Olympiad to take the Ces
Man On The Spot previews Saturday's feature action at Newmarket and York with Olympiad his Cesarewitch fancy.
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Strong Suit won this last year and finished behind stablemate LIBRANNO in the Group 2 Park Stakes at Doncaster last month. The latter had subsequent Group winner Penitent back in fifth on that occasion and is fancied to defy a penalty in this with most of his rivals having questions to answer. It's unlikely Fulbright will get ground fast enough to show his best and Irish 2000 Guineas third, Reply, has something to prove on the evidence of a couple of subsequent poor efforts. Sunday Times bounced back at a big price in the Sceptre Stakes at Doncaster but this is tougher and Scarf is also facing a more difficult task having won a Listed race at Newbury with Edinburgh Knight behind. 2010 winner Red Jazz is out of sorts and so is Fencing while Pearl Mix and Telwaar have plenty to find.
1405 York: Bet On Your Mobile With Coral Handicap
Steps had no chance from a low draw at Haydock last time but ran as well as could be expected and can't be ignored here. Jamaican Bolt was impressive on heavy ground at Ayr last month but was behind the enigmatic Hazelrigg over this C&D in July. Last Sovereign has been in good form lately, as has Kyleakin Lass, while Captain Dunne and Move In Time have a touch of class. Tax Free won over C&D in August on quicker ground but was only just ahead of Fitz Flyer, Kaldoun Kingdom and ANCIENT CROSS. The latter pair come out best at the weights today and Mick Easterby's charge is the one that gets the vote as he's now 2lb lower than when beating Verinco and Hazelrigg in the Gosforth Park Sprint at Newcastle last year and has been taking on better company this season. Singeur and Pearl Blue may prove the pick of the remainder.
1420 Newmarket: Vision.ae Middle Park Stakes (Group 1)
Look no further than RECKLESS ABANDON in this Group 1 race. Clive Cox's unbeaten colt took the step up to this level in his stride at Deauville in August when winning the Prix Morny and can confirm running with both Parliament Square and Moohaajim. The latter has since landed the Mill Reef and should go well here as he beat Master Of War and Heavy Metal at Newbury. Blaine also beat Heavy Metal when winning the Gimcrack at York and he looks sure to be in the firing-line but Gale Force Ten was outpointed by the selection in the Norfolk Stakes at Ascot earlier. Stablemate Cristoforo Colombo clipped heels and fell last time but had finished a respectable runner-up in a Group 2 at the Curragh before that and makes more appeal than Hototo and Wexford Opera.
1435 York: Coral Backing Macmillan Cancer Support Handicap
Lahaag won his maiden at Yarmouth in June and reappeared after a break to win a handicap on softer ground at Nottingham. This is a step up in grade but John Gosden's colt is obviously progressing and shouldn't be far away. Ibtahaj won at Brighton and Kempton earlier in the year but could only manage third behind Jacob Cats when favourite at Newmarket three weeks ago, though is 4lb better off here. Storm King looks vulnerable on these terms but Dubai Sunshine has hit form and was a relatively easy winner over 1m1f at Epsom earlier this month when Lady Macduff and Swing Alone were third and fourth. He has to have some sort of chance but the going will suit CHAPTER SEVEN and Richard Fahey's gelding can take advantage of this slight drop in distance to get back on the winning trail.
1455 Newmarket: Dubai Dewhurst Stakes (Group 1)
Jim Bolger is making a habit of winning this Group 1 event and has returned to Coolcullen with the prize four times in the last six years. High-class colts Teofilo and New Approach were among his previous winners and the unbeaten DAWN APPROACH also looks right out of the top drawer. He was wearing Godolphin's colours for the first time when winning the Group 1 National Stakes at the Curragh last time by over four lengths and will be a short-price to follow that up here. Stablemate Leitir Mor was well beaten in the National Stakes but had earlier taken care of George Vancouver in a Group 3 race while the latter's stable companion, The Ferryman, has plenty to prove having only won a maiden at Tipperary so far though he did have the debutant Leitir Mor behind. Funk Soul Brother has lost his way but Ashdan is clearly well thought of dropped into the deep-end today after winning a conditions race at Doncaster.
1510 York: coral.co.uk Rockingham Stakes (Listed)
LUCKY BEGGAR, Mary's Daughter and Royal Rascal are more exposed than their rivals but they already have decent form at this level whereas the others probably still have a bit to prove. We'll go with Charles Hill's grey, who wasn't beaten far in the Group 3 Cornwallis Stakes at Ascot earlier this month, though Mary's Daughter produced a similar effort when runner-up in the Firth Of Clyde Stakes at Ayr when Royal Rascal was only sixth. Tassel bounced back to form at Leicester last time and stablemate Professor likewise in a nursery at Newbury, though both have more on their plate here. Odooj has become disappointing but still makes more appeal than Vallarta, Queen Aggie and the once-raced Line Of Reason in this grade.
1535 Newmarket: Betfred Cesarewitch (Heritage Handicap)
Only a couple of favourites have obliged in the last 10 years. Last year's runner-up, Ermyn Lodge, looks to have been laid out for this though he arrived in much better form last time and 2010 winner, Aaim To Prosper, hasn't won again since. Motivado failed to land a gamble in the Ebor but ran well for fourth and has claims along with Doncaster Cup third Hurricane Higgins. Tominator finished fourth at Doncaster last time just ahead of Western Prize with Blue Bajan, Martyr and subsequent winner O Ma Lad further behind while Triumph Hurdle winner Countrywide Flame beat Martial Law at Chester on last month's return to action and should figure. Beyond was well beaten in this last year along with Sentry Duty but ran well over 2m5f at Goodwood when Hurricane Higgins won and makes more appeal than stablemate Ashbrittle. Three-year-olds don't have a great recent record although Montaser and I Have A Dream are both respected but the speculative vote goes to OLYMPIAD. Dermot Weld's lightly-raced colt beat Very Good Day over 2m at York last time and will stay every yard of today's marathon trip.
1545 York: Coral Sprint Trophy Handicap
A typically competitive sprint handicap on the Knavesmire and most would have some sort of chance if at their best. Mass Rally certainly wasn't winning out of turn in the Ayr Silver Cup last month but needs the gaps to appear at the right time, which didn't happen when he was behind Doc Hay in the Portland at Doncaster earlier. Cheviot is very speedy and will be up with the pace while Heeraat is chasing a hat-trick on the course, though has gone up 7lb for his latest success. Louis The Pious and Idler are worth a second look, as is Colonel Mak, while Sirius Prospect could figure if managing to get away on terms. DUNGANNON has been lightly campaigned this year but his two runs at Ascot in June and July suggest he retains all of his ability and this easy 6f should be right up his street. Only 2lb higher than his last win, he gets a tentative vote.