David Ord, Matt Brocklebank and Richard Mann highlight their best bets for a busy day's racing on Saturday.
David Ord - Another Batt (14.50 Ascot)
The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but Another Batt rates a good bet to lead them home in the Mile under Jamie Kah.
The four-year-old has slipped back down to a mark of 100, from which he won at Chester a couple of years ago, and six pounds below the one from which he was beaten less than four lengths into sixth in the Unibet Lincoln this spring.
He joined Richard Hughes in May and there was a lot to like about his run here at Ascot on the second of two starts for the stable, travelling strongly for much of the race on the unfavoured far side when eighth behind Raising Sands in the International Stakes last month.
He looks ready to strike again.
Matt Brocklebank - Eynhallow (16.55 Newmarket)
Eynhallow has next to no chance of making the cut for the Sky Bet Ebor, for which he holds a long-range entry, but the very fact he was put in the £1million York feature in the first place contributes to the layers of intrigue surrounding his return to action in Newmarket’s Royal British Legion Handicap on Saturday.
It's been 414 days since we last saw him in action – that he’s been kept in training as a five-year-old gelding is arguably another significant pointer – when not at all disgraced in the Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes at Royal Ascot 2018.
That was only his third public appearance for Charlie Appleby, having been bought by Godolphin following a really progressive 2017 campaign in the care of Roger Charlton, which saw him win two nice handicaps before pushing (fellow Godolphin runner) First Nation really close in the Old Rowley Cup at Newmarket that autumn.
The son of Nathaniel came back in 2018 with two highly encouraging efforts in Dubai, when fourth to Gold Star and second to Walton Street (reversing Gold Star form in the process) – two other representatives for the boys in blue.
So it’s fair to say they know where they stand in terms of this horse’s natural ability and overall levels of form, and it’s also reasonable to suggest that Appleby hasn’t quite had a fair crack of the whip with him yet.
So here is he, back after considerable time away, dropping to a mile and a quarter and with the now-recovered William Buick in the saddle for the first time in his life.
He clearly won’t mind if the ground turns, the race developing into less of a speed test – the Ebor is a mile and six, remember – and all things considered he looks really interesting and worth a bet for a trainer whose horses can be trusted to be cherry-ripe following lengthy layoffs.
Richard Mann - Raise You (15.05 Haydock)
Raise You failed to give his running when last sighted contesting the French Derby at Chantilly a couple of months ago but he remains a fine prospect and is fancied to make a winning return to action in the Rose Of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock.
Andrew Balding’s son of Lope De Vega only made the racecourse once as a two-year-old, finishing a fine second to the smart King Ottokar before making a striking winning reappearance back at the Berkshire venue in April.
He added to that success when stepping up to Listed company at Newmarket a month later, producing another impressive display that did enough to persuade Balding his charge was worth a crack at a Classic.
Things didn’t go to plan in France but it was understandable to see him find Group One company a step too far at that stage of his career and Balding has evidently been keen to give his colt a good break since to get over his early-season exertions.
The return to calmer waters here looks a smart move and receiving a handy weight-for-age allowance from the likes of Addeybb and Wissahickon, he can get his career back on track under Oisin Murphy.