BANK on Silvestre De Sousa to deliver the goods in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury (3.40).
The champion jockey can steer BEAT THE BANK to his first Group 1 success in a competitive but not vintage running of the top mile event.
Andrew Balding’s five-year-old looked at least as good as ever when winning Sandown’s Group 2 Bet365 Mile last month, always holding the re-opposing Sharja Bridge in the final furlong after looking in trouble. That run will have put him spot on for today and his trainer has been in great form.
Le Brivido ran an eye-catching race when third at Naas on his first run for Aidan O’Brien but he has plenty to find, his best effort being a win in the 7f Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2017.
His new trainer is a legend but Le Brivido used to be with Andre Fabre, who is not too shabby either. Laurens would be a popular winner, her battling style having brought her five narrow Group 1 wins and a place in the hearts of her adoring fans.
But all her big wins have come against her own sex and she may find this too hot, especially as she lacks a run and trainer Karl Burke has been struggling for winners of late.
With the ground possibly faster than ideal for Lord Glitters, Mustashry may prove the biggest danger. He improved last season and ran a cracker on his return when third, conceding a 5lb penalty, in the Earl Of Sefton Stakes at Newmarket.
The opening Listed Carnarvon Stakes (1.50) has attracted a strong field of three-year-old sprinters with Moyassar, an impressive handicap winner at the Guineas meeting the likely favourite.
He should go well but his owner Hamdan Al Maktoum’s other runner KHAADEM could be too quick for him. He impressed when winning twice as a juvenile and is bred for raw speed.
His only defeat was when third to Calyx on debut and, if he runs well here, may meet the new sprinting sensation again in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.
I spy an eyecatcher…
At York on Wednesday the opening 1m4f handicap was a red-hot affair, won by First Eleven for John Gosden and Frankie Dettori. The winner has a big future and the same is true of the third, CORGI.
Making his seasonal reappearance after a wind operation, trainer Hughie Morrison said before that he might need the run so this was hugely encouraging.
He raced wide up the straight which makes this even more promising and Corgi will be a big player in all the big middle distance handicaps. Next stop may well be Royal Ascot which will be appropraite – after all The Queen loves a Corgi!.
Red Impression was forced wide when third last time at Chelmsford and was better than the bare result but this will be her first run on turf. She is one to keep tabs on for later in the year.
The London Gold Cup (3.00) is always a terrific race, full of progressive middle-distance types. The winner usually turns out to be Group class in time – the last two runnings have gone to Defoe and Communique, both now rated 110+.
Mackaar, Sinjaari and Good Birthday will all win good races but SOLID STONE will be hard to beat. He won the 1m2f handicap at Newmarket’s Craven meeting that invariably works out well, in good style on his reappearance and a 5lb rise is more than fair.
Sir Michael Stoute has given him an entry in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot, confirming the high regard in which he is held. This Stone could keep rolling all the way to the top.
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At Newmarket SPANISH CITY can defy top weight in the 4.25. He improved into a top handicapper at this distance of seven furlongs last year, finishing second in the Bunbury Cup and fourth in a massive field at Ascot.
His mark of 94 is fair and he has a terrific record fresh, having twice won after a lay-off of more than 200 days. Rufus King and Buridan have been disappointing of late whilst the in-form Last Page and Pettifogger are up in class.
In the 5.35 time may not have caught up yet with MOVE IN TIME, who can repeat his win of last year, despite being in the veteran stage. His Group race days may be over but he won this 12 months ago on his second start and Paul Midgley, who does so well with sprinters, has clearly planned a repeat.
Move In Time beat Daschas, who shaped well last time at Ascot and is a danger, last season and is weighted to confirm the form. Doncaster winner Boundary Lane is best of the rest.