Catching Pigeons: Noble bets
Our Catching Pigeons column has all the latest whispers from the major training centres ahead of the weekend's action.
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Noble Silk can reward an each-way investment in the John Smith's Northumberland Plate at Newcastle on Saturday.
There are few more consistent stayers around than Lucy Wadham's five-year-old grey who produced some smart performances in defeat on the all weather during the winter.
However, it was when he returned in style from a spring break that he really caught the attention for the Plate, as he beat another leading fancy for this race, Nearly Caught, at Haydock on his latest start.
Connections believe that outing will have sharpened him up and he has been trained with this race very much in mind since his return to training for the turf campaign.
Over in Ireland, Kingston Hill isn't expected to bridge the gap with Australia in the Irish Derby, but Peter Chapple-Hyam will be hoping to come back to the UK with a winner as his Ahlan Emarati runs in the GAIN Railway Stakes.
The Holy Roman Emperor colt belied his starting price of 25/1 when running into third in the Norfolk Stakes despite being slowly away and held up in last by Jamie Spencer.
He's thought to have plenty of early speed and the exaggerated hold-up tactics aren't expected to be employed by Pat Smullen at the Curragh.
Over at Newmarket Cameron Highland can go well in the Listed bet365 Fred Archer Stakes for Roger Varian.
He hasn't been seen for 287 days but looks magnificent. He's a big, good-looking horse and though he may need the run after his time from the track, he really couldn't look in better shape.
Zeb Un Nisa can make it two wins from three starts in the Listed Bet365 Empress Stakes on the same card.
Roger Charlton has not had too much to smile about in recent weeks, but one performance which cheered him immensely was the victory of the selection at Bath 22 days ago.
The Iffraaj filly showed a classy turn of foot to see off Jamie Osborne's quietly fancied debutante La Cuesta by a comfortable five lengths and the form was made to look quite solid in the wake of the runner up's bold effort in the Group Two Queen Mary Stakes on her only subsequent start.
Charlton was not tempted by a trip to the big meeting, but this has been the number one target since the win and she looks the one they all have to beat, with Accipter and Tigrilla the main dangers.
Evita Peron can show her class and win the Listed EBF Stallions bet365 Eternal Stakes.
A tad unlucky only to win only one of her first two outings, she ran a very sound race to finish fourth in the German 1000 Guineas on her latest start. Given a bit of time to recover from those exertions, she is in good form at home and her stable are starting to fire again after a relatively quiet spell.
Wedding Ring has lost her way, Penny Drops isn't thought to be good enough and the main danger could be Along Again who is expected to put in a bold show now the Sir Michael Stoute team are in much better form than when she was last on her seasonal reappearance.
Richard Hughes heads to Windsor for his afternoon's fayre and he should kick off with a winner with St Brelades Bay in the opening juvenile maiden.
Although a tad disappointing in what looked a very hot maiden at Newbury on his latest start, the son of Camacho looks to have found a good opportunity judged on his debut effort behind Moonraker at Ascot last month. The form of that race looks solid, and his experience can see him home ahead of interesting newcomer Total Demolition.
In the Daily Unibet Early Prices From 9am Handicap Luca Cumani's Ajman Bridge can leave his reappearance sixth behind in first-time blinkers.
The Dubawi colt was way down the field at Lingfield, but with the Cumani team in good form he is expected to recapture the consistency he showed last season.
Robert Cowell remains the king of training sprinters and with Goldream in such good form he can trouble the judge once again in the Rohlig Logistics UK 30th Anniversary Handicap.
Cheekpieces have really sharpened him up and after a month's mini-break he can put in the sort of performance that saw him win at HQ first time out.
Greeb can make it third time lucky this season in the Beaver 84 Hire Plettac Handicap at Doncaster.
Charlie Hills' team have started to move into top gear after a low key first half of the season and this Oasis Dream gelding can put a below par effort on his latest outing four and a half weeks ago firmly behind him.
Pool House was another to show some very smart form during the Winter and he will be all the better for his comeback effort after a brief holiday in the corbettssports.com Handicap at Chester.
Andrew Balding's three year old produced two very worthy performances behind the classy Ertijaal at Lingfield in March and a repeat of those performances should see him go close at this lower grade event.
Pillar Box can follow up her impressive Bath win in the Injured Jockeys Fund Novice Stakes. William Haggas's juvenile made little show on his debut at Beverley, but proved a much different proposition at Bath two weeks ago.
Well backed, she quickened up well to land an impressive win, and another bold show here will put her in the front line for the Weatherbys Super Sprint at Newbury in three weeks' time.
Haggas flies a Union Jack flag every time he has a winner and you should expect to see it flying on Sunday morning considering the strong team he sends up to Newcastle.
Muthmir is expected to leave behind his mark of 87 this season and he goes in the Betfred Half Time In-Play Boosts Handicap, while the hood is removed from stablemate Saayerr who can improve on his European Free Handicap fourth now dropped in trip for the Group 3 Betfred TV Chipchase Stakes.
Looking further ahead, The Fugue looked on good terms with herself on the Limekilns following her Royal Ascot win, but the filly who caught the eye was stablemate Belle d'Or who looked very impressive. She hacked up in a maiden at Salisbury two weeks ago and looks a group horse in the making.
And finally, Noble Mission runs in Sunday's Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud and couldn't be on better terms with himself after completing a sparkling piece of work on the Cambridge Road gallops last week.
His early-season form was boosted by both Telescope and Magician at Royal Ascot and he's strongly fancied to get the better of Flintshire in the Group One contest.