Cityscape the key to the Lockinge
Man On The Spot previews Saturday's terrestrial TV action from Newbury and Newmarket.
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Harris Tweed won the John Porter here on last year's seasonal bow but would prefer softer ground while Chiberta King scored over hurdles in January but hasn't won on the Flat since 2011. Viking Storm was a progressive handicapper last term and Willing Foe won the Ebor at York in August. Both struggled to make a mark in pattern company afterwards, however, so GALLIPOT is preferred. She went close in the Park Hill at Doncaster before ending last season with a Listed victory over 1m4f at Newmarket with Jehannedarc back in fourth. John Gosden's filly is taken to continue winning ways on her return as Saint Hilary looks outclassed and is easily overlooked.
Seeking Magic returned to form with a victory at Leicester three weeks ago but this is tougher while Khawatim is up another 5lb for his recent win at Kempton and also faces a stiffer task. Poole Harbour finished a length ahead of Doctor Parkes when third in this grade at Newmarket last time and Signor Sassi has a shout on last season's fourth at Ascot, though the latter had earlier been beaten by Modern Tutor at Lingfield and Irish raider Burn The Boats is another lightly-raced sort to keep an eye on. Khubala is inconsistent nowadays though he beat PRODIGALITY at Ffos Las in August. However, Ron Harris' sprinter ran really well behind Mass Rally on his return to action at York on Wednesday and may have the edge today as he makes a quick reappearance.
This looks really competitive unless Luca Cumani's new charge KITTEN ON THE RUN proves a cut above. Unbeaten in Italy last year, the latter recorded an easy win in Listed company at Pisa before departing and is a potentially exciting recruit as he steps up in trip for the Bedford House team. Hillstar found only one too good on his return at Newmarket but a length defeat by Soviet Rock gives him the beating of both Salutation and High Troja. Spillway and Ray Ward have shown progressive form this year but this is their toughest task to date while Derby entry Tarikhi steps up in distance for his comeback run. Azrur made a winning start at Doncaster but has struggled in a couple of subsequent outings.
Declaration Of War represents the in-form Aidan O'Brien and warmed up for this with victory in a Listed contest at Leopardstown last month. But he's facing a couple of top-notch milers today. Farhh is one and he stepped up from handicap company to make the frame in five consecutive Group1 races last term including a couple of seconds to Frankel. CITYSCAPE wisely avoided the latter last season and it was no disgrace to find Excelebration too good at Ascot in October. Roger Charlton's charge landed a Group 1 in Dubai on last year's reappearance and is just preferred to Farhh in this. Trumpet Major may well make up into a Group 1 miler this year having won nicely at Sandown on his return and he's preferred to stablemate Libranno and Aljamaaheer. But Sir Henry Cecil will know much more about last season's French 1000 Guineas winner Beauty Parlour now and she looks a bigger threat ahead of Penitent, Fencing and the German raider Amaron.
A case can be made for plenty of these and TIGER CLIFF can only be a speculative selection in an open race. He ended last year with a second over a slightly longer trip at Doncaster and has more scope than most of the opposition. Biographer would have strong claims if the ground cuts up and so would Albert Bridge, who beat Lady Kashaan at Ayr last season. The latter has improved since, however, while Muntasir and Perennial are also expected to do better this season. Caravan Rolls On won on the July course here last term while Party Line also has a shout but wouldn't want the ground any faster. Those at the bottom of the handicap all step up in class including Noguchi, Desert Recluse and De Rigueur.
SECRETINTHEPARK has improved with every start and returned to action with an impressive win over track and trip a fortnight ago. Ed McMahon's colt can confirm running with the placed horses,Brazen and Purcell and keep his unbeaten record intact. Shahdaroba, Bapak Sayang and Vallarta also finished well behind the selection last time so joint top weight Hasopop could prove a bigger threat. He ran well for third in a Listed race at Ascot earlier this month while Chilworth Icon makes his handicap debut having raced in pattern company since scoring at Epsom last summer. Melody Of Love is another competing in a handicap for the first time having won a Group 3 at Ayr last season but Rivellino has a bit to prove raised 9lb for his latest win at Kempton. Jubilante and Lewisham are recent maiden winners with much more to do in this.
Roger Charlton looks to have found a good opportunity for DUNDONNELL. The latter was no match for Toronado in the Craven Stakes here on his reappearance but won the Acomb over today's trip at York last season and can defy a penalty in this company. Baltic Knight made a winning comeback in a handicap at Newbury and is preferred to stablemate Tamayuz Star while Well Acquainted should be in the mix if at his best with a pipe-opener at this track under his belt. Correspondent was predictably outclassed in the 2000 Guineas here a fortnight ago and should finish closer in this but Odooj has failed to build on last season's fourth in the Gimcrack at York.