A busy Saturday lies ahead as we look forward to York next week and an opportunity to build the betting bank.
However, the weather could be the main talking point this weekend with rain forecast nationwide so I will be focusing on those who like to get their toe in.
2.05 NEWMARKET – DIVINE LIBRA
I am keeping the faith with Charles Hills’ three-year-old DIVINE LIBRA and hope the rain hits Newmarket overnight as it will certainly aid his cause of landing the Grey Horse handicap.
The rain came in time at Chester last month when late support was rewarded with success and he ran well down the middle of the track behind a hat-trick seeker over the same track and trip he tackles this weekend.
He runs off the same mark and as an unexposed 3yo taken on his elders, and James Doyle booked, he looks to have plenty in his favour. The drop to six furlongs has also helped as he was too keen over seven on the Rowley Mile at the Guineas meeting having got away with it when much too good at Catterick when landing his maiden.
With ground and trip in his favour and likely more still to come, he looks a solid play to get involved in the opener at HQ.
Mitrosonfire won the race in 2021 off the same mark as this afternoon and looks to have been aimed at regaining his crown, while Celtic Champion is another 3yo who has claims after an all-weather success when last seen in February.
2.25 NEWBURY – HARRY BROWN
HARRY BROWN was unlucky at Royal Ascot when well fancied, having ‘won’ his race convincingly on the far side, challenging up the rail before edging towards the middle of the track.
Back at Ascot last time, he was 4lb out of the weights when running ok against some ardent sprint handicappers and has his sights lowered here. He was a close second on debut on soft ground, and being by Harry Angel underfoot conditions should not pose a problem while he looks still to be on a very workable mark.
If the rain continues to fall, Punchbowl Flyer looks a player on stable debut for John O’Shea. He was a mudlark for Eve Johnson Houghton and it is interesting Charles Bishop retains the ride after moving for 16,000 guineas in October. He is a course winner off 1lb lower and despite his best form being over a furlong further, he can’t be discounted such is his record with cut underfoot.
Four Adaay will be popular reunited with Oisin Murphy who is two from three on him, but I think HARRY BROWN still has potential to go much higher than a mark of 87.