12:45 – Ascot
Spring Loaded showed that this rating is within reach with a massive run in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot. He has that potent change of gear required for these big field handicaps. Drawn in stall four with plenty of pace around, he should get an ideal toe into the contest and Adam Kirby an excellent booking.
13:20 – Ascot
Eminent may be on a recovery mission, but most of his opposition are trying to win at this level for the first time. Having shown decent form over further last year, stepping back down to the mile is absolutely perfect here. Another factor is that he can make his own running and looks the natural pace in the line-up.
13:40 – Newmarket
Makzeem was beaten by a long way at Windsor last time out, but that was over six furlongs against a Group 1 performer. Moving back up to the long sprint will suit more and he has course and distance winning form underneath his pilot here. Recently he has seemed better, with the ground key to his performance, but a look at his early form suggests that conditions will not be a problem here.
14:15 – Newmarket
Sir Dancealot has long been an old favourite of mine and is possibly off a career best under the world-class rider Gerald Mosse last time. He has a fair chunk of improvement find to win the Group 1 spectacular, however, at 25/1 he is far too big of an each-way price. He was very free in the early stages last time over seven furlongs, so the rhythm of the race will suit and he can get a slice of the action at a huge price.
14:35 – York
Dal Harraild always looked to be a top stayer in the making and, after a bloodless victory, was sent over to Dubai to take on the big boys. He proved to be a bitter disappointment, however, and possibly we can put that down to the travel. Back on home soil, and at a course where he has already been successful, he is going to be a skinny price, but this looks a perfect opportunity to get back in the winners enclosure.
15:20 – Newmarket
It looks the right time to catch Ibraz, who is on a sharp upward curve at the moment. He was made to work very hard last time at Sandown, going over a furlong further and giving away 14lbs to the second. He has a pedigree to suggest going up in trip rather than down would suit, but his excellent handler obviously feels he has the required speed to drop down to the mile.
15:40 – York
Afaak could well prove to be the proverbial group horse floating around in handicap company. He was very unlucky to bump into some top-class opposition last season, and it’s been the same this time around. Stepping up from a mile after an excellent Royal Ascot effort, he will need to unlock a little more improvement having been given a very tough draw in stall 21. He’s a tight price in a big field, but I think his class will see him through.