We’ve teamed up with BetVictor’s Charlie McCann to preview the day’s racing.
No surprise to see Withhold cut from 4s to 10/3 at BetVictor for the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle on Saturday although it should also be noted that Godolphin’s Natural Scenery was also subject of support on Wednesday and was cut from 14s to 12/1 at BetVictor.
Saeed Bin Suroor - who trains Natural Scenery - has had a disappointing season with Benbatl’s tame effort in the Queen Anne Stakes a cause for concern although do make a note of the stable’s Moqarrab who impressed when winning at Wolverhampton earlier in the week and looks one to follow on the all-weather.
No less than five flat cards today including a meeting on Newmarket’s July course this afternoon.
Luca Cumani’s Ashington (2.10) looked ready for a step up to a-mile-and-a-half when second at Doncaster (1m 2f) last time when he couldn’t get to the lead.
There are a number in today’s field stepping up in trip to 12f for the first time including Hayanna who was no match for the progressive Beringer at Sandown last time but stayed on all the way to the line.
Ryan Moore takes over on Choco Box (3.50) who made a promising start when second to Aim Of Artemis over today’s C&D on debut earlier in the month for Ed Vaughan. The filly is a half-sister to four previous winners and is entitled to come on for that initial experience.
The feature event is a £25,000 handicap over seven furlongs and a chance is taken on the sole three-year-old in the field On The Warpath (4.25) who makes his turf debut for Charlie Appleby having won twice on fibresand over the winter when trained by Sir Mark Prescott.
Godolphin have subsequently purchased the colt and it is possible that he might be a better dirt horse going forward and be plying his trade in Meydan in 2019, but he is worth a chance to show he can prove as effective on turf and is a fascinating runner.
At Leicester this evening, Biotic (6.40) may not have got home over almost a quarter of a mile further at Windsor last time and this return to 10f should suit.
This seven-year-old has won off much higher marks in the past, has a good draw in stall two and may have most to fear from recent Lingfield winner Poetic Force who is only 3lbs higher than when scoring last time.
It’s the first day of Newcastle’s Plate meeting and I feel likely favourite Amadeus Grey is worth opposing in the 7f Novice Auction Stakes and the newcomers Antagonize and Whiskey And Water (2.30) make plenty of appeal on breeding. Marginal preference is for Brian Ellison’s debutant who is bred to appreciate this trip on debut and can be a rare first time out two-year-old winner for the yard.
Daafr attracted support on debut but didn’t look to be crying out for a drop back in trip when staying on over slightly further at Newbury on debut. He will improve with racing, but Hugo Palmer has won the only two runnings’ of this corresponding race and his Almufti (3.05) was too keen to do himself justice at Newbury on debut but was backed as if he was a useful sort and he can recoup losses.
Federal Law looks the most interesting of the newcomers and a market move for Archie Watson’s son of Scat Daddy would be worth noting.
The Seaton Delaval Handicap over the straight mile is the feature event and Fire Brigade has had a wind operation since finishing runner up at Haydock on his favoured soft ground back in the spring. A market move would be worth noting but Cameron Noble takes 5lbs off the back of Leader’s Legacy (4.15) and he looks sure to appreciate the drop back to a mile and the return to an all-weather surface.
At Hamilton, I thought Four Kingdoms (6.00) looked a non-stayer over two miles and can cause a bit of a shock in the opening amateur riders event over 1m 5f. Royal Cosmic escapes a penalty for winning over slightly shorter here last week and must go close but that was on soft ground and his best form is with plenty of cut in the ground.
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