BETFRED PLAY TODAY’S £2MILLION+ SCOOP6 STRENSALL STAKES – Group 3 – 1m 208y
Only 7 runners for this Group 3 contest and last month’s 55th John Smith’s Cup winner Farraaj is sure to go off a warm favourite to follow up. This will be the gelding’s fifth attempt at this level the only victory coming in Lingfield’s Winter Derby on the all-weather and the son of Dubai Destination may be worth taking on at a short price as Andrea Atzeni’s mount is unlikely to get the run of the race as was the case on his last visit to the Knavesmire. Lady Lara, the only three-year-old in the race is a consistent filly who can outrun her big price ( 18-1 with Bet365 ) while Custom Cut can not be dismissed having hit a rich vein of form lately but it is GRAPHIC from the in-form William Haggas stable who is taken to come out on top. Not out of the first two in four attempts this season the five-year-old made all for an easy victory in a Group 3 contest at Maisons-Laffitte on his most recent start and a reproduction of that form should be good enough to win this at the 9-2 available with 888sport.
BETFRED MELROSE STAKES – 1m 6f
A tremendous renewal of this three-year-old staying handicap in which the Luca Cumani-trained top weight Connecticut will attempt to win his fourth race in a row after finishing third in a Newmarket maiden race on his debut back in April. The New Approach colt is likely to appreciate the step up in trip but has been done no favours by the handicap and faces a tough test off a mark of 99. Royal Ascot’s King George V Stakes third Captain Morley was doing his best work at the end of that race won by the highly-regarded Elite Army and should relish the 1m 6f trip and should go well but this could go to the Sir Michael Stoute-trained ROCKET SHIP for jockey Ryan Moore. The son of Sanndar lost his maiden tag with a bloodless victory at Catterick last month outclassing his 7 rivals but impressed on his first run in handicap company when making all to beat a decent horse of Godolphin’s in Hidden Gold at Pontefract and at the 10-1 on offer with the sponsor is the selection in an open contest.
3.15 IRISH THOROUGHBRED MARKETING GIMCRACK STAKES – Group 2 – 6f
The strongest form on offer here comes from the Richard Hannon stable responsible for Baitha Alga and Beacon. The former is on a four-timer after victories at Chester and Epsom were followed by a comfortable win in Royal Ascot’s Norfolk Stakes. Stablemate Beacon looked an unlucky loser at Goodwood last time but the runner-up Fast Act did nothing for the form on Thursday and the suggestion is the Mark Johnston-trained JUNGLE CAT who can get his head in front after finding the Hannon runner Ivawood too hot to handle on his last two starts. Previously an excellent third in the Coventry Stakes behind The Wow Signal this looks much easier and the mount of Silvestre de Sousa rates the value at the 13-2 with William Hill and 888sport.
3.50 BETFRED EBOR – 1m 6f
A maximum field for Europe’s richest handicap and with only 9lb covering all 20 runners a more tightly-knit affair is difficult to imagine. The Sir Mark Prescott-trained Pallasator has been all the rage since his Ascot victory last month but makes no appeal in such a competitive race at a best price 4-1. Clever Cookie, Mutual Regard, de Rigueur and Mighty Yar are just several who are capable of going close but as advised in our ante-post article earlier in the week the Mick Channon-trained ELIDOR is put forward as the value at 25-1, a price which is still available with several bookmakers including Bet365, Coral and William Hill.
4.25 JULIA GRAVES ROSES STAKES – Listed – 5f
A below-par renewal of this five furlong speed test for two-year-olds in which Mind Of Madness’s second in Royal Ascot’s Norfolk Stakes looks the strongest form on offer but a chance is taken with the Mick Channon runner MOONRAKER who won a decent Ascot maiden on his debut ( runner up won Wednesday’s valuable Sales race ) and despite beating only one home in the Group 2 Richmond Stakes at Goodwood ran much better than his finishing position would suggest and should improve for the experience.
5.00 BETFRED SUPPORTS JACK BERRY HOUSE STAKES – 1m 2 1/2f
The booking of Ryan Moore for the Brian Ellison-trained LLANARMON LAD looks significant and the five-year-old should take plenty of beating. The son of Red Clubs has been a model of consistency since winning a competitive Thirsk handicap in May and is taken to get the better of Queensberry Rules who should appreciate the drop in class.
5.35 QIPCO FUTURE STARS APPRENTICE STAKES – 5f
This 19-runner apprentice sprint handicap makes limited appeal as a betting medium but the lightly-raced ONLINE ALEXANDER has to be on the short list after her comfortable victory at Glorious Goodwood on her most recent start. Kevin Ryan’s filly was a late withdrawal from a Listed Pontefract contest last week and is clearly held in some regard and should go well off a mark of 93.