Player can score on Ladies Day
Simon Holt previews Saturday's card at Newbury with the mercurial Pastoral Player taken to strike in the Ladies Day Handicap.
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Hughie Morrison is fancied to strike in the Betfred Goals Galore Ladies Day Handicap with that somewhat mercurial seven-year-old PASTORAL PLAYER at Newbury.
Always a talented but tricky customer, he looks to have been given a great chance by the handicapper here off a rating of 95 (he was 113 at his best) despite not being disgraced on a couple of occasions this season when sixth to Gabriel's Lad on good to soft ground in the Victoria Cup and then finishing first home in his group (but only tenth overall) in the Buckingham Palace Handicap at Royal Ascot.
With promising claimer Charlie Bennett (five wins from 23 rides this season) taking off another 7lb, this is Pastoral Player's best opportunity for a long time.
Meanwhile, the Betfred TV Geoffrey Freer Stakes looks very tricky with question marks hanging over many of the runners.
Most interest will surround the reappearance of that wonderful international campaigner Red Cadeaux who finished second to Royal Empire in this race 12 months ago before going onto finish second to Fiorente on his third appearance in the Melbourne Cup.
It will also be good to see 2012 Ebor winner Willing Foe on the comeback road having been missing since winning here in May, 2013.
Pether's Moon possibly boasts the best recent form after beating the reopposing Cafe Society into third place at Goodwood recently but Richard Hannon's charge did not look a straightforward ride, and now carries a small penalty and wears blinkers.
Somewhat, the sole three-year-old in the field, must have a big shout on recent thirds in the Eclipse and the Gordon Stakes but would probably need conditions to dry out a bit while Seal Of Approval was very disappointing on her last start. To me, it looks like a race to sit back and watch.
Simon's other selection, Es Que Love, was declared a non-runner on Friday evening.