In 1997, Eternal reached number one on the UK Singles Chart with “I Wanna Be the Only One”, and the feeling is that the similarly-named Eternally could be the one to beat in Friday’s Sceptre Stakes at 13:50. She finished ahead of Tomyris in the the Oak Tree Stakes at Goodwood and that race is likely to prove a key piece of form. Talaayeb got her career firmly back on track when winning a Group 3 at York and is another big player, while fans of Who Do You Think You Are may want to side with Classical Times, as her dam Sunday Times won this race back in 2012.
I’ll never forget the Heartache caused by the realisation that Jet from Gladiators would never be my girlfriend, but the Clive Cox-trained filly of the same name can help ease the pain in the Flying Childers at 14:25, a race that looks a potential match between the Queen Mary winner and the Molecomb winner Havana Grey.
The latter was second in Group 1 company last time and should run his race once again, but Heartache was impressive at Royal Ascot on just her second start, and if over the small injury she picked up when beaten in the Prix Robert Papin last time, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see her improve past her main rival.
It’s a small field for the Mallard Handicap at 15:00, and while it looks a competitive heat, there’s no point ducking the issue of finding the winner. The unexposed Time To Study looks the way to go after his very encouraging return at Haydock at the weekend.
Lord George is a big player (much like his namesake, the British Prime minister who was given the nickname of “the Goat” due to his reputation as a womaniser”) and is feared most ahead of Byron Flyer and last year’s second Seamour.
Several of the runners in the Doncaster Cup (15:35) like to be delivered later than a Royal Mail birthday card, so we could be in for an exciting finish. That was certainly the case when Montaly overhauled Dartmouth in the Lonsdale Cup at York last month, and that form looks key.
At the odds, punters might have no choice but to side with Thomas Hobson who was well held that day after paying the price for his early exuberance. However, with Ryan Moore back on board he can bounce back with a bang with his efforts at Royal Ascot still fresh in the memory. Desert Skyline has relished the test of stamina on his last two starts and is feared most ahead of last year’s winner Sheikhzayedroad.
Clearly the ITV4 planners must have misplaced an episode of Murder She Wrote, as extended TV coverage concludes with a maiden at 16:05. Ghaiyyath’s owners, Godolphin, sent out the useful Very Talented to win this in 2015, and the son of Dubawi looks to have plenty going for him on paper ahead of his racecourse bow. However, Military Law, Tiffin Top and Ace Ventura are other interesting debutants and significant market support for any of the trio would put a different slant on matters.