TV TIPS (SATURDAY)
Persun has not looked back since finishing fifth on what was her seasonal debut at Haydock. Mick Channon waited for an opportunity in order to get good to soft conditions for his three year old and that patience has been rewarded. Subsequent visits to Newmarket and Epsom have borne fruit and this daughter of Sir Percy comes here looking to make it three wins on the bounce. She is the only runner in this field that is proven over this trip and with Franny Norton taking the ride, the combination command plenty of respect.
Arabian Illusion was backed as though defeat was out of the question that day and that confidence turned out to be well placed. He ran out a comfirtable three length winner on that occasion and certainly would have no issues with a slight step back in trip. Jim Crowley renews his association with the gelding and they look obvious dangers. Arthenus has proved a model of consistency and also comes here in search of a three timer following wins at Ascot and Nottingham. Ground conditions shouldn’t pose too much of a problem and he too is respected for an in form James Fanshawe and Freddie Tylicki.
Persun comes here with her confidence at an all time high and her form is beginning to hold up. The likes of Fei Kuai and Bastille Day who were readily held at Newmarket have subsequently gone on to win thus adding a bit of substance to the overall form of Mick Channon’s filly.
Persun (E/W if 9/2+)
Mise En Rose has had a few runs now this year and is certainly progressing the right way. She landed her maiden at Kempton before making her turf debut at Pontefract one month later. She was easy to back on the day and she was far from disgraced finishing third to Rioca beaten only a nose and a head in the end. With the benefit of that experience, it would be of little surprise if she were to progress again for a very much in form Charlie Appleby and the Godolphin operation.
Mix And Mingle was an easy winner at Lingfield last time out and will certainly handle these almost identical conditions. This is her toughest race to date though and she will need to progress again if she is to figure. Chris Wall clearly has the utmost confidence in her and she looks a potent threat in a wide open affair. Dawaa is a versatile filly and acts on a range of surfaces. She has to give lumps of weight away this afternoon but has the assistance of Paul Hanagan in the saddle to counteract that. Mark Johnston sends three into battle here and she looks to hold the best of their chances.
Mise En Rose already has the beating of Barleysugar and can once again confirm that form on what is her local track. The likes of Make Fast and Symposium aren’t guaranteed to stay so with further potential to be unlocked, Mise En Rose is the selection.
Mise En Rose (WIN)
Memorial Day comes here in good heart and if repeating any of his last four runs ought to take an awful lot of beating here. The ground he encountered at Newbury last time was by far the worst he had ever raced upon, but he acquitted himself well in defeat and went down by just over a length to Fractal in a four runner race. This bigger field will play more to his strengths and with the ground on the better side of soft, he has to be high on any shortlist.
David O’Meara is launching a three pronged attack at this prize in the guises of Chancery, Earth Drummer and Awake My Soul. The first named pair have done all of their best work on better ground whilst the latter must defy a three month absence in order to get involved. That cannot be completely ruled out though and if the selection fails to fire for whatever reason, he will be the most likely beneficiary. Of the remainder David Livingstone is the most interesting rival. He has been kept in training despite injury setbacks and following a near two year lay off, he returned at Goodwood where he finished eight lengths behind Battalion. He can be expected to improve for that run and he is vying for place money here.
Godolphin won this race last season and it seems that they seem fully intent on retaining their trophy. Memorial Day is one of the least exposed sorts in this field and is still open to further improvement. He shared the spoils with Libran on the Knavesmire two runs ago and with that experience likely to be in his favour, it would be of little surprise to see him win again.
Memorial Day (WIN)
Ibn Malik only found the highly regarded Emotionless too strong when contesting the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster last month. The leading pair pulled some seven lengths clear of the remainder of their rivals, suggesting that the form would turn out to be quite useful. Prior to that run the selection was only just touched off by Galileo Gold at Glorious Goodwood. This slight step up in trip should help him to establish a proper rhythm and if allowed to dictate the pace, he could well prove hard to peg back.
The step up to seven furlongs saw Gifted Master produce a career best when winning at Newmarket just last week. Hugo Palmer clearly feels that he is none the worse for those recent exertions and that another furlong may well suit. If arriving in a similar mood he may take some stopping and he commands plenty of respect. Beacon Rock was an unfortunate loser at The Curragh last time where he met significant trouble in running. Beaten only a short head and a nose he went into a lot of notebooks that day. Ryan Moore is once again on board and he will not make the same mistake twice. With Ballydoyle already amongst the winners at this meeting this week, the combination are also likely to make their presence felt.
Charlie Hills won this last season and English trainers have faired slightly better than their Irish counterparts in this race recently. Ibn Malik still has plenty of untapped potential and there should be more to come.
Ibn Malik (WIN)
Gracious John ploughed through the mud to win a decent nursery for David Evans and John Egan last time. He has looked a rejuvenated character having dropped from contesting seven furlong races to those at the minimum trip. He has been allowed to dictate the pace in his last couple of starts at Ayr and at Haydock where he won with relative ease. Connections must feel that he will see out the extra furlong here and with him very much at the top of his game, he has to go close.
Donjuan Triumphant has never finished out of the frame in four previous starts for Richard Fahey but he did manage to get his head in front for the first time at Ayr. That will have boosted his confidence somewhat and with the stable in red hot form he has to be respected. King Robert has winning form on ground with plenty of give underfoot. He was no match for the fast improving Ribchester in the Mill Reef at Newbury last time but if back to somewhere near his best, he could not be dismissed lightly.
Gracious John arrives here very much on the upgrade and given that most of his rivals have endured long hard seasons he could have been well placed to take full advantage. John Egan is once again in the saddle as they make a bold bit to make it three wins from their last three starts.
Gracious John (WIN)
Emotionless blitzed the opposition on his racecourse debut when landing his maiden at the first time of asking. That readily saw him placed at the forefront of the Godolphin two year old string and he was given an entry in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster. He delivered a similarly striking performance when seeing off the useful Ibn Malik and this looked the most obvious next target. Will Buick has been on board for both previous victories and he will know exactly what he has beneath him. It is unlikely that we have seen the best of this son of Shamardal and he is taken to keep his unbeaten record intact.
Air Force Blue has done very little wrong all season notching up three wins at The Curragh including the National Stakes last month. His only career defeat came at Royal Ascot earlier in the summer but with more experience under his belt, he is likely to give the Godolphin inmate something to think about. The form of his most recent win was somewhat of a disappointment when Herald The Dawn was unplaced in France last weekend and that somewhat tempers enthusiasm. Sanus Per Aquam has won three of his five career starts to date and represents a trainer that has won two of the last four renewals of this race. If there was to be a massive upset, this son of Teofilo could well provide it.
Emotionless has shortened up significantly in the classics markets for next season and today he can justify that support by delivering another solid effort.
Poyle Vinnie ran a huge race in the Ayr Gold Cup and can gain compensation by taking this alternative cavalry charge. He has winning form with plenty of give underfoot and despite being burdened with top weight, Michael Appleby is likely to have him primed to deliver. Poyle Vinnie saw off plenty of these rivals at Ayr including the likes of Golden Steps, Lexington Abbey and Highland Acclaim and he can confirm that form once again.
George Bowen found only Tatlisu too strong in the Ayr Silver Cup but is now weighted to reverse terms with his stablemate. Jack Garrity is also entitled to claim three pounds from his partner and they look massive rivals in this ultra competitive sprint. Bubbly Bellini is a versatile old character and is fully effective at distances between five and seven furlongs. Adrian McGuinness won’t be bringing him here just for the fresh air and he has solid place prospects.
The form of the Ayr gold cup has already received a boost following a subsequent handicap success by the fifth placed Buckstay. If reproducing the same level of form, Poyle Vinnie merits serious consideration in a race in which plenty of rivals find themselves woefully out of form.
Pyle Vinnie (E/W if 9/2+)
Oriental Fox showed something like a return to form when last seen out at Longchamp in September. Despite finding Fly With Me and Walzertakt too strong last time, this step back to handicap company could well see him defy top weight under a power packed ride from Joe Fanning. Mark Johnston has a good reputation at winning these valuable handicaps and despite a career high mark, this lightly raced seven year old would enjoy any further drying of the ground.
Quick Jack was narrowly touched off in this race last year when partnered by Richard Hughes and he certainly loves these big fields. Ryan Moore’s booking certainly takes the eye and the combination should make a bold did to better last year’s gutsy effort. The six year old landed two races at Galway throughout the summer but he possibly came back too soon at York when finishing midfield behind Litigant in the Ebor. He is worth another go and looks the biggest threat to the selection. Low Key won the trial here a few weeks ago for David Pipe and Tom Marquand. They combine once again this afternoon and should also go well off a relatively low weight. This will take another step forward against some serious opposition and they have place prospects here.
Oriental Fox is one of only two previous course and distance winners in the line-up and he can utilise that experience to his advantage in this stamina sapping event. Now that he is a bit older and a bit stronger, there is every reason to expect him to be amongst the places.
Oriental Fox (E/W if 9/2+)
Quick Jack (WIN)