Our star columnist has updates on Space Traveller and Ventura Rebel and a guide to all 30 of his Saturday runners.
Space Traveller came out of Royal Ascot very well. I have to admit I was a little surprised to see him win the Jersey Stakes but he’s a horse who can do that to you. He’s always had loads of ability and it all came right on the big day which was great.
We’re looking at the Lennox Stakes at Glorious Goodwood for him next. It looks the logical next step.
As I said in last week's column we were absolutely delighted with Ventura Rebel’s run in the Norfolk Stakes in finishing second to A’Ali. He ran an absolute blinder. He’s in the Weatherbys Super Sprint at Newbury which would look an obvious target but we’ll talk to the owners and formulate a firmer plan in the next couple of weeks,
Summer Sands is having a little break having finished sixth in the Windsor Castle last week. He’d had quite a busy of time of it and will be brought back to be aimed at the Gimcrack.
We’ve a big team in action on Saturday and here are my thoughts on them all.
1.50 Newcastle - Brian The Snail
I’m afraid he doesn’t like Chester so he’s not part of Marwan Koukash’s team heading there. He’s a funny horse who has always worked well at home – and did so again last week – but doesn’t often show that level of ability on the track. On what he does at Musley Bank he’d definitely win but it’s not as simple as that and he didn’t back up his Doncaster win when disappointing at Nottingham last time.
1.50 Newcastle - Cosmic Law
He ran a good, solid race when fourth to Recon Mission in a competitive race at York a couple of weeks ago. If he’s in the same form here he must have a big chance.
2.00 Chester - Ambersand
This is a strange race with a few horses rated 50 or below in against us. Puerto Banus is the obvious danger to my filly for Andrew Balding but he’s out in 11 and we’ve fared a little better in eight. Ambersand will run well but as ever I do fear some potential traffic problems unless we’re smartly away.
2.10 York - International Lion
He ran a bit better than on debut when eighth here on his last start but was still a little disappointing as we certainly don’t think he’s a dud. One day the penny will drop and he’ll show his true colours but I’d be delighted if he was placed here.
2.25 Newcastle - Mr Lupton
I’m quite surprised to be taking on Invincible Army in this and he’s making a quick reappearance having finished seventh in the Diamond Jubilee. He was a fraction disappointing at Ascot and my fellow is there to pick up the pieces if he’s not at his best again. He won very well at the Curragh on his reappearance and is in great order.
2.35 Chester - Gabrial The Saint
I think six furlong is his best trip so I’m a fraction worried about five around here being a little sharp for him – especially on quick ground. He’s a horse who has got himself well handicapped though.
2.45 York - George Bowen
He's a good handicapper and will be kept to these races now after a couple of runs in pattern company. The style of racing in those contests doesn’t suit him – they don’t go quick enough for a horse like George and he can’t get back at them. We’re claiming seven pounds off him via Russell Harris which will help.
2.45 York - Great Prospector
I’ve been keen to try him over this trip for some time but I don’t want the ground to dry out too much for him. I can’t see any rain in the forecast either. He’s in great order and ran okay here the last day.
245 York - Growl
This is an extremely well handicapped horse who will hit the board one day but I wouldn’t know if it’s going to be here on the forecast ground.
2.45 York - Paddy Power
I really don’t know what to say about Paddy. It’s great to get into a race like this with him and he arrives here in tremendous form which always gives you a chance.
2.45 York - Ventura Ocean
I was very disappointed with him on his last run here as we’d had that race in mind for him for a while. Paul Hanagan felt the ground was against him and he won’t have that excuse on Saturday but needs to bounce back.
3.10 Chester - Gabrial The Wire
He's won around Chester but I'm still not sure whether it's actually his place. He has been running well and if can translate that conventional track form to the Roodee then he'll go okay.
3.10 Chester - Pacino
He runs on Friday so obviously we'll have to see how he is on Saturday morning before deciding whether to go here too. He's been hindered by slower ground of late and this surface will suit much better.
3.20 York - Furzig
He ran well when chasing home Poet's Dawn at York last time and is a big, raw horse. Racing is improving him and dropping back a furlong won't be a problem. He's really starting to learn what the game is all about and could run well.
3.20 York - International Man
He's been off since May and might just need this, his first run back. He's run well at the track before though which is always an advantage.
3.20 York - King Of Tonga
He has some very solid form and I was annoyed with the handicapper for putting him up six pounds for finishing second at Beverley three starts ago. I don't think he has anything in hand of this mark but the step up to a mile here could suit him.
3.45 Chester - Upstate New York
He made his debut at Nottingham a couple of weeks ago and that run has done him the world of good. This is a warm little contest despite a small field but my colt has improved for that initial outing and will be much more streetwise here - something he'll need to be at Chester.
4.20 Chester - Gabrial The One
There are very similar comments to him as were made about Pacino in that he runs on Friday and will need to bounce out of that to run here. He too will appreciate the quicker ground.
4.45 Newcastle - Teenar
He's a progressive colt who took a big step forward from his debut to finish second at Hamilton last time. This is probably a decent race but my horse is starting to settle down and become a racehorse. He could very easily improve again.
5.05 York - Gin In The Inn
He's a big horse which you need for the Jump Jockeys Nunthorpe, 11st 2lb is a lot of weight for Flat horses but this fellow will cope with that. The worry is the trip, five furlongs here will be sharp for him and he's more effective at six.
5.15 Newcastle - Gallipoli
He loves the all-weather which is obviously a bonus and he seems well for all he's had a tough enough season. He has proved hard to win with but could go well if getting luck here.
5.25 Doncaster - Knowing Glance
He's a disappointing horse but we know he can gallop. He was just far too keen at Leicester last time and is better than that but he needs to switch off. He's handicapped to win races if he does.
5.30 Chester - Powerallied
He has a decent draw in three and didn't have much chance to get rolling here last time. He's capable of winning off his current mark if getting the breaks.
5.40 York - Claire Underwood
On the face of it she was very disappointing at Pontefract last time but I'd put that completely down to the soft ground. She's in great order and gets fast ground here.
5.40 York - Doctor Cross
He's been a tough horse to train but ran ok on his reappearance and I'd like to see him run well for the owners who've been very patient.
5.50 Newcastle - Windsor Cross
The handicapper has given him a chance and dropped him a few pounds and it's now down to the horse. He's been given a break but needs to go out and do it.
6.30 Doncaster - Diamond Shower
There are a couple in here who we might struggle to beat and while handicaps are open to my filly after this, she has run well in her two starts so far and is going well at home.
7.00 Doncaster - Nicki's Angel
It's a big drop in grade for her and is a big day as a result. She was a filly we really liked last year but she had a problem and had some time off. She's gone from contesting a Listed race and £100,000 handicap to running in this and I'd like to see her run well.
7.00 Doncaster - Coolagh Magic
He's running ok but maybe the handicapper has got him. It still wouldn't be a shock to see him run better than his price suggests though.
7.30 Doncaster - Gabrial The Devil
Ran ok from a bad draw at Chester last time and has been given a bit of a chance by the handicapper. Six furlongs here will suit him.
7.30 Doncaster - Lucky Lucky Man
He ran well here two starts ago when third to Brian The Snail but disappointed at Thirsk last time and needs to bounce back to be competitive. Everthing went wrong for him there but the drying ground won't suit him.