The midweek feature is the three-day Dante meeting from York with recent Epsom winner Cracksman the 9/4 favourite with BetVictor with Friday’s feature. That is the final significant trial for the greatest classic in the world and we should know more about the next engagement of Guineas winner Churchill by the weekend.
The feature race of this evening’s Windsor card is the Listed Mile event and the hope is that there is enough pace to see Firmament (7.20) come through fast and late under Danny Tudhope. The selection never got competitive on his reappearance but was only beaten two lengths in a similar contest to this evening’s and he looked a progressive sort for most of last term.
Highland Cradle is likely to be all the rage for his powerful connections under Ryan Moore in the opening maiden but the booking of William Buick for Romanor catches the eye and Ed Walker’s charge looked ready for a step up to 10f when runner up to Leader’s Legacy last month. The winner did us a favour when landing a Haydock handicap on Saturday and could well be a Pattern race performer going forward.
The 10f handicap is a cracker and I can pass on a good word for Manangatang who is considered potentially very well treated by many in and around the Luca Cumani camp. The form of his third to Stradivarius at Beverley was franked when the winner was just touched off from a 12lbs higher mark at Chester and the son of Fastnet Rock is entitled to come on for the run given that was his second career start and first on turf.
The vote, however, goes to Crowned Eagle (5.50) who spread-eagled his field when making most at Nottingham on his third and final start as a juvenile. The colt still holds an entry in the Derby and this half-brother to Group 2 winner Eagle Top could have been let in lightly from a mark of 85. He is o0ne of only two booked rides on the night for Frankie Dettori.
There is a decent jumps card at Kempton earlier in the day and Ok Corral (2.00) makes his hurdles debut having been off the track since finishing runner up to no less than Yorkhill in a Punchestown Bumper over two years ago.
Clondaw Banker (3.05) put up an improved show when runner up over C&D last month and this winning-pointer is taken to go one better for Nicky Henderson whose yard remain in very good nick.
The form of Triple Chief’s (4.10) second to Meldrum Lad, in first time blinkers, has already been franked and if the headgear works the oracle again, he can land a competitive handicap chase from only a 2lbs higher mark.
Spader (4.40) settled much better at Stratford last time and was an unlucky loser blundering badly having just taken up the running. The handicapper has left him on the same mark and he must go c lose for the inform Dan and Harry Skelton combination.
At Towcester Better Days (6.00) can land the 3m handicap chase for the father and son combination of Nigel and Sam Twiston-Davies. The recommendation finished runner up at Cheltenham last time from today’s mark and is only 4lbs higher than when winning at Wincanton on his penultimate start.
There is a valuable card at the idyllic Killarney racetrack including a Grade 3 Chase over 2m 4f. Rock The World (7.10) has never won over this trip in the past but connections know that this will give the Cheltenham Festival winner so many more options if he shows he stays this trip for Mark Walsh and Jessica Harrington. Conditions are perfect for Diamond King but he has flattered to deceive over the larger obstacles of late and might be best watched at present.
The Killarney National is the other feature and Auvergnat (7.40) could be thrown in off his current mark given his exploits over the X-Country courses of Punchestown and Cheltenham of late. His second to Viva Steve at Stratford when trained by Jonjo O’Neill suggests he is well treated off his current mark and as a seven-year-old he is open to further improvement.