We’ve teamed up with BetVictor’s Charlie McCann to preview the day’s racing.
One of the horses I’m most looking forward to seeing this weekend is Kevin Ryan’s juvenile Juan Elcano who is 6/4 at BetVictor for the listed Denford Stakes at Newbury having finished second in the Group 2 Superlative Stakes at Newmarket last time. The prospect of soft ground will hold no terrors for this son of Frankel given he won on heavy ground at Haydock on debut.
The feature race at Salisbury this afternoon is the Group 3 Sovereign Stakes and Mojito disappointed in the Golden Mile at Goodwood last time on ground that might have been quicker than ideal. Frankie Dettori keeps the ride, but he is unlikely to get an uncontested lead and the each way selection is King Ottokar (3.20) who drops back to a mile for the first time since finishing down the field in the Group 1 Vertem Security Stakes at Doncaster back in the autumn.
The unbeaten Litigious was well on top at the end at Chester last time, but I’m not convinced that was the strongest of races and I’m going to give Sea Of Faith (4.55) another chance for William Haggas. The selection was slowly away and never quite got on terms at Newbury last time, but this lightly-raced filly remains open to further improvement and gets the vote.
Visionara improved when runner up at Chelmsford last time but I hope she helps set the race up from the front for Excelled (2.10) in the Lingfield opener. James Fanshawe’s filly was a bit keen on her first start over 7f and in the circumstances did well to stay on into second. If she is more amenable to restraint I feel she must go close from a good draw in stall four.
The Very Moon has finished runner up in all three starts – twice a beaten odds on favourite – and may again have to settle for the silver medal behind Ambling (3.40) who showed improved form to run Prescott’s Evens favourite Distant Chimes to a neck over today’s C&D last time.
Anyonecanhaveitall (4.10) carries a 6lbs penalty for scoring easily at Redcar last time and he looked to be well ahead of the handicapper on Teesside although Mark Johnston’s three-year-old does have to transfer his improved form back to an all-weather surface. The recent Chelmsford scorer Mon Frere looks a big danger in receipt of 10lbs from the selection.
Guardia Svizzeria (3.30) won three times last August and looked to be coming back to form when third at Carlisle last time despite being badly hampered at the start. Ben Curtis – who was in the plate of two of this three wins last August – takes over in the saddle at Beverley this afternoon.
At Chepstow, Harmonise (5.00) is taken to follow up her recent win at Windsor under a 5lbs penalty. Leading apprentice Scott McCullagh takes off a valuable 5lbs for Sheena West. The selection’s Windsor success was gained on fast ground, but the forecast good to soft ground should hold no terrors.
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