to answer after a very poor showing in the French Derby. John Gosden has reached for the blinkers, however don’t despair as he employed the same tactics with another son of Zoffany in Von Blucher and it worked a treat! Foundation gets the three-year-old weight allowance and six three-year-olds have won this race since 2003.
Fire Fighting () was rewarded for his consistency with a game win at Goodwood last week. Gabrial () is in a tough spot at the minute – he keeps running ok races at the top level but this is a step down in class here and if we had eight runners I could recommend an each-way on him as he is a big price. Unfortunately it’s not the case.
Scottish () was a 10/11 shot when winning at Newbury recently and it was buying money. He had ideal conditions, a 10 furlong trip and quick ground. He did not disappoint. He looks to have everything going for him again here as he has won at Ayr which on quick ground rides very similar to Haydock – and in that race in September he beat the Summer Mile winner Mutakayyef which is some really good form. He has to get the nod again here.
The Shergar Cup is a great fun event at Ascot with lots of familiar horses and some not so familiar jockeys. I have been really impressed with Emma- Jayne Wilson and feel she could make it no matter where she rode. Josephine Gordon is very good value for her claim and rides a nice race – Champion jockey Richard Hughes was happy to use her as is Sir Michael Stoute so that speaks volumes.
The Rest of the World jockeys have sometimes struggled in this event but reigning champion jockey Silvestre da Sousa is well known to punters and Gavin Lerena was given a contract to ride in Hong Kong. That does not happen unless you are very capable and his record in South Africa is impressive.
My advice when punting on these races is quite simple – a very good horse will win with any jockey on it and a very ordinary one won’t win no matter who rides it. Good luck!