Catching Pigeons: Sweet Song
Catching Pigeons is back with all the gossip ahead of the weekend's action at home and abroad.
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There will be no more poignant winner this weekend than Swan Song if she can follow up her recent Chester win in the Listed Achilles Stakes at Haydock. She is out of that great sprint mare Lochsong, who died just a few days ago, and just like mother in her glory days, she seems to be improving with age.
She is likely to handle the easy ground well, and will be sharper for that cosy victory on the Roodee.
Cubanita, the only horse to get the better of last weekend's Group One winner Noble Mission so this season, can bounce back to form on her return to a mile-and-a-half in the Group Three Pinnacle Stakes.
Ralph Beckett's mud-lover ran out of steam after taking the lead a more than two furlongs out on her debut over a mile and six in the Yorkshire Cup 15 days ago, and she should prove more effective, both over this shorter trip and this lower grade.
Freedom’s Light has it to do on ratings in the race but has been moving particularly well in her work in Newmarket of late and could be worth a small saver if the price is right.
Rye House is a typical slow burner from the Sir Michael Stoute camp and he should take plenty of beating in the John Sunley Memorial Levy Board Handicap at Newmarket. The five-year-old will be making only his eighth racecourse appearance here and is arguably the most unexposed horse in the field.
However, he has already shown he can handle the easy ground very effectively, and his eye-catching comeback run at York suggests he should appreciate the return to a mile and a half.
Ryan Moore has some good rides throughout the afternoon as one might expect of the great man, and he should also strike aboard the William Haggas-trained Water Queen in the Ladbrokes Charitable Trust Maiden Stakes.
She showed plenty of promise on her only start at Newbury last season and is expected to step up on the performance here.
Faithful Creek is well thought of by the Brian Meehan team and could reward each-way support in division one of the L-3.co Supporting The AHT EBF Stallions Maiden Stakes. He should handle the ground. That said, keep an eye out for Richard Pankhurst. Like all of John Gosden’s team, he’ll improve for this, his first run, but the son of Raven’s Pass has shown plenty of ability at home.
So has the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Disengo in the second division. The master of Freemason Lodge is another who isn’t renowned for debut winners but as has been said before on this page, all of the signs suggest he has an above-average crop of juveniles to go to war with his term.
Milly's Gift caught the eye on her comeback and she should go well for Clive Cox in the Appletiser Fillies’ Handicap at Chester. The Beechdown trainer reckons the four year old has the ability to progress this season and also the ability to overcome a potentially disadvantageous draw here.
Statutory wears the white cap of Godolphin in the Stowe Family Law LLP Grand Cup at York but a decent run is expected – the Queen Alexandra at Royal Ascot is his big target.
Those who have been snapping up the fancy prices about Snow Sky for the Investec Derby will be looking for a big run from Rapid Advance in the Belvoir Castle Handicap at Leicester on Monday as he has been leading the Lingfield Trial winner in his recent work.
Ryan Moore is expected to ride and is already jocked up to partner Zilber in the Breeders Backing Racing EBF Maiden Stakes on the same card.
She’s been catching the eye in her recent work for Ed Dunlop, having also shaped with some promise on her racecourse debut, and represents a formidable trio of owners in the Countess Wessex, Lady Derby and Mrs Koukash.
Hopes are rising in Headquarters that Ihtimal can bag the town another Classic winner after the Investec Oaks entry again showed plenty of gears in a tidy piece of work under big-race partner Kieren Fallon.
Before then Ayrad heads to Chantilly on Sunday for the French Derby. Roger Varian’s charge is taking a huge leap in class having only won a Hamilton maiden on his previous start but his work of late has convinced connections he is potentially a Group One performer.