Mulling it over
Man On The Spot previews all the action from the second day of Newmarket's Craven meeting.
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A half-sister to former stablemate and Listed winner Miss Work Of Art, Richard Fahey's filly LACING cost 170,000gns and may be good enough to make a winning start. No Delusion is another expensive purchase representing Godolphin while Spirit Of Xian is worth noting for the Hannon yard. Rise Up Lotus is a half-sister to the useful Roi De Vitesse and stablemate Mary McPhee is out of a prolific mare. Tarando is related to the speedy Hoyam and Gold Waltz hails from an in-form yard so they may be the pick of the remainder.
A race that traditionally produces lots of future winners. Charlie Hills sent out last year's winner and Computer may prove best of his three representatives. Ryan Moore rides Tercel for Sir Michael Stoute, Moonvoy is a half-sister to a Group 3 winner and Satellite is another to note. Made With Love is a half-brother to Listed winner Caucus but wears his owner's second colours behind FALLEN IN LINE. A half-brother to Coronation Stakes winner Fallen For You, he makes most appeal of the John Gosden trio and gets the nod. Basem is a full brother to Group 1 winner Farrh and Tabreek is related to the high-class Wait A While, a Grade 1 winner on Turf in North America, so are others who can't be ignored.
The runner-up in last year's Group 1 Racing Post Trophy, JOHANN STRAUSS sets the standard. The Ballydoyle colt managed to get beat when odds-on for his reappearance at Leopardstown but remains the likeliest winner if back to his best. Sudden Wonder returned an impressive winner in soft ground here in October and Shafrah was impressive when scoring easily on his recent return to action at Lingfield. Lyn Valley's form tapered off at the end of last season but Joe Fanning prefers him to Lanark and Maxie T while Hunters Creek ran well in a similar sales contest over 7f here when fourth to Oklahoma City. Seagull Star and Emaratiya Ana have plenty of scope and are worth keeping an eye on.
Ascot winner Aljamaaheer picked up the Group 2 Summer Mile in July but drops back to sprinting on his return. TROPICS has a bit to find with the latter at the weights but has a recent outing under his belt. The latter developed into a useful sprinter last season, winning five races culminating with a victory in the Bengough Stakes at Ascot in October. Dean Ivory's charge gets the vote to reverse latest running with Dinkum Diamond at Doncaster back on fast ground. Course and distance winner Hamza is usually at his best at this time of year and raced at Meydan last month along with Racy. The former is also preferred to Hitchens and Es Que Love while Heaven's Guest finished well behind Dinkum Diamond on his reappearance, though he won a decent handicap on the July course here last summer.
Just The Judge went close in last year's 1000 Guineas before landing the Irish version in good style. She lost her form at the end of the season but has strong claims if back to her best. Danadana is penalised for winning in Turkey in September but made a winning return in the Huxley at Chester last term, while MULL OF KILLOUGH won this contest on last year's reappearance. The latter has an outing at Meydan under his belt this time round and is taken to come out best once again. Boom Or Bust finished a length ahead of Fencing when third in the Lennox Stakes at Goodwood but French Navy is preferred to both on his second to Penitent here in November. The remainder have plenty to find on today's terms and need to improve.
With the Gosden yard in such good form, EASTERN BELLE gets the vote to make a winning reappearance. She was placed in both starts over track and trip at the end of last season and may well improve racing on fast ground for the first time. Wedding Wish should also be winning this year and makes more appeal than Venus Grace and Sotise. Roger Varian runs a couple of interesting newcomers in Dorraar and Hadaatha with Paul Hanagan choosing the latter ahead of Etaab. Solar Moon, Ramshackle and stablemate Executrix are others to keep an eye on, along with 310,000gns purchase Margaret's Mission.
Kempton winner Cloudscape is in the Derby and handicap winner Volume is in the Oaks - both should go well on their seasonal debuts. TRIP TO PARIS came up just short in a nursery on the July course here in September but he finished well clear of the rest and the winner subsequently went on to success in Listed company - Ed Dunlop's colt gets the nod. Maiden winners Laugharne, Raven Ridge, Top Tug and Windshear are all worth noting for any support in the betting as they return to action while Lungarno Palace and Rudi Five One are more recent winners.