King Of Comedy went close in two top-class Group Ones this summer, so it is hard to look beyond him on Friday, according to Nick Robson.
Nap: King Of Comedy (3.35 Newmarket)
Next Best: Festival Day (3.00 Newmarket)
King Of Comedy went close in two top-class Group Ones this summer, so it is hard to look beyond him in the Shadwell Joel Stakes at Newmarket.
John Gosden's colt has taken a giant step forward with each outing this season, culminating with a great effort to be fourth against some of the best horses in the world in the Juddmonte International at York.
He faces nothing of the class of Japan and Crystal Ocean in Friday's Group Two and should not be inconvenienced by the drop back down to a mile - in fact it should suit him.
Gosden stepped him up in trip after he rattled home late in the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, splitting Circus Maximus and Too Darn Hot.
That form now looks exceptional in the context of this race, with Circus Maximus winning the Moulin in France and now-retired stablemate Too Darn Hot claiming the Sussex Stakes before heading into retirement.
Straight after his York effort, where he ran too keen and looked a blatant non-stayer, Gosden mentioned the QEII on Champions Day - but, a bit like Stradivarius, he must be in such good heart his handler feels he will be better off having a run.
Gosden can also be on the mark with Promissory in the Princess Royal Muhaarar Stakes.
She will be having just her fourth career start in this Group Three, but she has shown plenty of ability winning one of those three outings.
However, it is her second at Goodwood last time out that reads best of all - because the winner, Sir Ron Priestley, has since gone on to be runner-up in the St Leger.
Promissory was beaten just a length and a quarter that day, and a repeat of that form would probably be good enough.
Mark Johnston's Festival Day looks worth chancing in the Shadwell Rockfel Stakes.
Beaten on her debut at Goodwood by just a short head, she had clearly taken a big leap forwards by the time she got to Ffos Las for her next outing.
While what she beat is debatable, the way she powered clear in the final furlong for a six-length win was very impressive.
That was only 10 days ago, but horses from this yard thrive on busy schedules.
Mount Everest's campaign has really not panned out as connections would have hoped, but the Mukhadram Godolphin Stakes gives him a good chance of landing a Listed prize.
Beaten just a short head by Japan on his final start last year, he was then off the track until returning with a fair fourth on Irish Champions Weekend at the Curragh.
The fact he is still entered in the Arc and on Champions Day suggests he has still been showing a fair bit at home, so this prize should really go his way.
Away from Newmarket, Whatabird can build on a debut second in the Virgin Bet EBF Maiden Fillies' Stakes at Haydock.
She made late headway on her first outing, eventually being beaten just a length, and a similar effort should be good enough.
At Newcastle, Soloist can make it second time lucky for Keith Dalgleish in the Sports Betting At betuk.com Fillies' Handicap.
Sporting Life tips
DOWNPATRICK: 1.35 Marine One, 2.05 Oscar Light, 2.40 Let Her Flow, 3.15 Flooring Porter, 3.50 Scotch Quay, 4.25 Global Racing, 5.00 Oscar Montel.
DUNDALK: 5.15 Jungle Jane, 5.45 Siamese, 6.15 Charlie Bassett, 6.45 Early Call, 7.15 Mootasadir, 7.45 Le Vagabond, 8.15 Cacique Royale, 8.45 Magi Gal.
HAYDOCK: 2.15 Venusta, 2.50 Whatabird, 3.25 Gifted Ruler, 4.00 Sermon, 4.35 Navajo Pass, 5.10 Lord Of The Rock, 5.40 Earl Of Harrow.
NEWCASTLE: 5.25 Soloist, 6.00 Be Proud, 6.30 Al Ozzdi, 7.00 Western Dawn, 7.30 Relight My Fire, 8.00 Futuristic, 8.30 Magical Spirit.
NEWMARKET: 1.50 She's Got You, 2.25 Promissory, 3.00 Festival Day, 3.35 KING OF COMEDY (NAP), 4.10 Colour Image, 4.45 Mount Everest, 5.20 Escape The City.
WORCESTER: 2.00 Royal Plaza, 2.35 Follow The Bear, 3.10 Stream Lady, 3.45 Reve, 4.20 Vancouver, 4.55 The Vollan, 5.30 Ventura Dragon.
DOUBLE: King Of Comedy and Festival Day.