Tha'ir to shine at Sandown
Ashley Iveson previews Saturday's meetings
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BATH: 4.35 Hi Note, 5.10 Prime Exhibit, 5.40 Liber, 6.10 Regal Parade, 6.40 Cats Eyes, 7.10 Spartan Spirit, 7.40 Sir Dylan.
BEVERLEY: 2.05 Zero Game, 2.40 Majuro, 3.15 Universal, 3.45 Diamond Blue, 4.15 Borderlescott, 4.50 Avon Breeze, 5.25 Uncle Brit.
CHESTER: 1.55 White Coppice, 2.30 Icon Dream, 3.05 Strictly Silver, 3.40 Mandy Layla, 4.20 Mayoman, 4.55 Los Nadis, 5.30 Ambitious Boy.
KILLARNEY: 2.10 Tandem, 2.45 Hot Bed, 3.20 Count Of Limonade, 3.50 Drive Time, 4.25 Jessie Jane, 5.00 Mart Lane, 5.30 Sanantha Jones, 6.00 For Dylan.
MARKET RASEN: 4.45 Underwritten, 5.20 Yellow Duke, 5.55 Quinder Spring, 6.25 Kosta Brava, 6.55 Toshi, 7.25 Solis.
SANDOWN: 2.15 Rowe Park, 2.50 THA'IR (NAP), 3.25 Clinical, 4.00 Man Of Action, 4.30 Entwined, 5.05 Proximity, 5.35 Brigadoon.
DOUBLE: Tha'ir and Clinical
Godolphin's Tha'ir gets the vote in what should be an informative renewal of the Candy Kittens Solario Stakes at Sandown.
Although the Group Three juvenile has not thrown up too many champions in recent years, it has a decent roll of honour, with Breeders' Cup Classic hero Raven's Pass the most eyecatching recent winner.
Seven promising youngsters are this year due to go to post and while one or two of his opponents are a little less exposed, Tha'ir sets a standard that could prove difficult to match.
The son of freshman sire of the season New Approach was particularly green in the parade ring prior to his Ripon introduction, but showed enough in finishing fourth to suggest there were races to be won with him.
He duly trotted up at the same track a couple of weeks later before claiming Royal Ascot glory, admittedly in a fairly weak renewal of the Listed Chesham Stakes.
Saeed bin Suroor's representative took a major step up in grade for the Vintage Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, but was far from disgraced, again filling fourth spot and beaten just a head.
Tha'ir would appear to face a marginally less taxing assignment this weekend, with Master Of War perhaps his biggest threat.
But he has yet to tackle seven furlongs and his stamina cannot be guaranteed on such a stiff track.
Once-raced novice winner Fantastic Moon could be anything, while the hat-trick-seeking Hasopop and Irish challenger Dont Bother Me adds further strength in depth.
However, Tha'ir is proven at this level and stays well.
He looks the most solid option to strike for the boys in blue.
The main supporting race at the Esher circuit is the TBA Atalanta Stakes, which has attracted a huge field of smart fillies and mares.
Sir Mark Prescott's Clinical has to give weight to each of her opponents, but might just be up to the job as she takes a big drop in class.
The four-year-old already has valuable broodmare potential, having struck three times at Listed level last year and having won the Group Three Princess Margaret Stakes at Epsom on her return.
She has since had her limitations exposed in the Windsor Forest Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, but this is an easier assignment and the tough mile should be right up her street.
The Betfred Beverley Bullet takes pride of place in East Yorkshire and Borderlescott would bring the house down if the veteran sprinter can take the Listed prize.
Although the dual Nunthorpe winner is clearly not the force of old, he has run some creditable races this term, not least when fourth in a red-hot Temple Stakes at Haydock.
He was certainly not disgraced when ninth in the Stewards' Cup at Goodwood last time and with a plum draw in stall one, he remains capable of going very close at this level if the rain stays away.
Connections of Liber will surely be disappointed if he does not get back in the winner's enclosure after the British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes at Bath.
The youngster is a course and distance winner and has run some excellent races in defeat at a very high level.
He was fourth in a red-hot sales race at York last week and a reproduction of that effort should see him home in this lesser grade.
Mandy Layla can register her second Chester victory in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Combermere Fillies' Conditions Stakes.
Kosta Brava can win the Cook And Reay Birthday Bash Handicap Chase at Market Rasen for Chris Grant.