Ascot and York are the main attractions this weekend, with both meetings set up for some intriguing racing.
The opener at Ascot could all hinge on the ground. If the going is not too bad Nyaleti, with Ryan Moore booked, will be looking for a reward for finishing 2nd to two very good Aidan O’Brien fillies in her last two starts.
If, however, the ground is hard work, Richard Fahey’s filly Dance Diva could continue her upward curve she could enter the equation as she’s looked a real improver with every run.
The 3-year-old handicap at 2.25 is on the straight course, so that won’t be as soft as the round track at Ascot, which could help some of the following hopefuls.
Century Dream is from a team in form and it won’t matter if the ground gets very soft.
However, he’s climbing up the weights all the time, and it may pay to take a chance on an old firm, Alwahsh, who’s ridden by former Hamdan retained rider Paul Hanagan. He was a ready winner at Nottingham and with no weight could cause a surprise.
In the 3.00, Flaming Spear is representing the same owner and jockey as last year’s winner Librisa Breeze. He’s won his last two on the all-weather but I just feel we have not seen the best of him yet; I think he’s a major player here.
Jack Dexter will run well at a big price; he was 11th last year off a mark 11lbs higher than he races off tomorrow.
Remarkable ran a cracker at Newbury last week and he is bound to be popular as he looked like that race would bring him on.
The King George was looking like a good race, and once it emerged that Enable was going to run, it added real spice to proceedings.
There is a strong argument that this season the classic fillies are better than the top 3-year-old colts. This will be the first real chance to compare them. (The Eclipse at Sandown saw Barney Roy 2nd in the 2000 guineas go down by a nose to Ulysses.)
Enable was really keen in the Irish Oaks but was still able to post 33 seconds for the last 3 furlongs, which takes some doing after being as keen as she was early on, and running over a mile-and-a-half.
She’s in receipt of lumps of weight from the older horse too, carrying 8st 7lb.
The Italian stallion himself, Frankie Dettori, has said he’s going to make the weight after a week of white fish & water (I don’t miss that carry on!).
I think if we get a lot of rain it won’t bother her, though it may affect Highland Reel. His brother Idaho will cope with it better and at the prices he could very well be the each-way play along with Ulysses.
Sir Michael’s horse just got to the front too soon when beaten at the Royal meeting by Highland Reel; I think he will be ridden cold and be late to challenge, which may well result in him finishing well.
Over at York in the 2.15, Get Knotted is trying to repeat his win in this race last year. He’s just 2lbs higher this time and has been well supported in his recent runs, which suggests he is sending out the right signals. Start Time is also one to keep an eye on his first run for Paul Midgely.
The dash is a chance for leading Yorkshire trainer David O’Meara to strike with Out Do. This horse is a legend for this firm, and his win at Royal Ascot was a red letter day for them.
Back over 6f he will be much happier.
Meanwhile, Muntadab with Roger Fell, who had a double at Doncaster on Thursday, is in such good form that he could be a really good each-way bet.
In the 3.15, I think it could turn out to be a really bold move by Ken Condon to send stable star Success Days here to run. Some of this horse’s form is top drawer, including his defeat of Fascinating Rock last year.
He may have things his own way up the front and the others may struggle to get past him if he dictates.