Top commentator Simon Holt previews Saturday's Lockinge card at Newbury and he fancies Karl Burke's Laurens to prevail in the Group One feature.
Recommended Bets, Saturday May 18
For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record
Saturday's Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes looks a fiendishly tight race with 13 of the 14 runners officially rated within 2lb of each other.
Such fine margins demand a cautious approach but, in receipt of her 3lb fillies allowance, LAURENS should have the edge if she returns in top form.
The five-time Group One winner is a remarkably tough performer but she has only once run against male rivals (when unplaced behind Roaring Lion on soft ground at Ascot last October at the end of a tough season) and trainer Karl Burke has not been firing in the winners as he usually does.
Nevertheless, Laurens is reported in good shape and, in terms of all those victories at the highest level (including the Prix de Diane, Matron Stakes and Sun Chariot last year) she is easily the most successful horse in the line-up, albeit against her own sex. She gets a slightly tentative vote with the recent Group Two Sandown winner Beat The Bank rated the danger.
Earlier, I like the look of KURIOUS in the opening Shalaa Carnarvon Stakes.
Henry Candy's filly has a bit to find with one or two rivals on the figures but her price reflects that and she looks open to a good deal of improvement over six furlongs.
Andrea Atzeni's mount really caught the eye in a five-furlong handicap at Sandown last month when she was slightly checked before staying on strongly to be beaten a head by Leodis Dream.
The latter, a progressive sprinter, has since won for the third time this season at Chester, beating the Sandown fourth Recon Mission into second, so the form looks solid and Kurious should relish this extra yardage.
The Al Zubarah London Gold Cup Handicap is always a difficult race to solve featuring many horses of untapped potential but the William Haggas-trained SINJAARI has shaped extremely well in two starts this season and looks more progressive than most.
The son of Camelot went down by only half a length to the Derby outsider Private Secretary (winner since and now rated 95) on his reappearance at Redcar and then made no mistake when thumping Godolphin's Global Heat (a horse who had shown plenty of promise last year) at Windsor.
Off a first handicap mark of 89, Sinjaari should be very competitive here in the hands of Oisin Murphy.