Let’s start our Saturday with a winner for Her Majesty. The Queen’s runner, Humbolt Current, ran a race full of promise first time out at Yarmouth last year, suggesting that the step up to a mile will be perfect. The yard is red-hot at the moment, and the jockey is in form – we should get a tidy return in the opener.
Danehill Kodiac tends to come in as the underestimated runner as he did in last season’s Cumberland Lodge. The trainer has his runners well forward, as results from this weeks Craven meeting will tell you. Defoe and Call To Mind will attract plenty of interest and the selection will go off at the wrong price.
Gavota is likely to be a very warm favourite – and so she should be. She’s two pounds clear of her closest rival on ratings, however after that she has a good few pounds in hand on the rest of the field. She ran well in the Rockfel and the Oh So Sharp Stakes last year and a return to a more galloping track like Newbury is going to suit her much better. This Group 3 is a starting point for bigger races in the season.
Hey Gaman was a cracking juvenile for this stable, winning three of his seven races to date including a listed contest over course and distance, the latter of which should not be underestimated as there was a very strong headwind on that occasion and he still remarkably managed to make all. Expert Eye is going to be odds-on but the rumour mill suggests he didn’t shine in a recent racecourse gallop at Chelmsford.
Humbert has quickly made up into a top-class all-weather performer. But he’s not just a one trick pony – his run at Doncaster was a cracker on the turf. That particular outing was an excellent effort considering the trainer’s runners were woefully out of form at the time. He has been nudged up 4lbs for that effort but still is nowhere near his ceiling as far as ratings are concerned. He’s a huge player at a double-figure price.
Both of He’s Amazing‘s starts last year as a juvenile came over this course at 7 furlongs. He rattled home on his final start, snatching second place right on top of the line – suggesting that this term at least a mile was easily within his compass. The yard have been in good order, winning with a few runners making their seasonal debut, while the selection has that experience over plenty of the runners who line up.
Plenty of fantastic pedigrees on show in this race and our selection, Shareef Star, not only has that but also an expensive pricetag to boot. He cost connections 700,000 guineas and he has a Dante entry as well. Ryan Moore could’ve had his pick of most of the runners in the lineup, and the fact that he is riding for his old boss indicates that Shareef Star is prepped and ready to roll on debut.
Buzz went off at 50/1 on his racecourse debut at Nottingham, and then improved dramatically to win as the 3/1 favourite on his second start at Kempton. His final start at Sandown was also a quality performance bumping in to a very tidy type. Gelded over the winter, we can expect progression from this lightly raced four-year-old and a rating of 83 may well underestimate his true ability.