News on Tuesday that Frankie Dettori had his 10-day ban picked up at Newmarket’s July meeting reduced on appeal to six days. The Italian will still miss high-profile rides on Stradivarius (Goodwood Cup) and Without Parole (Sussex Stakes) at Glorious Goodwood next week.
As well as a top-class card at Ascot on Saturday there is a cracking card at York and it will be interesting to see Mark Johnston’s Elarqam step up in trip to 10f for the first time in the York Stakes having disappointed in the Irish 2000 Guineas when last seen at the end of May.
I remember thinking the Frankel colt would need more than a mile as a three-year-old – despite being a son of 1000 Guineas winner Attraction – when he won the Tattersalls Stakes as a juvenile on good to soft ground last autumn. The colt is 7/4 with BetVictor and, if back to his Guineas fourth, he would be something to bet on in this company.
At Sandown this evening Heartwarming (6.20) can go one better than when runner up over C&D on debut for Clive Cox. The filly is half-sister to Heartache who won the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot last season and is certainly bred to be sharp.
The Last Emperor (8.00) wasn’t best away but soon led and found plenty once headed at Nottingham last time going down by just a rallying neck from a 4lbs lower mark. He should have the race run to suit this evening with hat-trick seeking Icart Point making all to win his last couple of starts including at Newmarket last time from a 7lbs lower mark.
Andrea Atzeni – who rides the selection – cannot give Adam Kirby too much rope on Icart Point but I feel he might have had the run of the race on the July course and I would be disappointed if The Last Emperor did not go very close.
Alan King’s Just In Time (8.30) finished in front of Petitioner at Kempton over two miles on his reappearance three weeks ago and can confirm the form in a fascinating finale dropped back in trip. Regular pilot Martin Dwyer is at Leicester this evening and Martin Harley – who did us a favour teaming up with King on Outofthequestion earlier in the month – takes over in the saddle.
At Lingfield Oisin Murphy keeps the ride on Full Suit (2.20) who landed a gamble when winning a seller on turf here earlier in the month and is taken to make a successful switch to polytrack this afternoon. The filly only cost 4,000 gns out of Dermot Weld’s yard earlier in the year and is certainly bred to be better than her current mark of 57.
The beautifully bred Crystal King lost a shoe before disappointing when well supported at Goodwood last time and more can be expected of Sir Michael Stoute’s colt now handicapping. He does have a poor draw in stall 12 to overcome, however, and marginal; preference is for Andrew Balding’s Soldier To Follow (2.50) who has been given the best part of two months to get over a couple of modest runs so far this season.
Leading apprentice Jason Watson takes off a valuable 5lbs on a colt who showed distinct promise as a juvenile and makes his all-weather debut this afternoon.
King Of The Celts (5.45) is taken to roll back the years in the concluding 12f handicap at Catterick this afternoon. The selection is 6lbs better off for a length with likely favourite Wotabreeze on recent C&D form and the hope is that apprentice Robert Dodsworth makes sure there is a decent gallop.
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