Goodwood’s Friday card stages a valuable listed event for three-year-old colts at 4.00 and the race looks to rest between the penalized Best Of Times and his main rival, Storm The Stars. The latter is a progressive type and if he’s given a better ride than he was at Chester last time, he should go close.
Sir Michael Stoute’s horses generally improve for a run and the stable’s Dark Deed will surely shape with more enterprise at Sandown on Thursday than he managed on his seasonal return at Leicester recently. Fitted with a hood for the first time in Sandown’s 8.05, the Dansili colt can get off the mark for the current campaign.
The best of the weekend’s action takes place at the Curragh with three Group 1 contests within the space of two days including a fascinating Tattersalls Gold Cup on Sunday. The five-day entries for the mile and a quarter contest were released on Tuesday and they suggest a possible clash between the hugely exciting Free Eagle, The Grey Gatsby, Postponed and Al Kazeem.
Saturday’s Lockinge Stakes saw Night Of Thunder cling on for victory in the first older-age Group 1 of the new turf Flat season. His trainer, Richard Hannon, has made a monopoly of winning the Newbury showpiece and fired home the first two at the weekend with stable companion, Toormore, chasing the winner all the way to the line.
York’s Middleton Stakes (2.40) on Thursday brings together a field of interesting fillies, and it is hard to resist the claims of Sir Michael Stoute’s Bragging, who bids to follow up her gutsy Dahlia Stakes win just seven days after her triumph at Headquarters. Izzi Top completed the same double in 2012, and Bragging is fancied to follow in that one’s footsteps.
Wednesday’s card at York ushers in the first day of the midweek Dante meeting, a showcase fixture that is often a difficult one for punters given the uncertainties about horse fitness at this time of year and the vagaries of the spring weather, and not surprisingly, the opening day’s action from the Knavesmire is tricky to say the least.
This could well be a big week for Sir Michael Stoute, who will be firing off some of his bigger guns at York’s three-day midweek meeting while stable star Integral continues to attract market support in her bid for Group 1 glory at Newbury on Saturday. Until then, Sir Michael may well have a winner at Windsor on Monday evening with Voice Control catching the eye in the 8.20 contest.