Soft spot for Falling Rain
Man On The Spot previews Friday's televised action from Newmarket and fancies Soft Falling Rain in the Nayef Joel Stakes.
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Radiator was hugely impressive in a maiden at Lingfield following a fair debut at Goodwood. She is well worth a try in this higher grade but Midnite Angel arguably has the best form in the book having finished second to Ihtimal in the Sweet Solera here last month before a fourth in another Group 3 at Goodwood. Lightning Thunder did well to get up on the line at Doncaster last time and is still improving. She should be effective over this extra furlong while Sweet Acclaim can only build on a winning start at Yarmouth. Miss France won over a mile at Chantilly and must be respected but we might take a chance on STEALTH MISSILE. Clive Brittain's juvenile crop this year has been well above standard and his Invincible Spirit filly looked very tough when making all at Ascot last month. The stable won this in 2011.
Switcher ran a fine race in this grade at Doncaster earlier this month when second to Nargys. Maureen was a disappointing favourite that day and stablemate Zurigha was even further behind and both might struggle to overturn that form here. Estiqaama won by eight lengths when completing her hat-trick at Yarmouth and a step up to pattern race company was always on the cards after that. She shouldn't be disgraced but it was impossible not to be impressed with LANANSAAK at Ascot, where she won on the bridle despite an awkward head carriage. She's clearly not been easy to train and wears a hood again here but has bags of ability and can earn some black type in this. Igugu has her first run since the spring but rarely competes outside of Group 1 company and has a victory to her name at the highest level. She could go well though this trip is on the sharp side for Mike De Kock's mare.
SOFT FALLING RAIN lost his unbeaten record to Gregorian in the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury last month but the winner is a very useful miler and third Tawhid has won easily since. That was the four-year-old's first run since March and he can get back on track in this. Penitent had conditions in his favour when successful at Sandown nine days ago and the ground may be a bit lively for him here but Montiridge has won a Group 3 this year and clearly didn't give his true running when beaten at odds-on at Haydock last time. Guest Of Honour, Premio Loco and Glory Awaits also have decent form in the book and should play a part but Boom Or Bust was beaten in an ordinary contest at Bath last time and has become expensive to follow.
Rizeena deserves the utmost respect having stayed on strongly from off the pace to land the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh. Wonderfully only managed sixth in that race and was beaten when hampered and eased but Clive Brittain's filly enters unknown territory over this extra furlong whereas probable market rival IHTIMAL is already a Group 2 winner over the trip. She quickened clear of Listed winner Majeyda in the May Hill at Doncaster two weeks ago and third Lady Lara has won since - Saeed bin Suroor's filly can complete her hat-trick. Godolphin's second colours will be carried by the unbeaten Sound Reflection but she'll need to improve again to get involved while only a neck separated Avenue Gabriel and Ballybacka Queen at the Curragh. They both look held by Rizeena on collateral form however.