The ITV 4 cameras are at Newmarket and Cheltenham and there is some top class action over both codes. In the listed Free Handicap, Sir Dancealot is a personal favourite but the suggestion is he will be a sprinter this campaign and he goes into the race more a Commonwealth Cup horse (6f) than a classic contender in my opinion.
Whitecliffsofdover has his tongue tied for the first time and did finish a short head in front of Sir Dancealot in the Somerville Stakes at Newmarket back in September. The colt appeared not to get home when third in the Gp 1 Jean-Luc Lagardene over a mile at Chantilly on Arc Day and this return to seven furlongs should suit.
I must give John Gosden’s Seven Heavens (2.25) another chance to atone for a modest effort, pulled hard, in the Dewhurst Stakes when last seen over C&D back in October. The colt looked very smart when winning an Ascot maiden on debut and the hood is applied in order to get this Frankel colt to settle. The selection is 4/1 with BetVictor and if he is to become a classic contender, he must go close in this listed contest.
The 9f Duke Of Sefton Stakes can go to Viren’s Army (3.30) who was last seen scoring at Meydan over an additional furlong back in February. The colt won the Dee Stakes for Richard Hannon as a three-year-old and cost his present connections £700,000 when bought last June.
The Charlie Appleby colt is 5/1 at BetVictor and looks to have most to fear from stablemate Folkswood who is ridden by William Buick. The latter is likely to have had the choice of mounts but Viren’s Army gets the narrow vote with James Doyle in the plate.
Andre Fabre brings Pamplemousse (3.35) over for her turf debut and the filly could not have been more impressive when winning on her polytrack debut at Chantilly albeit in a race restricted to unraced horses. The filly went off 6/5 and never appeared to come out of a canter. She holds no fancy entries but she could be supplemented for the Guineas if she comes out of today’s race with her unbeaten record intact.
Aidan O’Brien’s Roly Poly and Sea Of Grace having her first start for William Haggas having left the yard of John Oxx are the fillies with the best form in the race, but Fabre would not bring Pamplemousse across the English Channel unless he thought she could hold her own in today’s Group 3 company.
At Cheltenham Starchitect (2.40) didn’t appear to quite get home over an extended three miles at Aintree last time and he has been dropped 2lbs in the handicap for that run. He has run with credit at both the Cheltenham and Aintree Festivals and if over those exertions must go close in the valuable Silver Trophy. At 3/1 with BetVictor he has a favourite’s chance with Foxtail Hill likely to tow them along at a good clip.
Divine Spear looks sure to have his supporters in the 2m 4f handicap having run a cracker behind Brio Conti at Kempton last time. The winner franked the form at Aintree last time and 4/1 at BetVictor looks a very fair price.
Drumcliff (3.15) has been off the track since disappointing at Musselburgh and I hope to see the step up in trip from two miles for the first time eek out further improvement.
Doing Fine (3.50) can race from the same mark as when runner up at Wincanton last time and today’s longer trip should suit the Neil Mulholland-trained nine-year-old who certainly deserves to get his head in front having finished runner up in all three starts since moving to his current stable.
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