Jack Milner of BetVictor.com gets the week underway with a look at Monday’s cards
Churchill cemented his status in history at the weekend, completing the Guineas double under Ryan Moore at the Curragh and is BetVictor’s 8/11 from Even Money favourite for the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. The well-bred son of Galileo won despite the torrential rain turning the ground soft at the Curragh and he is likely to be even better when returning to a sounder surface at next month’s royal meeting. Another well-bred colt with a massive future is Harry Angel, winner of the Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock, and now 4/1 from 6s second favourite for the Commonwealth Cup.
Bank Holiday racing comes from the length and breadth of the country this afternoon, with five cards, and I’m looking forward to seeing Meshayah (2.05) make her handicap debut at Leicester under the guidance of Frankie Dettori.
It should be a massive week for Frankie, with two of the market leaders for both Epsom classics aboard Cracksman (7/2 favourite with BetVictor) and Enable (4/1 for The Oaks, and he should kick-off the week with a winner aboard the well-bred filly. Sir Michael Stoute’s daughter of Lope de Vega made an eye-catching reappearance last month at Kempton and can defy an opening mark of 70, now sent handicapping and stepping up in trip.
Stoute saddles Doreen (3.50) in the Fillies’ Maiden over a mile and a half and must go close under excellent 3lb apprentice Kieran Shoemark. The well-bred Dansili filly will relish today’s forecast good-to-firm ground and can shed the maiden tag at the third time of asking.
Shoemark partners Sfumato in the feature 6f Handicap and is respected for the in-form yard of Roger Charlton however preference lies instead with Parfait (4.25) for John Gosden and William Buick. The selection ran well from a poor draw on his seasonal reappearance over 7f at Wolverhampton and, with the handicapper dropping him a pound for that effort, must go close dropping back in trip.
It was a fabulous weekend for the Mark Johnston yard, with an outstanding.7604/1 five-timer with winners at Haydock, Chester and Goodwood, and I expect to see Yalta (3.30) returning to form dropping down in grade at Windsor. The selection won the Molecomb Stakes at Glorious Goodwood last term and was far from disgraced in better company thereafter. The form of his seasonal reappearance behind Blue Point and Harry Angel was franked further by the latter’s G2 success at Haydock on Saturday and he is a confident selection to give weight and a beating to his six rivals under James Doyle.
The Doyler must similarly go close aboard Vibes (5.50) on his handicap debut from an inviting opening mark of 71. The selection has been gelded since finishing down the field in a competitive Kempton maiden but should improve for the step up in trip and the eye-catching booking of Doyle in the plate.
Redcar’s Zetland Gold Cup is always a massive occasion at the Cleveland track and I’m willing to chance Jim Goldie’s in-form Euchen Glen (3.55) rewarding each-way support stepping up in grade. The well-bred son of Authorized gets on well with jockey Sam James and, after being raised 5lb for last week’s Ayr success, must go close under regular partner Sam James.
There’s summer jumping from Cartmel and Huntingdon with the Skeltons set for a good day at the latter. The Skelton yard have enjoyed an incredible May, 25 winners from 75 runners during the month thus far, and should strike with Kitchapoly (2.00) reverting back to the minimum trip. The selection failed to stay two and a half miles last time out at Southwell but remains unexposed for the brothers, having just his fourth start since leaving Donald McCain, and is a confident selection to land the opener.
Dragon de la Tour is likely to be popular for the brothers in the 3m Novices’ Handicap Chase however the 6yo is best watched on his debut over the larger obstacles and preference lies instead with David Bridgwater’s Belmont Park (2.35) under Tom Scudamore. The gelding went into plenty of notebooks on his chase debut two weeks ago over the minimum trip at Towcester and looks well placed to make it 7th time lucky under rules.
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