On the figures FAR ABOVE would look to have plenty to find here in this Group 3 Palace House Stakes, but he is very lightly-raced with only four career starts and has only ever raced at 6 and 7 furlongs.
However, James Tate is adamant that he is one of the quickest horses he has ever trained. The likely strong pace should really suit, and he has winning form at Newmarket as well. He won on debut here over 7 furlongs last April. Four-year-olds have won three of the last four editions of this race and I believe there is every chance that Far Above can make that four wins out of five.
This looks like a really competitive renewal of the Group 2 Dahlia Stakes and cases could definitely be made for anyone of three in Magic Lily, Terebellum and QUEEN POWER, but it’s Queen Power that I like.
She has only had five starts in total, but did win on debut at Newmarket at the backend of her two-year-old career. Not many debutants win first time out for Sir Michael Stoute but she did win nicely, which suggested early on that she is well above average.
Touched off on her reappearance last season, she followed that up with a win at Listed level at Newbury in a race that has worked out. The second, Lavenders Blue, has won at Group 3 level and the third, Star Catcher, won the Ribblesdale, Irish Oaks and the Fillies And Mares on Champions weekend. The fourth, Star Terms, was touched off at Group 3 level and even the fifth, Sea Of Faith, finished the season rated 102. That form couldn’t be stronger.
She was fourth in the Ribblesdale on her next start, but found the mile and a half trip too much of a stamina test, as she was extremely keen the whole way round and actually did really well to finish so close. She disappointed on her last start against the colts at Windsor. But, if she has learnt to settle, she could be a massive improver and Stoute is a dab hand at improving this type.
This Listed Newmarket Stakes is full of unexposed types that are full of potential, but none are more exciting than John Gosden’s WALDKONIG. A Kingman half-brother to last year’s Arc winner Waldgeist, he made is debut at Wolverhampton in December and was extremely impressive in winning by 9 lengths.
The time backs up the visual impression and he could easily prove to be a real Epsom Derby contender. He has been supported in the last few days for the Derby and were he to be impressive here, he could well be the Derby favourite by Saturday evening.
Aidan O’Brien is always the starting point when looking for a winner of the Guineas and while Pinatubo could prove very difficult to beat if repeating his two-year-old form, I think that WICHITA makes plenty of each-way appeal with Frankie Dettori up and we are paying four places on this race too.
Wichita won a 7-furlong Curragh maiden on debut and was unlucky not to follow up at Listed level at Doncaster on his second start when the slow early pace caught him out. He then was an extremely impressive winner of the Group 3 Tattersalls Stakes at Newmarket before being beaten under 5 lengths in the Dewhurst behind Pinatubo.
That was his first start on ground with soft in the description and I reckon he was really against him. Add in that it was his fourth start in under seven weeks and it is easy to think he is better than that run. The prospect of returning to faster ground in the Guineas is a massive positive and I believe he has outstanding each-way claims. He is also worth a play in the without Pinatubo market also.
Very lightly raced with only five career starts, VITRALITE looks to be well treated here off a mark of 98. A winner on debut at Haydock over 7 furlongs, he followed up in great fashion on second start when giving seven pounds to Dubai Future and Joyful Mission – beating them comprehensively over a mile at Haydock.
Dubai Future is now rated 105 and Joyful Mission is rated 90, so there is definitely an argument to be made that a mark of 98 underestimated Vitralite. He has been beaten a head and a length in two starts in handicaps and is on the same mark as his length at Newmarket when fifth.
Karl Burke has had three winners at Newcastle this week already and Vitralite looks to have solid each way claims with Paddy paying four places here.
The Sagaro Stakes is usually run at Ascot, but this looks a cracking renewal now switched to the Tapeta at Newcastle. Royal Line and Ispolini bring solid form to the table, but there are a few reasons to think that WITHHOLD might be the one to beat.
A winner of the Northumberland Plate on his only start here off a mark of 99, he was an impressive victor from the front that day and it is clear that the surface will be no issue for him. He has won first time out the last two seasons and he will wear blinkers for the first time here also.
Add in that there is a chance that he will get a soft time in front here and with excellent front-running jockey Richard Kingscote booked, he looks likely to give it a good go from the front here.
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