The feature race at Yarmouth on day two of their Festival this afternoon is the listed contest for fillies and mares over the extended ten furlongs. Roger Varian and John Gosden have won five of the last six renewals of the race and both are doubly respected today but so, too, is William Haggas and I just favour Domino Darling (3.10) to Wejdan in a competitive heat.
The selection won at Yarmouth on debut on heavy ground but pulled too hard on her belated reappearance on soft ground at Newmarket last month when weak in the betting and in the finish. As a daughter of Golden Horn, she is likely to be more at home on today’s forecast good to firm ground and is likely to be more amenable to restraint. Tom Marquand was not hard on the filly once her chance had gone but connections will be keen to get some black type next to her name.
I thought Glen Force (4.20) ran an excellent race in the circumstances when third at Chelmsford last week coming back from a six-week break. The three-year-old pulled hard off a slow pace but still hit the line hard and this straight mile on fast ground looks sure to suit especially given it looks like being run at a decent gallop.
Godolphin’s Global Hero returns from a near 700 day lay-off for Saeed bin Suroor and a check of the market is advised given he won two of his three starts as a juvenile and was runner up in the other.
There is also a listed contest at Sandown, and it is likely to be a tactical affair with no guaranteed pace in the seven-runner field. Montatham has won three of his four starts so far this term and the grey must have a leading chance but he strikes me as one who would be inconvenienced by a slow gallop although I wonder if Jim Crowley will take the bull by the horns and lead from his good draw in stall two.
Marginal preference is for the filly Lavender’s Blue (3.55) whose C&D record reads 13 and I felt he was unlucky not to very close when third here last time when she had her run blocked at a vital time. I hope Rab Havlin takes his mount forward from her plum draw in stall one although ideally, I would like her to take a lead.
A number of well bred, but hitherto disappointing, fillies in opposition in the concluding 10f handicap for three-year-olds including Festive Love and Kew Palace (5.30) with the each way vote going to the latter who races in the colours of Her Majesty the Queen. The filly finished third at Newmarket on soft ground last time and she will appreciate returning to a faster surface. She may be one to look out for on an all-weather surface going forward but the handicapper has dropped her 2lbs for her latest run and Ryan Moore takes over in the saddle fir the first time.
Calliope (3.40) finished a close second at Perth last week under a 7lbs penalty and can race from a 3lbs lower mark this afternoon in Kelso’s opener although he will have to race from an 8lbs higher mark from the weekend. Brian Hughes keeps the ride and this slight rise in trip to 2m 2f should suit a mare who is adaptable with regard to underfoot conditions. Chosen Flame is better than he showed at Perth last time when he made a shuddering error at the first. He looks the chief threat.
In the feature handicap hurdle Chapmanshype is 10lbs higher than when scoring at Fontwell last time but the form is not particularly strong, and I will be surprised if he can defy a mark of 142. Tight Call beat Skiddaw Valleys (5.10) at Southwell last month but I feel the Nicky Richards- trained 8-y-old will reverse the form on 5lbs better terms.
Brian Hughes keeps the ride on the selection who gave the outside up to no one at the Nottinghamshire track and has a record of 212 on the gelding. This is a valuable race for the track and is sure to be run at a good clip with confirmed front-runner Beeno in the field. Weather Front is another to consider in a terrific race.