Reputations can be shattered very quickly at this time of the season and Saturday is a chance for the stars of next season to show their talents at Newmarket while there’s a couple of familiar faces returning at Market Rasen.
The Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes is wide open but Godolphin look to have the answer to it. William Buick rode Best of Days last time when going down narrowly at York to the smart Syphax who is now owned by them. Buick also rode Bay of Poets to win easily at Kempton last time so knows the score.
But I just prefer Best of Days to give James Doyle a big winner in for the Boys in Blue.
The Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes over 6f is all about the unbeaten Lady Aurelia after her wins at Royal Ascot & Deauville – but she has some opposition in a smart filly called Queen Kindly even though Fair Eva’s listless run did little for the Lowther form on Friday.
Roly Poly wasn’t far behind at York either. Lady Aurelia should win if she relaxes into a rhythm over the 6f trip but if she runs with the choke out, there’s a real danger she will not get home.
At the prices I give Queen Kindly a chance to really shake up the fav.
The favourite could be vulnerable too in the Middle Park Stakes. Blue Point is smart but he got beaten when getting unbalanced at Goodwood and horses can lose their way also going into the dip of the Rowley mile finish at Newmarket.
Mehmas has to be one of the toughest horses in training, has already beaten Blue Point and will love the ground. He is the value in the race if the fav falters.
The 1m 1f Cambridgeshire Handicap is a lottery as always but last year’s winner Third Time Lucky really catches the eye again with his young jockey being such great value for his claim.
He is only 5lbs higher than when victorious last season while the third-placed Examiner is 3lbs worse off with him.
The other eye catcher is GM Hopkins at the top of the weights. He is a classy horse who loves a big field handicap as he showed at Royal Ascot a couple of years ago.
My third against the field is Frankie Dettori’s mount Bravo Zolo who lost out narrowly at Doncaster in the Lincoln back in April but travelled beautifully throughout the race. That will be a big asset in this contest where Paddy’s paying the first five home. You’ll need it.
Jump to it
We’ve a couple of jumps races to whet the appetite at Market Rasen as the focus will soon switch to the National Hunt.
It’s hard to look past Dan Skelton’s improving Red Tornado in the Listed Handicap Hurdle where Nigel Twiston Davies’ Thunder Sheikh looks to have an each-way chance.
I’m keen on Emma Lavelle’s Fox Appeal in the Listed Handicap Chase at 3.10pm. He’s a good record when fresh and is a lot lower than when placed off 8lb higher mark first time out last season.
Rebecca Curtis’s string are firing again and Vintage Vinnie gets a lot of weight off the main selection in this contest.