Streak the Temple tip
Man On The Spot provides his unmissable guide to Saturday's televised action.
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Godolphin make a determined challenge with representatives from both yards and FRENCH NAVY looking their best hope. Adam Kirby rode him to victory at Windsor last season and a recent third to Ocean Tempest at Ascot gives him the beating of Baltic Knight. Fallon's presence on Windhoek suggests the latter is preferred to stablemate Quick Wit after finishing second in the Winter Derby at Lingfield. Nabucco is penalised for his Listed win at Newmarket in November and connections will be hoping for further rain on his reappearance while both Starboard and Auction have a bit to find with the principals on today's terms.
BARKSTON ASH arrives in the form of his life having left the opposition standing at Thirsk a week ago. The forecast rain shouldn't be a problem and Eric Alston's charge gets the vote to defy an 8lb rise. Discussiontofollow recorded a hat-trick on the all-weather before a good effort at Windsor but is now 12lb higher than his latest win. Shore Step won off a lower mark here in June but Out Do has failed to threaten after a 10lb hike for winning at Yarmouth. Both Grissom and Trader Jack drop back in trip and the latter has a shout on his earlier second at Ascot but Run With Pride faces a tough handicap debut having only won a maiden race at Doncaster. Muthmir is another maiden winner with plenty of scope but hasn't raced since September.
Gatewood and Pether's Moon take up arms once again after the former came out best at Ascot a fortnight ago. But Pether's Moon was beaten only a half-length and re-opposes on better terms. KELINNI was well beaten in the same race and has little chance on the bare form. But that was his first start for Marco Botti having won Group races in Australia and finishing only three lengths behind the winner in the Caulfield Cup in October. He's expected to finish much closer here and might just be good enough to give the principals a fright. Aussie Reigns is not without a chance back over 1m4f and makes more appeal than the winning handicappers Mirsaale and Blue Surf.
Kingsgate Native and Sole Power are old adversaries. The latter won this in 2011 and the former has won it twice now including last year's renewal. Sole Power, who is unlikely to run if the ground turns soft, came out best of that pair in the Temple Stakes at Newmarket three weeks ago when HOT STREAK finished less than a length behind in third place. Kevin Ryan's three-year-old looked a high-class sprinter in the making last season, will welcome any rain and looks up to beating his elders on this occasion. Justineo and Pearl Secret will do well to reverse running from the Temple Stakes but Jack Dexter is better than his latest sixth in the Duke Of York suggests. He's preferred to stablemate Hawkeyethenoo, Mirza and Smoothtalkinrascal while the other three-year-old Justice Day has something to find with the selection on last year's Middle Park form.
Mick's Yer Man continued his good progress with victory over 6f in Listed company at Ascot last month. It was soft ground that day so Bill Turner's charge is expected to stay this extra furlong and should be bang there at the finish. SUPPLICANT was left to come home in his own time once his chance had gone in the Greenham at Newbury on his return. But last year's Mill Reef winner could prove the one to beat if running anywhere near that level today and Richard Fahey's colt gets the nod. Wahaab disappointed on fast ground over track and trip in September but had shown enough before that to suggest he'll be winning this season and he's preferred to stablemate Beau Nash. Penny Drops won her maiden at Lingfield recently but Mindurownbusiness makes more appeal on his handicap win at Yarmouth last month.
The unsettled weather makes this more complicated as Artistic Jewel needs fast ground. Rain scuppered her chances at Nottingham on her reappearance but she beat Gracia Directa to claim this prize last season. Hallelujah is less ground dependant and has to come into the reckoning given she won her seasonal debut at Newbury last year, but it's JOYEUSE that makes most appeal. She didn't prove up to the challenge of the 1000 Guineas but was a speedy two-year-old filly and won a Listed race over 6f at Salisbury. This looks her level for now and the Cecil charge gets the nod. Spinatrix has been placed in Listed company but has yet to win outside of handicaps and the same comment applies to March and Blithe Spirit. Perfect Blessings left her rivals for dead in a soft ground maiden race at Doncaster on only her second start and may well prove up to this grade.
Surprisingly for such an open contest, plenty of fancied horses have won this in the last 10 years so it could pay to stick with those at the head of the betting. BILIMBI will be one of that group as he ran out an easy winner at Musselburgh on his return to action with Almargo well beaten. He goes on any ground and Ryan Moore can successfully take over the reins today. What About Carlo dotted up in soft ground at Sandown last month with First Flight behind while Paul Hanagan has plumbed for Newbury runner-up Zarwaan over Mawfoor. Red Stargazer just got the better of Chatez over track and trip a fortnight ago and Hors De Combat finished just ahead of Born In Bombay with Lyn Valley third in a tough Newmarket handicap at the start of the month.