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13:50 Newmarket The Spring Lodge stakes over 1m1f is a handicap full of potential improvers and seems a tough nut to crack. Sir Michael Stoute sends the progressive pair; Ballet Concerto and Playful Sound into battle here and it is certainly eyecatchimg that Ryan Moore has opted to ride the former as it is vastly more experienced so a bold bid is clearly expected, but it would be no surprise to see both horses run well. Godolphin’s unexposed entrant Next Stage, however, looks the one to be on and the booking of the champion jockey Jim Crowley looks to be significant. The four-year-old colt has only had three previous runs to his name and is the most unexposed in the field. He romped to an easy success at Newmarket last month and conditions look to be ideal for a quick follow up here today so he is the confident selection. NEXT STAGE (WIN)
14:05 Goodwood This listed contest over 1m4f is a small but select field that is full of quality. High class trainers John Gosden, Sir Michael Stoute, James Fanshawe and Marcus Tregoning are all represented here, but it is the Roger Varian trained Ajman Princess that is the clear rated horse in the field. The horse has a narrow defeat in a Group 2 contest as her best run and that piece of form is probably the best on offer here so a repeat of that will see her double her tally of wins after she got off the mark at the sixth time of asking last term. Before that, the Teofilo filly had gained a habit of finishing second on multiple occasions, but she can kick on and take confidence from her first win and she gets the nod here. The main danger will likely come from John Gosden’s Alf Guineas who is taking on his toughest task to date after recording back to back wins either side of the offseason. AJMAN PRINCESS (WIN)
14:20 Newmarket The Group 3 Palace House stakes over 5f is always a tricky and competitive race, but for this year’s renewal it may pay to stick with the tried and tested combination that delivered the win in the same contest 12 months ago. The horse in question is the Clive Cox trained Profitable, who was bought by Godolphin after impressing last term. He returns to this race under almost identical conditions than when successful 12 months ago and the Group 1 Kings Stand hero from last season’s Royal Ascot can take advantage here again today under regular jockey Adam Kirby on route to a defence of that title as well so he gets the nod here. Marsha from the Sir Mark Prescott yard came into her own in the latter end of the season and accounted for a number of these rivals including the selection when getting weight in the Group Prix De L’Abbaye at Chantilly last October. She will come on for that, but may struggle to now give weight to the same rivals on these terms today. PROFITABLE (E/W)
14:40 Goodwood A tricky looking handicap for older horses over 7f and it is no surprise to see the William Haggas trained Zwayyan at the head of the market. The four-year-old has had two wins and a place from just five starts and is still completely unexposed, but the value has long gone from the pivotal gelding’s price. The value may lie with a previous winner of the race who has slipped back down to a winning mark. The horse in question is the George Baker trained Fiftyshadesofgrey. The six-year-old was successful in the 2015 renewal of this race and went onto follow up the next race off an even higher mark, but has struggled at the adjusted marks since meaning an almost two year dry spell out of the winner’s enclosure. The horse has now dropped to a very attractive mark, loves the track and has the experience of Steve Drowne in the saddle as well as the benefit of two solid runs already this term. Those could be a sign of a return to form and he gets the nod at a massive each way price. FIFTYSHADESOFGREY (E/W)
14:55 Newmarket A small, but select field for this year’s renewal of the Group 2 Jockey Club Stakes and all eyes will be on the Aiden O’Brien trained Seventh Heaven who should take all the beating here. Already a Group 1 winner of the Yorkshire Oaks over today’s trip, the confidence will have been boosted by an excellent seasonal reappearance when runner up to Jack Hobbs in the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic back in March where he accounted for the impressive Postponed and a repeat of that form will see him land this prize with relative ease, so he gets the confident nod. The Michael Stoute trained Across the Stars looks the most likely to pounce should the favourite fail to fire, but he has a bit to find with the selection on the bare form. SEVENTH HEAVEN (WIN)
15:35 Newmarket The Qipco Champion Series 2000 Guineas is always one of the most anticipated race of the flat season and this year is no different. Despite being one of the smallest fields in recent memory with only nine runners, almost every entrant has some sort of chance of troubling the judge this year. The Aiden O’Brien trained Churchill had an all conquering two-year-old campaign which has already earned him the right to be called a multiple Group 1 winner after a ready success in both the Dewhurst land the Vincent O’Brien National Stakes last term. He looks every bit the latest cool more superstar colt, has won on all types of ground and in the context of this race looks absolutely bombproof, so gets the confident nod to add to his Group 1 collection here with Ryan Moore once again in the saddle. The main dangers are plentiful and will likely come from the trio of French raider, Al Wukair, unbeaten Frankel colt, Eminent, and the undefeated Godolphin speedster Barney Roy. Andre Fabre has won the race before and he reckons his four timer seeking Dream Ahead colt can serve it up to the hot favourite, but the ground is looking like being quicker than he has ever faced before. Richard Hannon’s Barney Roy could not have been any more impressive than when winning The Greenham Stakes Group 3 in similar conditions, but this is a massive step up in class against proven Group horses, so he may need to settle for minor honours. Eminent from the Martyn Meade yard will likely pose the biggest threat to the selection after being so impressive in his two course and distance wins to date, the latter of which were in today’s conditions, but again the step up in class in steep and experience may prove the key here. CHURCHILL (WIN) – NAP
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