by Charlie McCann
The afternoon’s feature action comes from Carlisle and Salisbury with Sir Michael Stoute’s Darshini (3.45) fancied to land the feature at the latter under Ryan Moore. The selection made a winning reappearance at Doncaster before chasing-home Mark Johnston’s well-backed Resonant last month at Goodwood, with the pair pulling clear. The handicapper has had his say raising the colt 11lb for those efforts however step up in trip, combined with first-time cheek-pieces, can see the son of Sir Percy return to winning ways on ground the colt should relish.
The mile handicap is a fascinating renewal with both Man of Harlech and Rekdhat on their seasonal debuts, after previously being Non Runners for their respective reappearances last week. Olly Stevens’s Lightning Spear is another making his debut this term and bids to give weights and a beating to his nine rivals however on ground quicker than ideal for the Pivotal colt a chance is taken on Luca Cumani’s Saigon City (4.55) under 3lb apprentice Kevin Stott. The selection has been raised 3lb for running well in competitive handicaps at Ascot and Newmarket respectively and despite being a beaten favourite last time out at HQ, remains well-treated and should give another bold show.
Carlisle’s feature £40,000 Eternal Stakes is a 7f Listed contest for fillies and brings together ten very promising 3-y-o’s together seeking some elusive black type. Michael O’Callaghan’s Irish raider Letter of Note was purchased by Pearl Bloodstock after her impressive Dundalk success earlier this year and is respected after narrowly beaten in the German 1000 Guineas last month at Dusseldorf however Tempting (4.10) is given the nod for William Haggas, Harry Bentley and Cheveley Park Stud. The well-bred daughter of Pivotal (Haggas trained the twice listed-place damn) built on an excellent debut at Newmarket landing a warm maiden at Thirsk a fortnight ago and can take the step up in class in her stride and follow in her excellent family’s footsteps.
At Bath, Clive Cox’s Perfect Bounty (7.10) can continue his excellent record in handicap company under talented 7lb apprentice Megan Nicholls. The selection offered little in a trio of maidens last term however was successful on his seasonal reappearance under Nicholls at Wolverhampton over the same trip, and followed-up last time out over 7f at Salisbury under Adam Kirby. The selection should be suited by the drop back in trip and, despite being raised 6lb for that success, looks ahead of the handicapper and can claim a third career success.
Sir Mark Prescott’s Light Breaks (9.10) can use first-time blinkers to land the finale under Luke Morris. The well-bred son of Dylan Thomas has been slow to come to hand, and was unplaced in three maidens over an inadequate trip last season. The gelding returned from an absence of six months at Ayr, a beaten favourite when finishing fourth, before finishing likewise three weeks ago at Wolverhampton however has been lowered 5lb for those efforts, remains unexposed, and can score at the belated sixth time of asking.
Hugo Palmer’s Strong Steps will be well-fancied for tonight’s twilight card at Kempton however drawn in stall thirteen, is overlooked for Grandest (6.50) making his debut for the Roger Charlton yard. The gelding has clearly had his problems, racing just six times when with former handler John Gosden, however was last seen running an excellent third in a competitive handicap at Newmarket last summer and appears ahead of his all-weather mark of 81.
Commonwealth Cup runner-up won the feature on the corresponding card last year and James Tate’s Dream Island (8.20) can similarly maintain her unbeaten record under Jim Crowley. The speedily-bred daughter of Kheleyf showed an impressive turn of foot to win well on debut last month at Lingfield and should prove hard to beat should she carry on her progression accordingly.