We’ve teamed up with BetVictor and Charlie McCann to preview the day’s racing.
Another week of classic clues this weekend and an excellent one for owner Sheikh Hamdan with his Newbury winners Muhaarrar and Intilaaq cut to 16/1 from 25s and 66s for the 2000 Guineas and the Derby respectively.
His best chance was defeated however with Estidhkaar, who chased home Muhaarer in the Greenham Stakes, and Richard Hannon’s colt cut to 10/1 (from 14s) to reverse the form at Newmarket in a fortnight.
The Hannon team have started the season strongly with Kool Kompany and Osaila cut the Guineas after their successes at HQ in the week; 14/1 (From 50s) for the colts’ and 14/1 (From 33s) to give Frankie Dettori a first British classic for the first time since Blue Bunting’s 1000 Guineas win in 2011.
The Wiltshire based handler has just the one runner this afternoon at Windsor with Great Page (4.55) fancied to go close for the opening 5f maiden. The Roderic O’Connor filly cost connections £31,000 at the sales and gets the nod to make a winning debut under Sean Levey.
Another filly bidding to shed the maiden tag is Wild Storm (5.55) when taking on the boys in the maiden over ten furlongs. Godolphin’s Dubawi filly made an eye-catching debut when staying on strongly to finish second in a warm maiden at Kempton towards the back end of last season and can go one better under Harry Bentley.
Wistar will be a likely warm favourite for an excellent ten furlong handicap at Pontefract afternoon however Luca Cumani’s runners tend to improve for the run and the eye is drawn to Cape Wrath (2.45) with the former Richard Hannon inmate a fascinating runner making his debut for Micky Hammond.
The selection beat a smart one of Roger Charlton’s on debut at Newbury before losing his way thereafter but Graham Lee is a significant jockey booking and from a career-low mark of 79 the colt should remain competitive.
There’s excellent jump on offer with racing at Newton Abbot, Kempton and Hexham with Bolton Blue (5.45) fancied to get the better of Alto Des Mottes at the latter.
The selection chased home a well-backed winner in a bumper at the track last month and should benefit from being both upped in trip and sent over hurdles. He is taken to get the better of Paul Nicholls’ cast-off Alto Des Mottes, with the French-bred looking a particularly quirky type and a beaten favourite on his debut for the Harry Hogarth yard last time out.
Jonjo O’Neill’s Foundation Man (4.00) would be a confident selection if the gelding’s jumping improved, and a first-time tongue-tie and Richard Johnson on his back can hopefully see him give weight and a beating to his eight rivals in Kempton’s feature 3m Handicap Chase.
The eight-year-old was a tremendously impressive winner when the stable celebrated a four-time at Wetherby in October and despite disappointing thereafter, has come down the weights accordingly. The son of Presenting should appreciate the forecast good ground and can maintain his unblemished record over fences at the track.
All eyes will be on Merrion Square (5.00) in the Hunter Chase on the card after Lewis Ferguson’s spectacular unseating last time out at Wincanton.
The teenager’s unseating went viral after being spectacularly catapulted at the last when seemingly home and hosed and barring a fall both can make amends for Champion Trainer Paul Nicholls. The application of first-time cheek-pieces the nine-year-old can give the young jockey a much better spin round this afternoon
At Cork, David Wachman’s well-bred filly Sexy Legs (5.45) can shed the maiden tag at the belated fifth time of asking in the 6f Handicap under regular partner Wayne Lordan.
The daughter of Dutch art boasts excellent form as a juvenile, including backed into second favourite for last year’s Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot. She was again well-supported in the market when making her seasonal reappearance last month at the Curragh when failing to see out seven furlongs and should be competitive dropping back in trip.
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