This can produce a fair sprinting type with Quiet Reflection and Hot Streak having taken this in recent years and it is interesting to note that fillies have been successful in five of the last ten years, including winning the last three renewals. Sound Of Silence heads the market, clearly has the best form on offer but carries a penalty and has had plenty of racing in the last month so could be vulnerable. Abel Handy, beaten half a length at York by Sound Of Silence is the obvious one to turn the tables and is improving, but there looks to be plenty of pace with the worry he may race too close to it. To Wafij has solid form at this level and is respected along with Battle Of Jericho and Mokaatil given a little improvement. This does have the look of a race that could go to one at a price with Sankari Royale catching the eye at 25/1 for Johnny Murtagh and Frankie Dettori. She looks best at five furlongs and ran a good race in the St Hugh’s Stakes at Newbury over this trip with a fast pace suiting. That will also show Pursuing The Dream in a better light, presuming she breaks on terms Jamie Osborne’s filly has some good form to her name and looks a bit of value @ 12/1.
Fourteen fillies take their chance in a competitive heat of the Oh So Sharp Stakes. It is hard not be taken with Gavota having being trapped behind horses in the Rockfel before finishing like the best filly in the race. Roger Charlton’s daughter of Bated Breath deserves to be favourite but the once raced I Can Fly lurks just behind in the betting for Aiden O’Brien and Ryan Moore and could be anything. Dark Rose Angel, maybe a little unlucky when just touched off by Laurens at Doncaster stays further than this and will likely be made plenty use of, she has to be respected, as does Special Purpose who looks like the step up to seven furlongs will suit. Hikmaa wasn’t far behind Gavota last time and has place claims while Expressiy, Altyn Orda and Herecomesthesun can all go well at prices.
This race does not look like having a strong pace and those to the fore may well fair better than hold up types. Zabeel Prince has won both starts easily and could be anything though the 3/1 is short for a twenty runner York handicap. He represents the potential along with Zwaayan but his form is nothing special and having being tried with cheekpieces and blinkers, obviously has a bit of ‘character’. Highland Colori won this race last year with Home Cummins in second, the race should be run to suit the 2016 winner and Andrew Balding will have him primed again @ 14/1. Tim Easterby enters One Word More and Just Hiss and both warrant consideration though the former is hard to win with. Cote D’Azur is another to come into calculations after a good third in the Cambridgeshire while Nicholas T @ 40/1 could go well back down to a mile after finding ten furlongs and then the Cambridgeshire too much on his last two starts.
This is a tricky little contest with Limato 9/4 favourite but worth taking on. Henry Candy’s former July Cup winner is a top class horse on fast ground over six furlongs but possibly not quite as good over seven on ground that will not be ‘summer’ quick. Dutch Connection and Absolutely So are seven furlong specialists and warrant respect but may just find one of the younger types having too much here. Massaat, second in the 2016 Guineas, faded over a mile behind Ribchester last time but prior to that produced a very good performance to win the Hungerford Stakes and looks a solid bet @ 7/1 here with seven furlongs looking his perfect distance. Dabyah, lightly raced this season and not seen since June is a talented filly but the absence casts a little doubt though there is no one better to have her cherry ripe for this than trainer John Gosden. One that appeals at a price is Rehana who looked highly progressive over this trip earlier in the season before struggling over a mile and then six furlongs. Reverting to her optimum distance can only help and boasting some solid form with the likes of Hydrangea and Rhododendron she looks overpriced @ 28/1.
A truly exciting Fillies Mile in prospect with Aiden O’Brien, who has trained the last three winners of this race, throwing in both his top two year old fillies, Happily and Magical, in pursuit of yet another group one victory. Happily just shades it with Ryan Moore booked and she will take some stopping after defeating the boys in the Jean-Luc Legardere last time. Magic Lily is the unknown quantity after an eight length victory on her debut at Newmarket but has to improve significantly on that to be competitive here. Laurens stays the trip well but is another who needs to improve along with Muirin and French raider Efaadah who are both interesting at prices. Nyaleti looks exposed, September could be a threat if returning to her Ascot form while Elthea may worry the big two Ballydoyle fillies after producing two taking performances at Doncaster and Naas, she is a little over priced @ 20/1.
This is an intriguing staying race for three year olds which could well throw up a good horse or two. Gold Star, from a good family, has only had three starts winning two of them easily so should have plenty more in the tank and warrants favouritism. In a similar vein Star Rock does not have many miles on the clock and won a shade comfortably at Newmarket following a break and should go well. John Gosden sends two, Face The Facts, a good winner of a listed event last time though this may be on the short side form him and Joshua Reynolds, who, before struggling on heavy ground at Haydock had a progressive profile and this half-brother to group one winner Speedy Boarding looks a little overpriced @ 16/1. Improving types Bolder Bob and Fools And Kings are definitely in with a shout while Brimham Rocks and Dominating should not be totally ruled out.
A very competitive Old Rowley Cup with the progressive, yet free-going Torcello heading the market and presuming he does not get involved with Hochfeld and Medalla De Oro in a battle for the lead, ticks all the boxes and should go close. Another who is improving with every run is William Haggas’ Humble Hero. Given plenty of time this season, he found the fourteen furlongs a little beyond him on his penultimate start before a good win at Newcastle last time despite hanging right and rates one of the main players @ 8/1. Godolphin are well represented with First Nation and High End. First Nation has had numerous chances to win one of these top handicaps and just seems to come up short so is maybe one to swerve while the improving High End needs to find more wearing first time cheekpieces. Here And Now, third in the Melrose Handicap at York drops back to a trip that when he last ran over, defeated Goodwood Cup winner Stradivarius and Ralph Beckett’s son of Dansili could be a bit of value @ 12/1. Duke Of Bronte had a few of these behind him last time at Ascot and should give another good account while Eynhallow and Koeman could go well at bigger odds.
Quickened Clear’s Best Bets:
Massaat – 3.00 Newmarket – 1pt win @ 7/1
Joshua Reynolds – 3.55 York – 1ot win @ 16/1