Having found you the first three home in the Arc on Sunday – including third-placed Cloth of Stars at 41-1 – I’m all fired up for two cracking days at Newmarket and York starting on Friday.
It’s always a treat when ITV have racing on weekdays – so let’s get stuck in people!
The first race on Friday is the Group 3 Cornwallis Stakes (13.50) for juveniles. There’s no doubt True Mason is the form horse, but I have a feeling the drop to 5f is going to suit Aidan O’Brien’s SERGEI PROKOFIEV.
I want to have a few quid each-way on him. He’s got every chance on if he repeats his third-place run in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot – but has been shocking since.
This is his chance to bounce back.
Next up is the Group 3 Oh So Sharp Stakes over 7f at 14.25. FROSTY was an amazing winner at Dundalk first time, hardly having to be touched to score easily. It’s impossible to know how good she is on that effort and she goes on the grass for the first time. But the relation to Winter can easily give O’Brien a double.
It’s the Group 2 Challenge Stakes over 7f at 15.00. Limato is the one to beat no doubt, but I’ll have a few quid each-way on ZONDERLAND for Clive Cox. He’s always been held in high regard and this drop in distance might well help. This is winnable for a horse who has finished second in a Celebration Mile at Goodwood
The feature race at Newmarket is the Group 1 Fillies’ Mile at 15.35. I thought PRETTY POLYANNA was given a terrible ride in the Cheveley Park and she has a chance to get back to winning ways here.
Of course she has to prove she can stay a mile, but I don’t have any doubts on that score. She’s the best horse here on shorter form. Hoping for the best for Michael Bell.
We round off Newmarket with the 16.10, a handicap over 1m 4f. BEN VRACKIE takes a huge drop in trip for John Gosden and probably has to improve a bit as well. But I’ll have a few quid on him each-way as this horse is better than we have seen of late.
Meanwhile at York, ITV show a near 1m handicap at 14.40. Roger Varian’s UAE PRINCE has the ability to win this easily but he is a bit funny in the head, so you just have to hope he puts it all in. If he does expect him to score after his he finished fifth in the Cambridgeshire on his last run.
There’s a 1m 6f handicap from the Knavesmire also at 15.50, where SURYA is bred to be a champion and improving fast after rattling up a hat-trick of wins. Every chance of making it four on the bounce for Team Gosden and a big opportunity for Nicky Mackay.
So best of luck and let’s pray for Yeeehaaas! You hear me Paddy?